An Interview with Shaun Tubb


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

Tubb: Three core priorities that we are focusing on are to simplify our operations, synergise and then commercialise. The simplification step involves breaking down the barriers between our different IT sections and trying to create a strong platform to channel our operations. We will then look at how we can aggressively start adding functionality or services to this platform.  

FST Media: Which emerging trend or innovation currently flying under the radar do you feel will make an impact on the financial services industry?

Tubb: What we are trying to do is keep our eye on everything in the industry. Essentially, it is about keeping yourself “researched up” on the latest trends. In my mind, I do not see anything flying under the radar, but there is a lot of change going on, and the key point of consideration is finding out which one of those trends is going to be the game changer. When it comes to technology and innovation in the banking sector, you need to make sure you are backing the right horse. 

FST Media: What role will technology play in the overall customer experience at TSB Bank?  

Tubb: Technology will play a huge role in the overall customer experience. Outside of our own industry, customer engagement is now all about technology for people. People will still be driving TSB Bank’s customer service and that has always been something that we are really proud of. Now, we are enhancing that vision with our digital offerings and trying to use those capabilities in different areas of customers’ lives – regardless of whether they in the branch or at home. It is all about making daily banking a seamless sort of experience for our customers.  

FST Media: How has TSB Bank’s adoption of the government’s RealMe platform delivered value to the bank?  

Tubb: I think RealMe is a fantastic offering and our implementation of the RealMe platform shows that we are looking to innovate. One of the key things about our organisation is that it has always been geographically challenged. We are starting to push those geographical boundaries, and we see initiatives like RealMe starting to open the door for customers to have that choice to be able to move between organisations and not have some of the barriers in place to stop them from doing that. If our customers are at home looking to sign up to TSB Bank, they do not have to come into a branch to join up, so we think it is an important part of our strategy going forward.  

FST Media: How does technology enable TSB Bank’s operations to maintain the KPMG rating as New Zealand’s most efficient bank?  

Tubb: The key with technology as an enabler is that it is all about breaking down the barriers. Our technology is starting to allow our frontline staff to understand the customer behaviour as well as understand the nature of life events for our customers. We are using that technology to enhance the customer service that we have and, as a result, that is helping us cut through a lot of the barriers that we have had previously.  

FST Media: How will TSB Bank’s partnership with Paymark, ASB, and BNZ for online EFTPOS be of value to the bank, and how will you measure the success of this partnership?

Tubb: At this stage, what we are trying to do is understand where payments may go in the New Zealand market. A key part of that is keeping abreast of those developments and also trying to influence that for our customers. Where we see that benefitting us is twofold. Firstly, as the influencer, it means that we are making sure that the key industry players are not just getting their way and dominating the market. Secondly, it means that we are putting our say in there and making sure our customers’ interests are covered. How we measure success will be determined by commercialisation. We will be looking at why our customers are using online EFTPOS and whether they are using it frequently. Another key consideration is whether it is adding a benefit to them or whether it is effectively adding value to their lives.

FST Media: What will payments look like in 2020?  

Tubb: I love thinking about the future of payments. We do not know what the payments space will look like in 2017, let alone 2020. However, one of the core strategies we have as a bank is that we are trying to simplify what we are doing. That involves breaking down the barriers and, while we are trying to do that, everything is moving so quickly. For instance, the iPad was only launched four years ago but now it is such an integral part of people’s lives. The acceptance of smart tablet technology has been very quick, and the iPad is now one of the key delivery mechanisms for us. We are trying to prepare ourselves for the coming years in such a way that we are flexible enough to be able to move wherever that tide of innovation goes. The next wave could be glasses, it could be t-shirts. We do not know exactly where digital is going, which is exciting for us but at the same time it is also why we are making digital a key priority. We are concentrating on our core strategy simplification and synergising across our business operations so that we are prepared for the next wave of innovations in digital and payments.

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

Tubb: One key way to encourage a culture of innovation is by making sure that everyone in the team has a voice. We are a very small team in comparison to others, so we actively give our staff some time to experiment with new technologies. We have an innovation framework in place which allows our staff to put ideas forward – it could be anything from improving customer satisfaction or addressing any complaints that we have had from our customers regarding our services – and then we actively engage with our staff around that innovation. I think the important thing about innovation is that it is not just about capturing feedback; it is about actively feeding change. We cannot respond to every idea that comes through, but we do give our staff the opportunity to put together a list of innovations and vote on what they see as the best ideas that we can implement moving forward. By virtue of this process, we are able to have an idea of where the real benefits may lie for both our staff and our customers.  

FST Media: Every leader has a legacy that they wish to be remembered for. What’s yours?  

Tubb: The legacy that I wish to be remembered for is that I left TSB Bank in a better place than where it started; that we were able to catch up to our competitors and be part of the digital wave. The key priority for me is to ensure that my team enjoy being part of our journey of growth and evolution. If our team are passionate about what we do and they feel a sense of achievement out of it as well, then that would be the greatest accomplishment for me.