Carnegie: ANZ Plus to rebuild and rewire Australia Retail

ANZ’s new retail banking platform, ANZ Plus, is launching its first proposition which will help redefine the bank’s retail business, according to Group Executive for Australia Retail Maile Carnegie.

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Pic: ANZ's Maile Carnegie (right) with Andrew Cornell Source: Arsineh Houspian

In a conversation with bluenotes to coincide with the launch this week, Carnegie said the project is a complete rebuild and rewiring of the bank’s Australia Retail business to improve its capacity and capability.

"The future is going to be won by people who know how to leverage data and technology more efficiently.” – Maile Carnegie

For some time the bank has been talking about ANZx, the project name used for the program internally, while ANZ was building the new platform and its functionality. According to Carnegie, the first ANZ Plus proposition is the beginning of a multi-year plan to release improved products and services for customers and significantly better systems and processes for ANZ.

Click here for a transcript of this video

This proposition, a savings and transaction account, is the first under the ANZ Plus banner and will provide many more services and features to customers.

“We're referring to (ANZ Plus) as a platform and a fundamental, both rebuild and rewiring, of all of the aspects that will underpin the future Australian Retail business,” Carnegie said. “Yes it's technology, that's obviously critical. But it's also the data. It's the people, it's the culture, it's the systems and the processes.

“If you think about it from a people aspect, we've actually hired over a thousand people in to help rebuild this platform. And they are largely people who come from design, engineering, data backgrounds. Over half of them come from best of breed organisations in their particular fields.

“We've put in place about 20 new technologies, Carnegie said, adding about half of those are with important organisations - like Salesforce for customer relationship management or Twilio for the contact centre. "But about half of them have been built by this new team,” she said.

Some of the new technology built in-house includes Fabric, which is a digital engagement platform, and Xplore, which helps the bank manage controls and the performance of the business.

A simpler strategy

The program has also built about 150 reusable business services, which is the functionality that comes together to create the new propositions, Carnegie said. Already about 70 per cent of those have been reused as part of the program.

This is crucial as many banks globally face challenges of huge legacy systems that require a lot of intervention and manual operation. ANZ has been simplifying its business for several years and Carnegie said while ANZ Plus fits within that strategic template of making things simpler and more efficient, it also has more to offer.

This transformation has involved the simplification of hundreds of products, systems and processes, and technology to deliver a platform that will be adaptive and responsive for years to come, she explained.

“What we've done is avoided what is very tempting to do, which is just to put a veneer of change over the top of that “spaghetti in silos” as some people call it. This is a platform that is just not fit to win in a future,” Carnegie said.

“The future is going to be won by people who know how to leverage data and technology more efficiently. So yes, it's within that broader simplification but it is a massive kind of step change in effectiveness as well.”

The ANZ Plus savings and transaction accounts are aimed at improving the financial wellbeing of customers. Carnegie conceded cynics might say that banks haven’t necessarily put customers’ financial wellbeing front and centre in the past but she is confident this is changing at ANZ.

Winning customer loyalty

“Most industries that are winning today, their orientation is anchored towards their customers winning. Their customers doing well by leveraging whatever they are offering versus their competition,” Carnegie said. “What we want to be able to do is improve the financial wellbeing of our customers.

“The way that will benefit our shareholders is by step changing the loyalty our customers have to us. By being more loyal to us, by trusting us more, by trusting we're doing the right thing by them, we will earn the right to offer more services and more things to them.”

One of the main responsibilities a bank needs to get right is the so-called “know your customer” (KYC) provisions. As well as security, it can hugely improve a bank’s efficiency to accurately and effectively verify customers.

Currently with ANZ Plus 98 per cent of customers are successfully verified, compared with 80-85 per cent average today. Meanwhile, there is already a growing percentage of people downloading the new ANZ Plus app and going all the way through to opening an account without human interaction, according to Carnegie.

She said ANZ Plus also provided an opportunity to think about what the bank of the future will look like and how banks need to embrace adaptability.

Carnegie said the platform rebuild would ensure ANZ could be adaptable to the constant change facing the industry. Banks have to be more resilient and must be extendable and contractable, to be flexible to shifts in demand.

“The platform itself will be able to support multiple different business models in multiple different ways to look after our customers. The first proposition is a savings and transaction account, a very smart savings and transaction account,” she said.

“But it's rapidly going to be followed by increased functionality into those products, but then also a digital home loan. We're aiming for a straight-through home loan... and we're targeting that later in the year.”

With ANZ Plus now in the market and with increased functionality and new products to come, Carnegie believes it ensures the bank will be competitive in the Australia Retail market.

“We believe we’ll have a clear advantage in the domestic market because we have gone in and rebuilt the... heart of our business. We’ve rebuilt that platform and we believe it sets us up for, not just short-term, episodic success or improvement, but real long-term success.”

You can listen to the full conversation in the video above.

Andrew Cornell is Managing Editor of bluenotes

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