How is the rapid pace of tech changing the financial landscape?
We believe a lot has changed and for the better, however there is still lots of room for efficiencies and improved user experience.
So, we wanted to speak to a digital transformation advocate in the space and were introduced to Alex Tullio. Alex has worked with financial institutions for her whole career and shares some of the current challenges Aussies are having when accessing financial services, thoughts on the Royal Commission crack down and show using technology for the better is just the beginning.
“I think the industry has to make it easier for people to understand the basics and separate this out from a product sell.”
Meet Alex Tullio…
I had a big corporate career and was privileged to experience lots of opportunities and roles. My last corporate role was as a Group Executive at Bendigo Bank, running the retail and business bank.
In a way my jump out of corporate and into being self-employed was sudden – but in another way it had been a long time coming – I just hadn’t been ready to take the plunge!
Working for myself was a natural evolution. I am passionate about people and businesses, and the impact that leadership has on business success.
Accessing financial services – what are the challenges?
This industry can be so full of jargon and complexity that it becomes impossible for people to understand the basic principles, and to know what they need. In my experience, most customers want and need foundational advice and education in terms of financial literacy. How do they save for their first home? Manage their cashflow? Create a strategy that will set them up in retirement? I think the industry has to make it easier for people to understand the basics and separate this out from a product sell.
A good place to start are free resources like the FPA or the ASIC MoneySmart website. There is great content that will help point people in the right direction – this may or may not be a financial planner, but like with anything, having a professional to help you set goals and achieve them is always a great idea.
What do you think has come out of the Royal Commission crack down?
I think a lot of basic principles were reinforced as a result of the Royal Commission, but the thing that stands out most for me is the emphasis on culture, culture, culture. There is real pressure on boards and c-suite executives to create a culture of transparency, challenge and questioning in their organisations. We have all seen the massive loss of trust in Australian corporates from the public – especially in the banking sector. Rebuilding this trust will take a long time, and it will start with a culture of transparency and engagement with customers and staff alike.
I think the challenge and opportunity here, is how to leverage technology in a way that enables business leaders to confidently know what is happening in their business. We are talking to several businesses in the sector about using our engagement platform, Trampoline, as a way to take a ‘culture audit’ and introduce a consistent and effective way of engaging staff in ongoing and honest conversations.
Who is using tech well?
I’m sure there are lots of great examples, but the ones that stand out for me are those that are leveraging tech – not to replace their staff, but to augment what their talented staff do so they can provide an exceptional customer experience. At the end of the day, especially in banking, we want human contact and relationships. The smart organisations are using tech to leverage their teams and take away the repetitive processes that add no value to the consumer. This then frees up their people to really shine – and this is what differentiates an organisation, not rate.
Fintech in 2 years?
I think we will see this space continue to mature in Australia – this isn’t just start up territory anymore – there are plenty of institutions who are throwing big money at developing smart tech solutions, and looking for different ways to do business. There will always be a strong emphasis on how to refine and automate processes, but I think the really interesting developments are coming from the continued focus on how to enhance the customer experience, not using technology to replace human interaction, but to enhance it… Plus we have open banking on the horizon, and this is obviously a big opportunity for new market entrants to do something different.
Why is Lodex different to what is out there?
I think this is a great example of where smart technology and smart people come together and create a really great user experience. This is all about simplifying the complex and making it easy for consumers to find information and to connect to competitive providers. I really like the marketplace model for this reason.
We do hope tech continues to enhance the experience. We’re excited that tech will help us do more of what we are good at, creative thinking and innovation.. Thanks Alex, for taking the time to share.