Bank of Queensland, Australia is embracing digital disruption in a bid to win back customers, deliver greater returns & secure market growth

Bank of Queensland, Australia is embracing digital disruption in a bid to win back customers, deliver greater returns & secure market growth. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST / AFP)

Bank of Queensland goes digital to regain operational excellence

Each day, more traditional banks are learning that their reliance on legacy systems and older IT infrastructure is weighing them down in an increasingly digital space. Peers or competitors that are far more progressive and armed with improved digital capabilities are able to scale up effectively and expand their revenues.

Those that are still resisting change are seeing an evident drop in their performance, which is never a good thing in today’s aggressive and competitive digital market. Australia’s Bank of Queensland (BoQ), for one, is making sure that it does not become one of the laggards.

Following its underperformance in 2019 where a 14% decline was recorded in its full-year cash profit, BoQ CEO George Frazis had this to say: “In the recent past BOQ has not lived up to its full potential and has underperformed for its key stakeholders, including our shareholders.”

The bank had cited digital uptake delays, complex product offerings, long processing times, and tough regulatory conditions as the causes. However, Frazis insisted that from that point onwards, he and his team at BoQ were highly committed to delivering sustainable and profitable growth, along with improved shareholder returns.

So now, the bank is coming back stronger than ever as it embraces digitization and announces new five-pillared operational strategies that will combine traditional banking models with contemporary digital capabilities. The Brisbane-based corporation revealed that the new strategies were designed to support transformation efforts, which include cloud migration and the revamp of its customer-centric digital platforms.

As a result, its Virgin Money brand will now be cloud-based, offering various digital banking services. Customers will also be able to access services and products through a new mobile app. Additionally, the new strategies will see the bank practicing an empathetic culture, driving a greater focus towards niche market segments as well as producing strong balance sheets.

BoQ will continue to invest approximately US$65.76 million to support its transformation initiatives. When the bank is able to ensure that its new capabilities are able to deliver value, it is expected that income growth can be achieved steadily as default rates decrease.

Frazis is confident that going digital will be significantly impactful in fostering the growth of the business. He noted that “the work is underway and we are starting to see improvements across key metrics including customer satisfaction, home lending, and business growth. BOQ is moving with pace and will build on this momentum in the months ahead.”

In today’s progressive and competitive digital age, it’s all about winning customers’ hearts and offering experiences that satisfy market demands. Only then can banks ensure higher returns and increased profits.

However, in doing so, corporations need to transform, innovate, and evolve. Digital solutions have been deemed instrumental in driving change from helping progressive businesses delight customers, to revolutionizing their processes to be on par with today’s future-forward business setting.

If these are ignored, corporations — especially banks, given the fact that many are still running on traditional business processes and methods — will lose relevance in the market.