09 Jun 2016

What technology means for Australia’s bank customers

I learnt this week that Australia is ranked second in the world for the number of digital devices per person, with an average of 3.1 devices each. That’s 3.1 different ways we can talk to friends, read the news, shop, take photographs, do our banking, book our gym classes, review holidays, call a cab and more …the list is endless.I learnt this week that Australia is ranked second in the world for the number of digital devices per person, with an average of 3.1 devices each. That’s 3.1 different ways we can talk to friends, read the news, shop, take photographs, do our banking, book our gym classes, review holidays, call a cab and more …the list is endless.

But by having 3.1 devices each, we are also open to three times more information coming in to our world, and hitting our senses, every minute of every day.

While this is clearly helpful when it comes to things like traffic alerts and breaking news, what I’m increasingly hearing from NAB’s customers is that when it comes to money, there are an overwhelming number of options and choices in how they interact with their bank, transact and find financial advice.

As digital innovation increases, so does the potential for people to feel daunted and lost when it comes to knowing where to start and what to do with their money. The most recent NAB Consumer Anxiety Index showed that while Australia is one of the richest countries in the world, we’re feeling more anxious than ever, with government policy and the cost of living being the largest contributors to overall stress.

What customers want

People want to bank more using their mobile (customer logins to our mobile banking services have increased by 92% in the past three years and 50,000 customers are downloading our apps every month) but they also want help to cut through the clutter. They want face-to-face interaction for the big moments in life, like buying a property or a car, planning for retirement, building wealth, or borrowing for business.

What we can do for customers

  1. Recognise their different banking habits and respond quickly;
  2. Connect the different avenues through which they can bank to make the seamless transition from branch, to mobile app, to phone conversation, to desktop; and
  3. Make every interaction easy, supportive and most importantly, personal.

With adaptation of digital technology, branches, and the people who work in them, have an important role to play in providing a central place for help, guidance, advice, problem solving and education.

Fundamentally, banking is a people business. We are embracing technology to make banking easier, but using it in personal ways for our customer.

If we can make 3.1 times more information three times less confusing, then that will be a job well done for our customers.

Melissa Reynolds is the Executive General Manager of NAB Retail.

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