Liz Maguire, Head of Digital & Transformation, ANZ

Liz Maguire

“Cloud technology helps all industries be faster, more flexible, to scale with demand and to drive down costs. In the financial services industry, it comes with several heightened challenges around security, reliability and regulation…”

FST Media: What are your business and digital priorities for the next 6 months?

Maguire: We’re constantly improving our market leading digital banking products. We have a list of the top ten things our customers request and we prioritise our development work around this.

We also have a huge project on that will improve the systems that our bankers use. We take an omni-channel approach to all the work we do. We know that our customers want choice about how they bank, and that this may be different for different services – so we are focused on making our self-service and staff-assisted channels work really well together.


FST Media: What technology is proving to be the biggest game changer across the banking industry?

Maguire: Self-service automation, together with a better use of data. To my point above, customers want choice about how they bank. If they can do something online themselves, many will because of the convenience, and so we need that to be a great experience for them. In saying that, we find that lots of people, and surprisingly even our younger customers, still prefer to come into a branch and talk through more complicated issues.

Data, and all the technology involved with how we gather and use it, is also a big game changer. Banking is becoming more personalised and insightful, rather than purely transactional. Data helps us add value for our customers in a much more targeted and useful way.


FST Media: How is cloud technology enabling new innovations to take force in banking?  

Maguire: Cloud technology helps all industries be faster, more flexible, to scale with demand and to drive down costs. In the financial services industry, it comes with several heightened challenges around security, reliability and regulation. We’re already using cloud for some types of software and have some platform projects underway too.


FST Media: What are the key challenges banks face in developing resilience technology against fintech disruptors?

Maguire: My basic tenet is that disruption comes from dissatisfaction so the onus is really on the banks to do whatever it takes to ensure great experiences for our customers. This means adapting with speed and agility to the changing environment and continuing to improve the way we serve our large and established customer bases.

I also see great opportunities to partner with FinTech as enablers to help us deliver what we need for customers.


FST Media: How important is in-house strategizing to mitigate Cybersecurity risks in the banking sector?

Maguire: Very important. The sophistication and frequency of cyber related incidents continue to increase. Cyber criminals not only try to attack the bank directly but also frequently target our customers.  We need to have strategies in place to help manage the risk by ensuring investment is made in the right areas, our customers and staff are aware of the risks, and we are working closely with our partners (in the banking industry and Government).

Over the past 18 months, we have invested in more sophisticated tools to help understand our customers’ online behaviour. This helps us better monitor potential threats to our customers and to respond in real time if we believe a customer may be compromised.


FST Media: How is ANZ responding to the challenges of digital disruption?

Maguire: Digital disruption is about giving our customers choice to bank in whatever way they want. This means we need to make our digital channels and our staff-assisted channels work together in an intuitive, integrated and seamless way.

Of course we also need to make sure we’re keeping up with the market around us, and to do this we hire the very best people and invest in the right things. We’re also focused on finding good partnerships that will help us serve our customers better, as well as adopting API technology to open our systems to external partners.


FST Media: What does it mean for a company to stay ‘agile’ with its digital initiatives?

Maguire: “Agile” can obviously mean your approach to technical delivery and our digital teams have been agile for several years. An agile approach is essentially about delivering value fast. It involves cross-functional teams working on projects in an iterative way – one which gives them the flexibility to respond to the inevitable unpredictability involved in development work. But I think the real magic of agility is a cultural one across your whole organisation, when everyone is focussed on delivering quality experiences quickly for our customers.


FST Media: Where do you look for emerging technology trends?

Maguire: We identify who is best in class for each of our operational areas – not just banks, but across all industries. We aspire to be as good if not better than them. But we’re also careful not to ‘do technology’ for technology’s sake. I believe it’s so important to start with what our customers need and then to look for the technology that’s going to solve that, not the other way round.


FST Media:  What is the next big thing for ANZ and how will you measure its success?

Maguire: At a basic level, it’s automating our business processes (straight through processing) to better deliver seamless, fast and high quality services for our customers. At a more advanced level this is likely to involve more cognitive computing, natural language interfaces (customer service ‘bots’) and emerging interfaces (such as wearables). As with everything we do, the ultimate measure of success will be what our customers think and how it impacts their experience with us.


FST Media:  What career would you like to be in aside from your own?

Maguire: I’m a digital geek at heart so anything tech or digital payments related would be really interesting to me.