MyState steps up on financial wellness

  • By Christine St Anne

MyState Bank has revamped its bank app with new financial wellness offerings that mirror Australia’s largest lender.

The revamp of its digital app has been part of the bank’s ongoing transformation process, according to MyState Bank CEO Melos Sulicich.

“We did a lot of customer research to try to understand what people were looking for in their banking and we found they wanted help and advice in managing their money.

“We asked ourselves how could we tailor this advice to individual needs.”

MyState partnered with an artificial intelligence company. The new app services took two years to integrate with the bank’s overall systems before it was rolled out to its customers a month ago.

“We took the view that we should enable our customers to use their data to personalise their banking, such as tracking their spending habits rather than the broad brush approach of simply encouraging people to put a certain amount of savings into a bank account.”

Sulicich said that technology was the enabler and the bank remains committed to digitising its services.

“We see our way forward as being a digital bank through offering our customers digital services.”

When he saw Commonwealth Bank unveil its new features under its Commbank 4.0 initiative, Sulicich quipped, “they have copied us” of course he meant the comment in jest but in a sense the MyState app is reflective of CBA’s award winning app in terms of its simplicity and responsiveness.

“I am really pleased that as a small bank we can still provide our customer base that that level of really sophisticated technology.

“For me, this really sets us apart from other small banks in the country.”

In fact recent industry data has revealed that banks risk losing 9 per cent of their revenue if they fail to meet new customer expectations around financial literacy and money management.

Down the pipeline, MyState also has plans to roll out another piece of artificial intelligence technology that will help its mortgage customers to understand their behaviour better.

Sulicich acknowledges that a good portion of its customers – notably the older group – still want branch interaction.

It comes at time when MyState research revealed that while almost 70 per cent of people expect to continue using digital payments instead of cash, there is still a reluctant by Australians to fully embrace a cashless society.

And despite the move away from cash, there will always be a segment that will still use bank branches.

The bank is already working with the Tasmanian government on its ‘digital ready’ initiative.

Here he sees the onus for all levels of government to support part of the population to embrace and use digital banking.

“It is an issue that's bigger, broader than just an individual or organisation. That is that's something that governments of all persuasions, including federal, state and even local governments need to think about.”