How mobile technology has transformed the banking industry

Veteran Journalist and Partner, StoryTK

Remember the days when people planned lunch hours and Saturday mornings around a trip to the bank? Today, the phrase “bankers’ hours” has all but lost its meaning. We can check balances, pay bills and order credit cards—all from the palms of our hands. Such developments have turned retail banking upside-down in the span of a single generation, giving unprecedented power to customers.

And plenty more change is in store. According to Juniper Research predictions, nearly 1.8 billion people will use mobile banking by 2019, up from 800 million people one year ago. Accordingly, Westpac New Zealand, one of the country’s largest banks, is not only embracing this shift in customer preference, but also getting out ahead of it.

Our latest Wild Ducks episode describes how Westpac New Zealand’s chief digital officer, Simon Pomeroy, is using digital platforms to enact a wholesale transformation of the bank designed to strengthen customer relationships. Spearheaded by Pomeroy and aided by IBM, Westpac launched a new digital banking platform, Westpac One. Integrated and cross-functional across the web, mobile devices and tablets, Westpac One uses advanced data analytics and IBM Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities to provide customers a timeline view of their finances that includes not just balance details, but also real-time personalized finance intelligence.

The shift to digital has also significantly affected Westpac’s culture and its interactions with customers. “More than 55 percent of our customers now are using online banking—not just yearly or monthly, but daily and every other day,” Pomeroy says. “Mobile is really driving that frequency and increase in usage. And so for us, the strategy was really very simple. Why can’t customers do all their banking online, and then why can’t they do it on any device, particularly through the mobile phone?”

Listen as Pomeroy explains how he draws inspiration from the world’s hottest software companies, imparting lessons about how companies can reinvent themselves for the digital era, and remember to tune in for a new episode of the Wild Ducks podcast series on the last Thursday of every month. Better yet, receive the podcast episodes automatically by subscribing on iTunes or SoundCloud, then explore earlier episodes.