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Australia and New Zealand banks among the most digitally innovative in the world: Forrester

Australia and New Zealand banks among the most digitally innovative in the world: Forrester

...but NZ ahead in digital money management tools, according to Forrester's retail banking trends report.

Kiwibank offers a digital money management service called 'heaps', and Westpac has partnered with US startup Moven to provide personalised money management to customers.

Australian and New Zealand banks are amongst the most digitally innovative in the world, according to a new report from Forrester.

For example, ANZ, Bank of New Zealand, CommBank, and Westpac, already offer video banking services at the branch, helping customers reach a remotely located expert.

In addition, both Westpac and CommBank in Australia use their mobile banking apps, which include Touch ID authentication, to let customers get money from an ATM using their mobile phone.

An area where New Zealand is ahead of its banking counterparts in Australia is in digital money management tools, according to report author Alyson Clarke.

The report, Trends 2016: Australia And New Zealand Digital Banking, notes how money management tools have now moved beyond the basics of budgeting, to provide personalised financial coaching.

Banks in North America and Europe are already offering extensive email and mobile alerts to help their customers manage their day-to-day banking, as well as take more control over security and fraud.

Yet, Australian banks have been slow off the mark on these tools which are about helping customers better understand their finances, make better decisions, avoid fees, bank more securely, and ultimately help improve their financial situation.

In New Zealand, Kiwibank offers a digital money management service called “heaps”, and Westpac has partnered with US startup Moven to provide personalised money management to customers, the report states.

The P2P challenge

A common challenge is the continuing activities of peer to peer (P2P) lenders.

These P2P lenders have proliferated in both Australia and New Zealand in recent years and are looking to disrupt both the personal and business lending markets.

It predicts the attacks on the banks’ lending businesses will continue but tougher economic conditions and the pressure of attracting consumers to a relatively unknown brand, means some P2P lenders won’t survive.

Westpac CIO Dawie Olivier on 'The killer app for today’s ICT teams'

Agility will be key, so don’t be afraid to push your IT colleagues to be more flexible, and challenge them around what you build versus buy.

Alyson Clarke, Forrester

Read more: Working with startups

Thus, the smart P2P lenders have already started thinking about partnering with established banks to broaden their distribution. Prospa, for instance, has been piloting a partnership with Westpac in small business lending.

The report also stresses the importance of digital executives partnering with CIOs to drive the back-end integration of front end digital experiences.

This will ensure back-end systems and platforms such as enterprise software, CRM systems, sales, and content categorisation engines can enable cross-channel interactions and next-generation digital experiences for customers.

Forrester calls this the 'business technology agenda', referring to shared activities across teams for applying technology, systems, and processes to win, serve, and retain customers.

Agility will be key, so don’t be afraid to push your IT colleagues to be more flexible, and challenge them around what you build versus buy,” advises Clarke.

As well, the report highlights working with industry partners to “augment gaps, complement assets, and co-create value”.

This is exemplified by Semble which worked with Paymark and mobile network operators to develop its digital wallet solution for banks.

“It’s tempting for executives at big banks to think they can do this alone,” the report states. “But most banks have a fraction of the developer talent that the technology giants command, and many lack the disruptive culture needed to innovate.”

What do you do when 900 startups are targeting your service?

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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