Thoughts from CEO Andrew Hadley
Over the course of human history, there have been many inventions that have literally revolutionised the daily lives of people across the planet.
From the steam engine which arguably sparked the acceleration of the industrial revolution, to Henry Ford’s mass-produced car, to say nothing of hundreds of medical breakthroughs, invention and innovation have constantly delivered convenience and life altering change to society.
It’s sometimes hard to imagine that the people living at times of significant innovation were possibly unaware of the extent and ramifications of the revolution that was taking place all around them.
In a sense, precisely the same thing is happening right now with banking.
It wasn’t that long ago that most people received their weekly wages in a small manila envelope and almost every purchase was made by cash or cheque.
Then came the proliferation of the credit card, the automatic teller machine dispensing cash without human intervention, the advent of EFTPOS and more recently, with the pervasiveness of the internet, the ability to transfer funds electronically and pay bills online.
Since then, smart phones and mobile devices have put banking literally right into the hands of consumers, offering on-the-go convenience that we could not have even imagined ten years ago.
There is already much debate and speculation in the media as to when Australia will become a cashless society. A major survey by the Reserve Bank of Australia two years ago showed cash payments had halved in 10 years, while payments by card had increased by 50%. Certainly if you stand at the checkout of the average supermarket in 2018 you’d have to say people who pay with cash are in the absolute minority.
With technology and innovation rapidly turning banking on its head, it's consumers who will benefit.
Just in the past year or so, P&N Bank members have been given the option to abandon plastic cards altogether in favour of making purchases via their mobile phone using one of the three digital wallets - Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay™.
This has been quickly followed by a new, game-changing leap forward in the way Australians can make payments to each other. P&N Bank have recently participated in the launch of the New Payments Platform, offering our members, at no charge, access to the faster, simpler and smarter way of making payments to family, friends and small business.
Rather than waiting for three days for funds to clear between a payer and payee, this new platform allows payments to occur within seconds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, provided both parties bank with a participating financial institution.
No longer do P&N members have to remember their BSB and account number if you wish to receive funds from another person. By using a single identifier such as your mobile phone number or email address, many people have quickly begun to reap the benefits of this new fast payments platform to send or receive payments.
But this is much more than technology for technology’s sake. It means more and more, the power of banking is passing from financial institutions to you, the customer.
As a customer-owned bank, P&N Bank has a single focus on those who bank with us. Unlike the listed banks whose first allegiance is to their shareholders, our sole focus is on our members and that means not being focused on profit but instead, on providing modern, convenient and valuable products and services.
With that said, we also understand that for many people, especially those members who struggle with technology, the spectre and rate of change can bring a degree of fear. This is precisely why we’re committed to continuing to provide face-to-face service via our branch network and ATMs for those members who want a more personalised banking experience, while providing access to all the benefits of this digital banking revolution.
It’s a mistake to think that the revolution in banking is about the latest or greatest hi-tech break-through. In my view, it's about providing modern banking solutions that put you, our members in charge. For me, this revolution in banking needs to be about one thing and one thing alone: The ability to choose.
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