When Andrew Thorburn, CEO of National Australia Bank, appeared in the witness box at the banking royal commission, he said technology was part of the reason the bank had been taking an increasingly short-term focus, rather than keeping an eye on the long-term future of the bank.
“The world has got faster. You know, people want things now. When you push your button on Uber you expect it to turn up. Five minutes is a long time. You know, people can communicate via Snapchat …
“Expectations of things happening right now… immediately have gone up,” he said.
“I think the expectations of having new products and services out in the market quickly… has created the expectation that we can move faster,” Mr Thorburn said.
The bank had “drifted” towards short-termism at the expense of customers, he said.
Though tech is partly to blame, it will also be part of the solution
There is no doubt that technology has sped up the pace we do business, just as it has sped up our lives in so many ways, and this may have contributed to short-termism among our major banks.
But technology is also going to be the solution to many of the woes uncovered by the royal commission.
For example, technology can improve transparency.
With the banks recently moving to more ‘open banking’ that provides greater clarity about a customer’s actual spending habits, they will be able to make better credit decisions.
In the same way, Beyond Strata is harnessing the power of technology to improve transparency for both customers and property managers in the property sector.
For example, Beyond Strata’s Intellistrata system allows property owners to have live access to real-time information about their property at any time, from anywhere in the world.
Committee members have access to even more data, helping them make better decisions about their property.
Automation and greater transparency through specially developed systems can also deliver property managers greater efficiencies, allowing them to perform their administrative tasks more quickly, and freeing them up to spend more time with customers.
For the banks, automation will be the key to solving many of their problems, such as approvals for housing loan customers, compliance issues, and so-called ‘robo advice’, the term given to automated financial advice.
With final report due in February, banking focus will be on change
With the final report of the royal commission due to be handed down in February 2019, the focus from then will likely to be how the sector can change.
Technology and automation are likely to be key enablers during this phase.
As the banks move invest more automation, the team at Beyond Strata will also continue to innovate with technology, not only improving efficiencies, but offering greater transparency and vastly improved functionality to customers.