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News |  4 min read

New Zealand Bank Proves It’s Never Too Late To Innovate

There’s an age-old stigma in society that banks are old, slow and uninventive in terms of their service offerings, customer engagement strategy and workplace culture. But one New Zealand bank is out to challenge that stereotype and lead the way for transformation in the retail banking industry.

Simon Pomeroy, Chief Digital Officer at Westpac NZ has certainly been busy since his appointment into the role in January of 2014. Experimenting with everything from virtual reality headsets to beacons and biometrics, Simon has been in pursuit of only one goal: improving Westpac’s customer engagement. He’s doing something right – Westpac NZ have seen customer interaction increase from 40% to a whopping 92% in the last three years. The secret? Creating an innovative, efficient and captivating experience for customers, both online, and in-branch.

IBM’s Wild Ducks podcast recently featured Pomeroy discussing Westpac’s transformation digital strategy.

“For us the key thing that we embraced around disruption was it wasn’t about external forces…it wasn’t about technology. The thing we embraced was around customer experience, and customers driving this change.”

When it came to building Westpac’s mobile banking app Westpac One, Pomeroy discovered three things that customers want: speed, security and a seamless user experience. He figured if Westpac’s mobile app was going to be sitting on a smartphone screen next to the likes of Uber, Facebook and What’s App, then it had better live up to that standard of user experience. His logic makes sense – with 55% of bank customers using mobile banking daily, offering a comprehensive, user-friendly mobile banking solution seems like a no-brainer.

Under Pomeroy’s guidance, Westpac branches have been given a face-lift as well. Gone are the days of queuing in line for the next available bank teller, instead when a customer walks into Westpac they are now personally greeted by an employee who comes off more as a concierge than a sales rep. It’s all part of Pomeroy’s goal of increasing customer engagement. By providing customers with an efficient, memorable banking experience built on relationships and loyalty, as opposed to transactions and necessity, Westpac NZ have evolved into one of New Zealand’s leading innovators in the retail banking industry.

For more about Westpac’s digital transformation, check out Simon Pomeroy’s interview on the Wild Ducks podcast channel here.

Certus works with some of the region’s largest banks and insurance companies. Find out how Certus is helping Finance and Banking customers turn raw data into actionable information.

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