Liz Maguire of ANZ Bank: Taking customers on a digital journey
- 25 October, 2016 07:00
Liz Maguire of ANZ: The accidental banker
Disruption comes when there is dissatisfaction. That is the challenge for the bank. How do you make sure you are not inviting disruption?
When Liz Maguire started her career in retail banking more than 20 years ago there were no digital roles, or people holding an equivalent to her current post.
Maguire became head of digital and transformation at ANZ Bank nearly three years ago.
Before this, she was head of the bank’s branch optimisation programme, a $100 million-plus investment to update and reconfigure the ANZ branch network.
“I always say I have got the best job in the bank,” says Maguire.
“I look after digital across the bank in New Zealand and [look] after big transformation projects, primarily retail and business banking.
“How might we use digital technology to improve the processes we have, to improve the systems our staff use? And also, for things that enable us to provide a better customer experience?
As to what has changed from when she took on the role, she says, "Digital is now much more front and centre of bank strategies."
"Today, it is just the way the people do their banking."
Next: Digital exclusion, the accidental banker and the link between dissatisfaction and disruption
How might we use digital technology to improve the processes we have, to improve the systems our staff use? And also, for things that enable us to provide a better customer experience?
Digital inclusion - and exclusion
She says the latest statistics show 77 per cent of bank value transactions - which are deposits and withdrawals - happen through digital channels.
She describes the rise of digital channels this way: "We always say if you visit a branch, you visit it one to two times a year.
"If you use internet banking, you might use it two or three times a month."
With their mobile app, goMoney, it is one to two times a day.
“That is the average, at least once a day for every active customer.”
A recent incident, however, highlights to her how important it is to not just promote digital or online channels, but to ensure every customer is served.
The reality check happened after an interview in a newspaper where she talked about how customers are using mobile banking everyday, but go to branches one to two times a year.
"A few weeks later I got a letter from an elderly customer saying she’d read that in the paper, but wanted me to know that she in fact uses the branch two to three times a week.
"This really highlighted to me the importance of digital inclusion," she says.
“It comes down to customer choice. But I believe very firmly it’s the job of the bank [and that particular customer’s branch] to ensure we are talking to her about all the different ways to bank and making it easy to learn."
As she puts it, ANZ's customer base ranges from millennials to centenarians.
"In fact, I know of at least one 98-year-old who is a whizz on goMoney."
"There’s a big range of experience levels with digital technology," she says. "So we make sure we put a lot of work into helping everyone understand the different ways to bank.
"We provide our staff with a lot of training and support," she explains.
"Recently we’ve introduced a ‘digital accreditation programme’, so everyone has the same base level of understanding about our digital products and can help our customers.
In all our branches we also have a ‘digital champion’. These staff members receive extra training, tools and support to help both their colleagues and customers with digital queries.
She says the bank also involves "digital champions" and frontline staff in their development work.
"After all, they're the ones who have the most contact with our customers. So, we’ll ask them for their feedback on what works and what doesn’t, and get them involved in pilot testing for new developments and ideas."
Maguire says the bank also gets customers involved in research and testing.
"The voice of the customer is so important to what we do,” she explains. “We read all the customer reviews on Google Play and the App store for example, and we have a list of the most requested features which helps us prioritise our development pipeline."
In addition, we also have ‘What’s New’ promo screens to inform and guide customers through new updates to internet banking and goMoney, she says.
“Personally, I spend a lot of time talking to people who are not digital natives, who may be in their roles are not as comfortable with digital.
“Digital inclusion is really important,” she says. “It is clearly something that everybody around the world is grappling with.”
“And interestingly enough, in the market outside New Zealand, the fundamental things around digital inclusion are different. Like, 'Do you have access to energy to be able to charge your phone?’ It is a completely different dynamic.
“Here, it is more around, 'Have you got access to the device and the broadband that you need'? But also, 'Are you confident using the device'?”
“Whatever it is, [we must] be very focused around what is in it for the customers,” says Maguire, who is one of 10 people globally shortlisted for the inaugural Banking Tech ‘Women in Technology’ Award in London in December.
