Innovation and progress are flourishing in the financial services sector which is ‘embracing the digital revolution’, according to comparison website Canstar.
A sector which has historically been seen as ‘formidable, inflexible and slow-moving,’ financial institutions are increasingly looking to heighten their customer awareness and grow in parallel with technological developments. The rise of mortgage repayment calculators and online applications has streamlined lending processes considerably, and online banking apps have slashed the amount of time the average customer spends in their local branch.
“Technology has opened up a whole new world for financial institutions and their customers,” says Canstar general manager Jose George. “Customers are realising that their data and the insights it can give is valuable, and at the same time, banks are stepping out of their traditional zones and using fintech to shape new ways of interacting and working with customers.”
Technology has undoubtedly made life easier for financial advisers who work regularly with banks and lenders. BNZ launched a programme in November 2017 to allow brokers to lodge mortgage applications electronically, partnering with Sydney-based firm Simpology to emulate Australian systems and cut down on admin. Client relationship management (CRM) tools have also eased the process of communication, allowing brokers to ‘better use their time and provide more useful information to clients.’
“Technology is a huge part of our business,” says Bruce Patten from Loan Market. “CRM has the ability to set reminders, send newsletters and fixed rate reviews. We also use the likes of Skype for client meetings, and improvements in smartphones allow business to be done anywhere, anytime.”
According to Craig Pope from Pope & Co, technology has been most helpful from the marketing perspective.
“The way we reach people has certainly changed. Whilst we still do quarterly hardcopy newsletters, we embrace e-news and social media and are looking to improve in this area with our Pope & Co app. Technology has helped a little from the data storage perspective, but as banks don’t really accept digital signatures, there is still a bit of manual processing.”
According to Jose George, New Zealand is “punching above its weight and developing cutting edge propositions,” which can improve customer experiences at both a national and a global scale.
“There is a lot to be proud of,” says George.