Our size means we can afford to be a disrupter and we have been. We were the first to launch GoMoney, among other things. Are we doing enough? No. So the question is: how do we do more?
It comes down to the quality of our people. People who are technologically literate, who are curious and who sense what is going on in the world - not just about tech but about social change and what's going on in the community and how to translate that into a better customer experience.
As a big four bank we tend to compete amongst ourselves but in terms of customer experience, we don't at all. In that area we compete with the likes of Uber, Amazon and AirBnB. They're the companies defining what good business looks like in terms of customer experience: they are always on, have transparent pricing, have predictive capability and effectively utilise big data.
So customers look at them and say “well that's a great experience buying a book and booking a cab. Why can't that be the experience when transferring money, or getting a mortgage?"
That's what ANZ has to work on. It's not going to be easy but I'm confident we can do it, internally and in partnership with others like fintech groups.
SPACE FOR ALL
I see the future of fintech and the many fintech disruptors in two ways. I grew up in the 90s and was there during the tech boom. I saw the excitement, I saw the hot money go in and I saw it all fail. So a part of me sits there and thinks, well is it happening all over again? That's one side.
I have to say the majority of my view though is on the other side. That side says this is real, this is coming our way and as an industry we need to be paranoid. We need to be scared, we need to be worried and it's going to keep us on our toes.
Those two views dictate a lot of what we do at ANZ. We have a real business to run, we're a big company, we have millions of customers we have to service. But we also have to transform ourselves for the new world, which is really where the difficulty is.
I think in the end, there's space for all of us, both big banks and fintech disruptors in the market. Banks don't have to be everywhere in the value chain.
There will always be a customer place for new players, where fintech works for them and it's a place incumbents be able to serve very well. As a big bank we have to learn that's ok and keep our focus on what we know we can achieve.
Shayne Elliott is CEO at ANZ. This is an edited transcript of a discussion held at a Fintech Melbourne Meetup in early February.