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Sibos 2021: making change stick

ANZ Insights

2021-09-09 04:30

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, ANZ has seen its customers in the institutional space embrace the kind of change the pandemic has demanded – like installing digital operations, using technology to automate processes, and adjusting to new behaviour and cultural expectations.

Now, according to Lisa Vasic, Managing Director, Transaction Banking at ANZ Institutional, the challenge for all businesses is making sure that rate of change is maintained.

“Our customers are seeing their customer behaviour change,” she said. “And stick”.

“[But] COVID has been such a long process that we're now seeing customers, who have always been on this journey around trying to move to digital, have this ‘tail’. And that's been quite a challenge.”

That ‘tail’, according to Vasic, is persistent use of old-world practices like cash, cheques and the like, which can impede a company’s digital proposition - as well as internal operations.

“The real challenge now for a lot of our customers is actually, how do they manage the tail?” she said.

Vasic made the comments on a podcast recorded in the lead up to the SIBOS 2021 financial services conference, at a time when the sector which has never been as digital as it is today.

The podcast also features Nigel Dobson, Banking Services Lead at ANZ and Leigh Mahoney, Head of Wholesale Digital at ANZ Institutional. You can listen to part one of the edited conversation below. 


Mahoney said it was clear over the 18 months of the crisis, successful businesses had used the adversity of COVID as a “catalyst for change”.

“We've seen that all over our landscape, especially internally with our staff and externally with our customers,” he said.

Dobson said in an increasingly digital post-COVID era, businesses needed to be operationally robust and resilient.

“[At ANZ] we've been putting a lot of work into operational resilience because stability of services, setting aside the complexity, is still incredibly important to our customers,” he said.

“We've spent the last 18 months really rebuilding our operating model in payment services to acknowledge that every component of the payment value chain, which starts in the bank and extends out right into our customer offices, is as resilient as it possibly can be.”


Reflecting on the 12 months since the last Sibos, Dobson said it had been remarkable how businesses had continued to evolve through that time, particularly when it came to using technology.

“People have adapted their living conditions and their circumstances to manage the workload without a hiccup,” he said. “Technology has absolutely been our friend here.”

“We've all learned something we didn't know. We've all got a little app or a gadget or something that we didn't use and now we use it.”

The upcoming digital nature of Sibos – the second-straight year the conference has been conducted in such a manner – was evidence of this, Dobson said.

“The fact that you can actually run a conference digitally, you can contemplate doing that,” he said. “If I had said to you, ‘Leigh, let's go have a digital version of Sibos’, back in 2018, you would have thought I was crazy, right?”

“When you have large teams distributed across multiple geographies - and this will resonate with many of our customers - the ability for technology to develop so quickly, and to be adopted so rapidly, I think is a real silver lining [of the crisis-led change].”

A digital conference for digital times

The Sibos financial services conference is almost here again - and just like in 2020, it will be purely digital. From October 11, the annual conference will provide a platform for industry participants to delve into the trends which will shape the sector into 2021 and beyond.

Also returning in 2021 is ANZ Institutional’s market-leading insights and thought leadership. In the lead up to the event, we’ll be rolling out a wide range of conversations from ANZ’s industry experts, offering you a sneak peek at the ideas set to dominate the conference – and the future.

Mahoney said continuing change amid the pandemic had helped show businesses the improved “efficiency and control” offered by digital practices. 

“I think in a post-COVID world, we'll still be in an environment where we faced increased pressure to drive efficiencies and control,” he said “But that will be tackled, I think, with some of this increased adoption of digital and automation.”

“And I think that, as we move forward, will be key to setting up organisations for the longer term.”

Listen to the podcast above to find out more.

Sibos 2021: making change stick
Staff writer
ANZ Insights

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