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A few weeks ago, the Salesforce World Tour 2019 took Sydney by storm. Salesforce Customer Trailblazers shared how they used the Salesforce Customer Success Platform to create connected customer experiences, learn new skills and innovate the business. More than 2,000 people were present at the conference and attended keynotes whereby industry thought leaders led the conversation on the future of technology and its impact on Australian businesses. The Customer Success floor was also a buzzing hive of activity, showcasing the latest Salesforce innovations including Salesforce Customer 360 and artificial intelligence (AI)-empowered Einstein Voice. Salesforce World Tour 2019 was a fun-filled day of innovation, learning and career transformation. We were able to experience the latest product innovations which could in turn help us create connected customer experiences.

Throughout the one day conference, a number of key topics were introduced and the following resonated the most with us as a recruitment specialist in the technology and banking sectors:

What happened to customer trust in the digital age?

A common theme throughout the conference was customers’ loss of trust in the digital era - especially towards financial services. With the increase in cyber security breaches such as the Page Up breach that put more than 2.6 million active users’ data at risk, it has become more difficult for consumers to ignore the risks of trusting companies with their personal data. All businesses would agree that consumer trust is of invaluable importance, especially in highly competitive markets like technology and banking.

Panellist Stacy Pence, Managing Director at Salesforce Global Business Unit talked about how to gain back customer trust. She mentioned how customers are now seeking the provision of personalised experiences and how face-to-face interactions could drive a more positive sentiment. Stacy further added that ultimately, the focus is on the balance between what technology can deliver and how customers want to interact. To ensure they are responding to their customers’ needs, firms today are looking to establish the right level of interaction with customers through hybrid advice models such as partially assisted communication, virtual advisor or via robo-advice. This will facilitate businesses to access data driven intelligence and deliver a unique customer experience. In doing so, companies will be able to drive client acquisition and growth.

How can banks articulate trust in the wake of open banking?

Another interesting keynote addressed the issue of trust following the introduction of open banking last year. Australia’s open banking framework is part of the new Consumer Data Right (CDR) and is designed to allow individuals to access data held about them by businesses such as their banking, energy and phone transactions and on top of that, also allow the transfer of this information between accredited third parties. According to Deloitte’s Open banking: A seismic shift report, “the changes enabled by open banking and comprehensive credit reporting will have a significant impact for customers, data privacy and financial crime, strategy and pricing, conduct and fairness, artificial intelligence, and application programming interfaces (APIs)”. Panellist Cherie Munden, Key Account Director at Salesforce, shared that research has shown that 47% of customers do not trust their banks. It is therefore extremely important to regain their trust and check the three key elements of trust:

  •       Competence – can you actually deliver on what you’re saying?
  •       Credibility – can you deliver what you promised?
  •       Character – are you an agency for good?

According to Cherie, ‘competence’ is the area where banks can make a difference as they can deepen connections with consumers when designing products. Through the creation of products, banks can genuinely help their customers, regain their trust and safeguard the sustainability of the banking industry.

What are the visions of open banking?

On this note, Daniel McAuliffe, Senior Advisor Structural Reform Division, Australian Government, supported that “the open banking initiative – being part of the broader initiative called the Customer Data Right, means that it gives consumers the right to access data held by the businesses.” As such, customers also have the opportunity to view various banking products and switch to the one that is most beneficial to them. The open banking implementation has also shed further light on the lending obligations of banks, and whether banks should also be using their customers’ real income and expenses to determine their repayment ability. Daniel further stated that data is consent-driven, and that it is a right to the consumer to share it but not a right for the businesses to share without the consumer’s consent.

“However, there are risks of misuse of data, and high velocity access to data in a system that only works if people agree to use it. At the end of the day, it’s about trust and confidence in the system,” concluded Daniel.

Peter Lalor, CEO and Founder at Money Brilliant, further underlined the importance of open banking.

“Australia wastes $12 billion a year on banking products they don’t need. Open banking will help customers identify such areas of waste and find better value for money. Open banking is a massive opportunity. In an environment where product data and compatibility is incredibly difficult due to non-standardised formats, and accessing customer data is difficult, open banking will open doors and create opportunities for other businesses in a similar market”.

Alex Trott, Partner Financial Services at Accenture also indicated that open banking can be divided into two camps – compliance and data governance. However, complexity is expected to arise when customers choose to alternate between providing and removing consent for third parties to access their data. Alex added that there needs to be a formal structure in place to regulate this process and banks have yet to implement the required infrastructure to deal with such complexities. Alex also concluded that banks need to start thinking about ways they can innovate their systems to leverage off the data made available from open banking.  

What are your thoughts on open banking?

Open banking has largely impacted the banking sector and many financial institutions are seeking talent that can assist with this transition. If you would like to find your next hire or are looking for your next career opportunity, please contact us at a.mcmanus@huxley.com for a confidential discussion. To learn more about what we do at Huxley, please follow our LinkedIn page to keep up-to-date with other industry news.