Fintech boom "exciting time" for mortgage industry

by Phil McCarroll19 Sep 2016
Former Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) chief executive Siobhan Hayden believes her decision to join the advisory board of fintech platform HashChing is one that will see her join an organisation that will be at the forefront of the industry’s digital evolution.

After stepping down from her MFAA role in June, Hayden last week announced she would join the HashChing board alongside financial services regulatory lawyer Claire Wivell Platter and financial service senior executive Helen Lorigan.

Speaking to Australian Broker, Hayden said there are currently similarities between the industry now and when brokers first emerged and she is looking forward to seeing how things progress.

“If you take it back 20 years to when brokers started there would have been lots of people who saw the opportunity from a retail banking background and thought they could go off and do brokering. I’m sure many succeeded to some level at that, but then some brokers shone more than others,” Hayden told Australian Broker.

“I think it’s an exciting time. Everybody trying to do things differently or trying new things just to work out what tolerance there is and what meets the customer’s needs. I don’t know what the outcomes will be five years down the track, but I think it’s an exciting time to try different things,” she said.

Hayden told Australian Broker her decision to enter the fintech space was a “natural alignment” due to her interest in disruption and innovation opportunities that are currently present in the industry, which she believes HashChing will make the most of.

“With a lot of fintechs there can be a lot of enthusiasm and be very agile but they sometimes lack the rigour a big business may have and that’s what most attracted me to HashChing. They have very good structures and good analytics, their systems are very good and they’re very much based on wanting to work closer with brokers, but also in the eco-system with lenders as well,” she told Australian Broker.

“There are pretty low margins today in the industry, so another player taking another piece of the market is not always adding value, so you’ve got to seek out the values opportunities for all stake holders and I think HashChing is doing that.”

While she may be branching out into what is largely still uncharted territory, Hayden said she still believes the broker and customer experience still needs to be at the forefront of any future developments.

“I’ve always been passionate about the broker proposition; I think we do inherently deliver a better service.

“It’s not only about making the broker successful. The system that makes the broker successful should be pushed out to improve the customer’s experience as well.”

Hayden’s appointment to the HashChing board now means it is made up three women, however that outcome is more by accident than design she said.

“I don’t see business through a lens of gender. But if it’s inspiring for other women in the industry to think they could be selected for these industries when they couldn’t before then that’s a great thing.

“Claire, Helen and I all come from different backgrounds and have different expertise and I just think it’s more of a coincidence than anything else.”