Australian Unity Banking CEO Tim Barber has an announcement. The 177-year old health, wealth and lifestyle institution’s banking business has been “revitalised”.
Over the past 12 months the nationwide mutual has been investing heavily in people, processes and technology in order to deliver a compelling banking products and services offering.
“We’re re-launching into the market as Australian Unity Bank at a time when a trusted alternative such as we represent is sorely needed,” Barber says.
“We’ve established a dedicated national third-party sales team headed by Dino Pesce. Dino’s been building a very impressive team of BDMs because we maintain that one of the key things that frequently gets overlooked in the broker market is good old-fashioned service and relationship building.”
The enhancement of Australian Unity’s technology platform, which Barber deems paramount to the attainment of positive customer relations going forward, has been realised courtesy of NextGen.Net.
Australian Unity has implemented the NextGen.Net ‘ApplyOnline’ platform to enable distribution of its home loan product and ensure its success. ApplyOnline – the state of the art technology solution for electronic lodgment – will ensure they can plug straight into the broker market and gain a quick adoption rate and be competitive.
“ApplyOnline is the primary tool used by brokers,” says Barber. “We consulted with our brokers seeking their preference for an electronic lodgement platform and ApplyOnline was the clear front-runner. Of course we also looked at its capability and software before making an investment and were very happy with what we found.”
NextGen.Net Customer Account Manager Adam Turriff notes that Australian Unity’s and NextGen.Net’s culture and aspirations are aligned.
“We both prioritise efficiency and accuracy at all stages of the loan application process,” Turriff says; adding, “I’ve been impressed with Australian Unity’s approach.
“They are measured and diligent to ensure they get things right upfront and make certain that they have the right framework and processes in place.
“As business partners we’re a great fit. We engage in robust discussions where our expertise allows us to add value beyond simply filling a customer requirement. Australian Unity recognise that we don’t always agree for the sake of it, which leads us jointly to the best possible solutions.
“That says to me that Australian Unity wants to execute everything correctly and achieve the best outcome as opposed to seeking a quick fix or adopting a ‘band-aid approach’.”
Australian Unity wants to provide best in class solutions for the broker channel to facilitate sales volumes and reduce operational costs in the home loan market, and it’s taken full advantage of ApplyOnline capabilities to achieve this.
“I don’t pretend to be a technology expert,” laughs Barber. “But I have received excellent feedback about the ApplyOnline tool, ‘Supporting Documents’. It is certainly augmenting our efficiencies.”
“Delivering a platform that will allow Australian Unity to compete through efficiencies and innovation will enable them to build and nurture long-lasting relationships,” says Turriff.
“Their corporate footprint is broadened with broker partners through the use of ApplyOnline, enabling greater reach and distribution of the home loan product.
“ApplyOnline tools such as the Supporting Documents service really add to the offering. The process becomes more efficient, double handling is removed, and brokers are enabled to provide the best outcomes for the consumer.”
In conclusion Barber stresses that Australian Unity’s strategic objective is to grow multi-distribution channels.
“We see opportunities in all channels,” he says. “We want to build our third-party channel, and we also have an opportunity with existing customers of Australian Unity group who may want to buy banking products and services from us.
“Our enhanced digital capability to service the broker market, along with our focus on traditional relationship banking – which includes bringing banking products to customers of the entire Australian Unity group – means we come to market with a compelling offering under a new brand.”