ASB: The Future of Digital Banking

Canstar sits down with the ASB’s head of tech to discuss how the bank is driving technological change in digital banking for its customers.

As the winner of Canstar’s 2022 award for Bank of the Year | Digital Banking, the ASB is at the forefront of digital banking.

To mark the bank’s achievement winning this year’s award, we sat down with David Bullock, ASB Executive General Manager Technology and Operations, to ask a few questions about what sets the ASB’s digital banking ahead of the field, how their customers are embracing the new technology and what lies ahead in the fast-changing world of digital banking.

ASB: leading the field in digital banking

David Bullock, ASB Executive General Manager Technology and Operations

Canstar: What sets ASB’s digital banking experience, across the ASB Mobile Banking app and FastNet Classic internet banking, apart from the rest of the market?

David: The smart tools we give customers to help them take control of their financial future is what makes ASB’s digital banking experience different. Our customers’ financial wellbeing is at the heart of all we do at ASB, and we’re using digital to deliver on this purpose and help Kiwis get ahead.

We’re particularly proud of the innovative Support Finder feature on ASB’s mobile app. Developed in partnership with Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Social Development, Smart Finder helps customers explore their eligibility for a range of government benefits. It has helped customers receive more than $14.3 million in additional support since it launched.

Our Save The Change tool has helped customers save almost $50 million over the past year, by rounding up electronic transactions and moving this small change into a savings account.

Customers can now head to the Financial Wellbeing hub in the ASB Mobile app to check their financial wellbeing score, set goals and unlock expert guidance and advice, based on their how they’re tracking.

With more customers using mobile banking, it’s important we offer these financial wellbeing services on our app, so we can support more Kiwis, faster, in the way they prefer.

ASB Bank logo

Canstar: Are there any unique features of the ASB digital banking experience that have been a particular hit with customers?

David: Using digital to unlock and share the expertise of our ASB team can be incredibly powerful for our customers. So along with convenience, safety and ease, a focus of our digital banking is making it simple to connect with us from anywhere, while giving our team smarter tools to provide help.

Our chatbot Josie can hand over queries to two-way messaging, so our team can provide personalised assistance in ASB Mobile. Secure messaging is a popular channel for support in FastNet Classic internet banking, and we’re rolling out appointment booking so customers can make a time to sit down and chat with a specialist at a time of their choice.

Technology is allowing us to connect and make a difference for more customers, but we’re also helping those customers new to digital banking to find their feet.

Our Better Banking Workshops and Community Bankers offer customers face to face support with ASB’s technology: everything from set-up and use of phone banking, automatic bill payments, through to mobile banking.

ASB: digital banking – the personal touch

Canstar: How are ASB customers able to customise their digital banking experiences to suit their own money-management needs?

David: ASB’s digital experiences are becoming increasingly personalised. Customers are able to tailor everything from the name of their accounts through to setting savings goals and banking alerts.

In our mobile app and FastNet Classic internet banking, customers can see personalised recommendations, update their personal and security settings and choose how they want to interact with us. The personalised dashboard in our mobile app gives customers an overview of their ASB accounts, KiwiSaver and investment performance and financial wellbeing score.

Customers can choose between light or dark mode for their app, add nicknames to their accounts, change the order their accounts are displayed, and choose from ASB’s fun photo library, to make their banking experience their own.

Accessibility is also an important customisation. This includes font scaling and colour contrast, to support our customers with visual impairments.

ASB Bank logo

ASB: leading the future of digital banking

Canstar: Are there any major trends in the way ASB customers use digital banking?

David: Mobile banking continues to grow as the most popular way for ASB customers to stay on top of their money. The number of personal banking customers using our app each month has increased nearly 10% in the past year, with customers telling us they love the ease of banking on the go.

We’ve enhanced our app with features such as our Dashboard and Financial Wellbeing Hub, and services including IRD payments previously only offered on internet banking. Mobile is a huge focus for ASB and we have an exciting innovation runway ahead.

Canstar: How do you see digital banking evolving in the near future?

David: COVID has accelerated digitisation – today’s consumers increasingly expect a digital-first customer experience. We’re seeing this at ASB as our customers move away from banking in person, in favour of digital channels and giving us a call.

We know customers want more control and confidence with their money, which will drive a more personalised, simplified and connected digital banking experience. Fintechs are shaking up the market and the introduction of open banking in New Zealand will further drive digital disruption.

At ASB, we’re 175 years young and energised by changes ahead. We’ve launched an ambitious bank wide transformation to help us step into the future and deliver truly world-class digital experiences.

ASB Bank logo

To learn more about Canstar’s Bank of the Year | Digital Banking Award and ASB’s win, just click on the button below:

View Digital Banking Award

About the author of this page

Bruce PitchersThis report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce began his career writing about pop culture, and spent a decade in sports journalism. More recently, he’s applied his editing and writing skills to the world of finance and property. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.

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