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Shifting demands of broker technology

Phil Quin-Conroy of PLAN Australia and Westpac's Tony MacRae talk to Australian Broker about how brokers of the near future will be utilising technology.

Video transcript below:

Reporter:  Nestled in the Exhibition Hall at this year’s MFAA, the PLAN Australia stand boasted the latest in Oculus Rift technology.  PLAN, CEO, Phil  Quin-Conroy explains the relevance or bringing the Oculus Rift to the Conference.

Phil Quin-Conroy, CEO, PLAN Australia
Phil Quin-Conroy:
 Yeah, the Oculus Rift technology we have had at the PLAN Australia stand has been really really popular, it’s the latest in virtual reality technology.  Facebook purchased the Oculus Rift technology just recently for $2 billion and I think the thinking behind that purchase was you know how can the world of virtual reality be sort of taken into the social media space and potentially look at taking face timing and video conferencing you know from a sort of two dimensional experience potentially to a three dimensional experience.  The reason why we think that’s relevant to have at the PLAN Australia stand at the MFAA Conference is that world class technology is at the heart of the
PLAN Australia value proposition, the Podium 2.0 technology solution.

Reporter:  Technology and innovation continue to be huge themes in industry predictions and Quinn-Conroy doesn’t see this changing.

Phil Quin-Conroy:  The focus of technology particularly in our industry perhaps in the past has been on back office efficiency.  You know how can you utilise technology to drive back office efficiency, efficiency around you know collecting data on the consumer and you know doing your analysis and then lodging a loan application.  I’ve got a real belief that there is a real shift occurring in the focus of technology moving from not only efficiency, but driving a better customer interaction.  

So a lot of the focus that we’ve had around technology has been building tools to assist the brokers interact with customers in new ways, you know getting the customer more involved in the process of leveraging technology.  So we think there is a real sort of shift occurring, technology focusing more on the customer.  At the end of the day mortgage broking is a you know really exciting dynamic industry that does succeed by focusing on the customer, so I think there is a real opportunity from a technology perspective there for brokers to look at leveraging technology to drive a great customer interaction.

Reporter:  However, Tony MacRae of Westpac urges to first think what problems you are trying to solve.

Tony MacRae, General Manager Broker Distribution, Westpac
Tony MacRae:
 I think one of the big challenges is not to just jump in the path of technology for technology’s sake.  So I think the first thing that brokers or any business needs to do is understand what problem they are trying to solve.  It’s really easy to jump down and say, I need a whole bunch of new technology, I need a whole bunch of development here and you can burn a whole heap of cash, but you’ve got to understand what that problem is you are trying to solve and that will tell you whether technology is the answer or whether it’s a new process you need is the answer or something different.  

What we’re trying to do and what we think is one of the big challenges for brokers, it’s probably the big challenges for all of us in the industry is coping and remaining relevant in a digital world.  Unlike previous changes in technology, we and brokers and technology builders have actually dictated and driven what technology will look like, today it’s not like that.  Every one is an app developer, everyone has got a computer in their pocket and so people’s lifestyles are demanding that technology keep up with them.