Over time, you will be talking to Siri or one of the other operating systems and services, and you will say, ‘Siri, please make a payment.'
Understanding human behaviour and change
Did this uptake on digital channels surprise her?
"Probably the thing that surprised me is the exponential growth," she says. "Certainly as we build our things in digital, you expect people to move, because it is easier to do banking for anything in digital.
"For somebody to use it, it has to be better," she says. “That is fundamentally a human behaviour.
"If you want me to change my behaviour, then you have to offer me something better. It could be quicker, cheaper or giving me access to some things I haven't had before."
"Primarily it is about about customer choice,” she says.
“ANZ has the largest number of bankers and branches so it is always down to customer choice, but we want to always give customers the choice to do everything they can through their phone,” she says.
“There is actually a surprising amount of day to day changes you may want to make through your banking, which are not available yet through digital that we are working on.”
She says biometrics, for one, will change how people interact with the bank.
“Obviously we do touch ID already, but voice biometrics and facial recognition is going to change significantly over time,” she says.
For example, if you want to do something with the bank's goMoney app, like changing your payment limits, you could just do that on your phone.
“It would prompt you to say, ‘Please change my payment limit.’ We have 150 data points to match your voice print and you are authenticated” to do the change.
She also foresees the rising role of voice assistants.
“Over time, you will be talking to Siri or one of the other operating systems and services, and you will say, ‘Siri, please make a payment.’”
“Siri will deal with goMoney using voice biometrics.”
Maguire talks about the changing skillsets in her team.
“We are doing a lot in terms of usability, customer-centric design, lean, Agile development.
She says one of the big changes in the bank is expanding the Agile thinking outside the technology and digital teams.
“That means we have been spending time with my peers around how to sponsor those projects, or what governance looks like for Agile projects.”
Her team also works with the technology division, headed by Craig Bunyan.
“We work hard on making digital be about digital,” says Maguire.“Everyone is working on self-empowering teams.”
“And so, we need people to be [about], how can we deliver stuff for customers? Not, 'I have my own way of doing things because I am in business, you are in technology'.
“It is about how to make things better for customers, be it if they are interacting with us digitally or interacting with bankers on the frontline,” she says.
"Everyone is working on self empowering teams.." nice insights on bridging digital business and tech shops.. https://t.co/37PWuJvvXm— Andrew Wilshire (@kiwi_think) October 24, 2016
We read all the customer reviews on Google Play and the App store and we have a list of the most requested features which helps us prioritise our development pipeline.
The accidental banker
Maguire has a bachelor of commerce in management studies and labour relations from the University of Auckland.
Her career would have taken a different route, had she not joined the graduate programme of Westpac.
From there, she worked in different banks locally, in Australia and the United Kingdom. Her roles were mainly in consumer finance and she also worked in marketing and product management.
“You have very good processes and systems,” she says on the upsides of working in the banking industry. “You have lots of resources and opportunities to do things you would not necessarily get in another organisation.”
Maguire also mentors ANZ staff. Their meetings can be just over a cup of coffee to talk about a specific problem.
“I think it [mentoring] is a useful thing to do,” she says. “You build networks and relationships, and find out what is going on in another area of the bank you would not normally know.”
Dissatisfaction and disruption
Recently, Maguire joined the discussions on digital innovation and transformation at the recent 2016 G-20Y Summit in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
“For banks, it will be very easy to go down the track of every new technology. But you only want to back the ones that look like they are going to come off.
“We have a job to provide good digital services to a whole range of customers. But we have to be careful that something is not a fad, that it is actually a trend.”
As to the payments industry being one of the most disrupted, she says, “My theory around disruption is that it comes when there is dissatisfaction.”
“Everyone uses Uber as an example,” she says. “If you look at Uber, it started up because they [the founders] could not get a cab in San Francisco.”
“That is the challenge for the bank. How do you make sure you are not inviting disruption?”
“You really want to focus on and find solutions for customers even before they know they have got pain points.”
“The thing with digital is you have to build it for a wide spectrum of people.”
“There are [tech] wizards, then people’s mothers who need help and so many in between,” she says.
“There is a lot of work on, 'how do we make it intuitive' for our customers?”
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