An Interview with Patrick Maes


ANZ’s Chief Technology Officer speaks to FST Media about how implementing a customer-centric approach to big data and analytics will help ANZ become ‘the advisory bank’.

FST Media: What are your technology investment priorities for the next 12 to 18 months?

Maes: As a super-regional bank, we have been investing in the construction of enterprise capabilities that are required to support our 33 countries. We will continue investing in platforms that are enterprise in nature, such as payments, mobility, digital, data, security and also corporate functions such as risk, finance and human resources. 

FST Media: What technology or innovation will have the most significant impact on financial services in the year ahead?

Maes: I think we should be looking at a longer timeframe than one year as, realistically, most of these technological changes and advances take time to build to their full impact. In the year ahead, the trend towards the customer being “in charge” will continue, and the collaborative economy will continue to transform and disrupt industries with new innovations. This disruption will be led by companies like Uber, AirBnB and the next generation of these types of businesses. Essentially, any technology or innovation that supports the proposition of the “customer in charge”, not just in trendy areas – such as mobile apps and big data – but also in the areas of convenience and consumer trust, will have the most significant impact on financial services. For customers, advances in the intelligence, mobility and advisory aspects of banking in a secure environment will be essential to the future of financial services. 

FST Media: How will you harness the potential of mobile platforms to support ANZ’s regional growth strategy?

Maes: We will continue to pursue a consistent customer experience across all of our channels, including mobile. At ANZ, our regional growth strategy is not just about mobile, it is about an omni-channel approach that incorporates tablet, mobile and internet and any touchpoint for customers. We do not differentiate between assisted and unassisted channels. We are focused on ensuring consistency for our customers, context-sharing across various touchpoints, and consolidating our customer centric analytics.

FST Media: How will technology enable ANZ to realise your vision and become ‘the advisory bank’?   

Maes: ANZ is taking a customer-centric approach to big data and analytics, and there are five key elements that we need to incorporate to be become ‘the advisory bank’. These are: a single customer view, analytics, heuristics, visualisation, and gamification. When delivered through our self-service and assisted channels, these elements will combine to help us realise this vision.

FST Media: What are ANZ’s plans to invest cloud IT solutions, and how will you address data security concerns?

Maes: ANZ is taking a measured approach to cloud, embracing it where it is relevant to our core operations. We have developed our own Cloud Policy which provides clear guidance on how we should use cloud within the boundaries of our regulatory environment. As we have a super-regional business, our solutions need to make security and commercial sense in a much broader context than that of the single lens of a domestic financial services business. In terms of data security concerns, these may be overcome using technologies, such as cypher cloud models, that encrypt sensitive information.

FST Media: How will cloud implementation allow ANZ to move from a product-centric approach to a services oriented approach?

Maes: We will consider all strategies and approaches where we can sensibly take advantage of cloud to better serve our customers. In this context, cloud allows us to move to a model that connects capabilities both from within and from outside our organisation without needing to understand the complexities of each partner.

FST Media: How will you leverage data analytics to deliver a seamless customer experience?

Maes: First and foremost, we must embrace a customer-centric view. This means looking at the touchpoints of a customer’s interactions with us and optimising the experience at each of those touchpoints, but also across all of them. Having a single view of our customer is the fundamental data building block necessary to deliver this consistency. The five key components of single customer view – analytics, heuristics, visualisation, and gamification – are essential to delivering a seamless customer experience.

FST Media: How do you encourage a culture of innovation in your team?

Maes: Innovation should be intrinsically linked to culture. I try to encourage my teams to have a transformational mindset. This means trying not to be caught up with functional or organisational limitations in their thinking, though navigating through these limitations is vital to turning transformational thinking into reality. It is the elevated mindset that I believe encourages and yields innovation in an organisation. If you can change mindsets, you can change overall behaviour, and only when you change behaviour do you change culture.

FST Media: What do you consider to be your greatest career achievement to date?

Maes: While I try to look forward rather than back, I am most proud of the teams that I have led and the work we have achieved together – whether that is groundbreaking work on intelligent systems or developing a strategy to set the groundwork for transforming an organisation.

FST Media: Every leader has a legacy they wish to be remembered for, what is yours?

Maes: The legacy I would like to be remembered for is fundamentally about transformation. This would revolve around two questions. Firstly, have I transformed or contributed to a transformation? Secondly, have I helped people to progress in their careers in a meaningful way rather than just from the perspective of new and better job titles? I firmly believe in the values of transformation and self-development and these are the measures that I use for success.

This interview first appeared in FST Media’s annual magazine The Who’s Who of Financial Services Asia Pacific which launched at the Technology & Innovation – the Future of Banking & Financial Services conference in Melbourne on 3rd June, 2015.