New Country Other Developments?


Recently arrived in Sydney (Australia), from Amsterdam (The Netherlands) I would like to continue doing what I did in the past: Sharing thoughts, insights and developments in the Financial Services industry and the Wealth Management industry in particular. Not limited to any geographical boundaries (which boundaries?) with regards to relevance of the subjects of course.

I will only share from personal interest point of view. But feel free to comment or request my view on other subjects as well.

So far so good in Australia. A well developed country, but one of its own kinds. The weather used to be better and the mood to be more relaxed. Is that why some developments are of a view years behind from the place where I grew-up?

I see loads of mobile apps offered by Financial Services firms (FS-firms) and some FS-firms are offering online client platforms already. Although I am very supportive in that I want to note that it is not about having a mobile app to be ‘Digital’. Actually having a mobile app alone is dangerous. Having it as a standalone offer to your client makes it vulnerable for mismatches with the company strategy. The message a client receives from its mobile app needs to be consistent with the message the clients receives from someone in the call center, the bank branch or a relationship manager. Time after time it is strange to see the rates I see on my mobile app are different from the online platform. I see the same with company owned Twitter accounts that are not being used. I could write a full blog about that!

In the past months I have seen, or experienced myself, the problems FS-firms face. Great offers to go to online banking followed by terrible customer services (no response on emails; call-back times of 3 or more days) which results in a bad experience. The firm achieved its commercial success by getting someone as a client, but forgets to treat the client in a positive way. They forget to pay attention to the client to make the experience beneficial. In this case it doesn’t matter if the client is managed online, by mobile or by a relationship manager. After all, the online and mobile channel should be cheaper than the branch or advisor channel, but it only adds value if it works fast and without any issues like connection failures, blocks or privacy issues.

Of course I have seen great examples as well like the concept of Kaching of CBA. Still being innovative but able to keep it simple. Still a great company asset for CBA. And I really expect more to come.

In the wealth management domain I am a fan of the Knowledge Exchange Platform Coutts is offering its clients. They bring several dimensions of their services together: Exclusivity, Personalised, Added Value and Expertise. Just by creating a platform for knowledge exchange and networking between their clients on their own platform. They created the ideal platform to showcase the company’s expertise.

I already start describing the use of ‘innovative’ ways of interacting while not even mentioning the good old branch banking.  Banks force their clients to visit the branch with a lot of paperwork when opening a bank account or request a credit card. This is frustrating for a client, me in this case, that likes to spend their valuable time (they have to work as well!) on other things. I am not saying the services at the branch are not ok, because my experiences are good, but the fact that company processes/policies require me to do so is quite ‘old-school’.

There is a lot to develop and think of so to say. But so far, I like it here!


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