Auswide teams up with Ko-Lab8 to ramp up digital capabilities

  • By Elizabeth Fry

Queensland-based Auswide Bank has teamed up with Ko-Lab8 in a bid to speed up its customer acquisition by supporting its growing mortgage broker community.  

The $4 billion lender, which has its head office in Bundaberg, has been expanding its presence nationally in recent years, mostly through its ecosystem of mortgage brokers.  

To continue that growth and accelerate the range of services available to its customer base - particularly in younger demographics across the eastern seaboard - Auswide needed to build up its digital capabilities. 

“The right guidance and expertise, supporting us as we continue expanding our digital banking capability, makes good sense,” said Martin Barrett, Auswide’s managing director. “We recognise the exciting opportunities enhanced digital capability brings but we also recognise the risks." 

Barret said the bank's track record of growth will be enhanced by working with Ko-Lab8. 

The lender is performing strongly. It reported loan growth of 13 percent for the first half of the financial year when the banking industry posted a 1.8 percent increase. This was driven by strong broker flows as Auswide improved broker services through back-office efficiencies, which had reduced loan processing times.  

"Now, we want to take our home loan expertise to the next level as we continue to grow our business," added Barrett. "We are working towards being one of the most efficient and consistent banks in this market, improving from brokers and customers' feedback. This in turn will further support our growth. 

"Delivering a digital strategy is not only about maintaining this performance, but also having the opportunity to leapfrog our competitors in the spaces we choose to play in. 

“We want to ensure our tech choices/investments deliver for our customers and shareholders. There are numerous lessons where this has not been the case. We recognise that ‘digital’ is about more than technology, so we are taking a holistic approach thinking about people, process, and technology in every part of our business.” 

A holistic approach 

Barrett said the bank's senior management saw a cultural alignment with Ko-Lab8’s holistic approach of strategy, people, process, and technology.  

Shannon Nixon, Ko-Lab8’s founder and chief executive, said too many digital transformation projects stall, or go over budget, or simply fail because there is too much focus on technology without bringing in the wider business and the staff. 

“One of the key benefits of working with Ko-Lab8 is that we can achieve some quick wins, whilst maintaining a long-term, sustainable change approach. We won’t be putting 50 expensive staff on-site to dig deep and for six months, for example.”