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More to mobile banking than mobile


"Banking customers are increasingly turning to mobile apps for their everyday banking needs. Three key areas of focus help build the best experience."

As ANZ CEO, Shayne Elliott discussed recently, the ANZ mobile banking app has enjoyed extraordinary success in recent years.


Since May 2019, both the number of users and app logins have grown by a third. Over the same period, transaction volumes and transaction value have accelerated even faster, increasing by almost 45 per cent.


The app has won several awards, including the 2020 Money Magazine Banking App of the Year with users voting with their thumbs. The ANZ app has some of the highest customer ratings in the business – 4.7/5 for Apple users and 4.6/5 for Android.


This success comes from a relentless focus on three areas – customer engagement, collaboration and continuous improvement.


Launching an app is just the beginning of a long journey. It’s how closely we work with our customers, tap into the expertise across the bank and our partner ecosystems while embedding a growth mindset which really defined our success.


Importantly, ANZ pays particularly close attention to customer engagement. We currently have more than 750,000 ratings across the various app stores and monitor them closely – whether it’s five stars or one, or suggestions or complaints.


That focus on engagement has helped ANZ improve the number of features delivered year-on-year as well as the overall experience. For example, customers logged into the ANZ app are automatically authenticated when calling the contact centre which not only reduces friction but on average saves about 100 seconds for customers every single time.


In 2018, we delivered eight major feature releases for the app. By 2020, that number had risen to sixteen in the calendar year and we’ve already delivered eight more in the first half of 2021.


These ratings and the customer feedback that comes with them are gold. They tell us what we’re doing well, what we need to improve and give us ideas for introducing new features.


In one instance, a feature was created to help customers monitor transactions. Soon after launch, customer feedback highlighted it was providing a less than optimal user experience.


The change was confusing and unhelpful to customers and was also increasing calls to our contact centres.


We investigated the problem, identified a partner who could help us address it and released an improved version. Since the update, the feature has seen increased use and much more positive feedback.


This brings us to collaboration. Real success doesn’t come from one team. It’s a combined effort between teams across the bank, external partners and our customers.


I’m often reminded of an infamous story about John F Kennedy and a janitor. One day at NASA, JFK saw a man mopping the floor and asked him what he was doing. “I’m helping put a man on the moon,” he said.


It’s important to remember as a bank we are working together towards one goal – to provide the best customer experience we can deliver, for the communities we serve. That obsession is a lot easier when we all have the same laser focus.


The third area of focus is continuous improvement. As mentioned, the bank has focused heavily on increasing the number of meaningful feature releases to improve the customer’s experience.


Achieving this level of agility is no small task. We need to be working on the right things - what matters for our customers - which is where  customer engagement is important. We also need to be confident in our capabilities, which is why we have built a strong culture of internal and external collaboration. At the same time, we’ve also been dramatically increasing our in-house engineering and automation skills.


What’s been particularly pleasing is the response we’ve had to the many new features delivered to our customers. In November last year, we gave our customers the ability to join the bank and open a new account via the app. Since then, more than 10,000 customers have taken up the offer.




In the third quarter of 2020, we launched the ability to open a Progress Saver account in the app. Now, 45 per cent of all Progress Saver accounts are opened this way - more than any other channel. In late 2019 we launched the Save for a Goal feature. Since then, customers have set up 464,000 goals with the most popular being a house deposit, holidays, new cars or simply saving for a rainy day.


While we don’t always get it right, the secret is being able to deliver what our customers want when they want it. And that means we focus on the basics of the 3 C’s – getting customer engagement, collaboration and continuous improvement right. There’s more to mobile banking than mobile.


Rhaghavendra Bhat is Technology Lead – Digital Portfolio at ANZ


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