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Mobile Identity

This month we look at what customers want from their smartphones, discover why failure is important for the healthcare sector, and get excited by opportunities created by APIs.

This month we look at what customers want from their smartphones, discover why failure is important for the healthcare sector, and get excited by opportunities created by APIs.

3 min

Banks get personal to stay relevant



Banks get personal to stay relevant

Enabling not alienating; banks keep their mobile services personalised to keep their customers onside.

Which would you rather lose: your mobile or your wallet?

It’s not a trick question, and the answer provides a fascinating insight into the way we’ve changed what we do and how we do it as smartphones become smarter and more connected.

For a rapidly growing number of people, the mobile device is replacing the wallet as the repository of identity data and the means with which to perform transactions. It’s not overstating it to say the mobile is the new wallet.

This is not just an observation about developments in technology. As the most avid users of technology understand, technology is about the individual. Technology is personal and it is fast becoming the critical element in the relationship between customer and service provider.

It’s a paradigm for all service providers to grapple with, but perhaps none with greater urgency than banks, which play such a critical role in people’s lives.

Technology enriches relationships

A recently released report from Telstra, Mobile Identity: the Fusion of Financial Services, Mobility and Identity, drawn from a worldwide consumer survey, found an inextricable link between trust and technology. Trust is a key factor in consumers’ choice of bank: 53 per cent nominated the security of their finances as their uppermost concern, but almost as important were security of personal information (52 per cent) and reputation for data security (48 per cent).

Today’s customers expect more of their bank. They want not just access to a suite of services via their mobile devices; they expect banks to personalise these services to their precise needs, and they expect that information to be secure.

Oddly enough the way you think about digital technology and innovation may be entirely different depending on your demographic, and your level of comfort with the technology. Those who are wary of new technology and change see innovations such as mobile banking as depersonalising and a hallmark of poor service, while others consider digital technology as an enhancer of personal and professional relationships.

“Digital has enabled younger generations to understand the possibilities of personalisation probably more so than older groups more familiar with the traditional way of banking,” explains Telstra global industry executive Rocky Scopelliti. “Personalisation is a theme that comes out in terms of their expectations, personalisation is something that they expect irrespective of how they engage the institution, whether that’s through a physical channel or digitally.”

Power of personalisation

This drive for greater levels of personalisation will ultimately appeal to all demographics.

“What’s now coming through in a lot of the technology developments from financial institutions is the ability to treat customers for who they are irrespective of what generation they’re from,” Scopelliti says.

ING Direct Australia chief operating officer Simon Andrews describes those born from the mid-sixties onwards as “empowered” by technology. They expect products that are available digitally to be relevant, “easily consumable, easy to operate as and when they want”, he says.

“If you want to get into Gen X and Y’s ecosystem, you have to be relevant and the relevance is even on the interface,” Andrews says.

The new normal

The general manager of banking and financial services at Roy Morgan Research, Jason Hulme, describes this level of empowerment, and the expectation that digital technology will enhance relationships, as “the new norm”.

By 2020, 10 per cent of people in Australia will be doing their banking via mobile alone – currently it’s 5 per cent – and the demand is for more than simply checking a balance or transferring funds. “We’re now seeing a groundswell of individuals, particularly Gen X and Y, wanting to do more through their mobile device,” Hulme says.


Noting the convergence of the wallet and the mobile phone, Scopelliti has coined the term “no-fin-app-phobia” – the fear of not having your phone and not being able to access your financial services.

The device itself provides a more personal form of identification than a PIN or password – such as facial or voice biometrics – and this makes the mobile device doubly important. It’s also changing the nature of trust and identity.

“We’re shifting now from a trust paradigm of having to prove who we are to being recognised for who we are – and digital technologies, particularly mobile, are enabling us to do that,” he says.

Adam Bennett, executive general manager, digital and direct banking at National Australia Bank, says the bank attracts 1.5 million log-ons a day, and 70 per cent of these are via a mobile device.

“People’s appetite to use their mobile is growing and as I say to my team, they’re the lowest numbers we’ll ever see because these forces are just going to accelerate,” Bennett says.

Future in feedback

For banks, the realisation is that technology is not an end in itself: it’s what they do with it that is crucial to appealing to consumers. But this understanding doesn’t make planning for the future any easier.

“It’s proven notoriously difficult to predict the future if you look backwards and look at some of the predictions that came out,” Bennett says. “The key thing is not to predict what is the next potential gadget but really what are the capabilities you need to develop as a company and how do you get that feedback loop going.”

The focus, Bennett says, needs to be on building relationships with customers and creating feedback capacity to ensure financial services remain relevant as technology changes.

Ultimately, Andrews reminds us: “One thing has never changed – it’s always been about the customer.”


Download the White Paper

Discover more about changes underway. Download Telstra's Mobile Identity: The Fusion of Financial Services, Mobility and Identity whitepaper.

2 min

Five ways to stay vital until you’re 100



Five ways to stay vital until you’re 100

More than health, your capacity to stay vital will predict your ability to stay in, and on top of, your career as it extends past your 60s and into your 70s.

Port Beach, 6:30am on a mid-winter morning, Michael Christie wades into the chilly Indian Ocean with a dozen fellow ocean swimmers, and heads for Leighton Beach as the sun slowly rises.

At 73, Michael’s daily 1.5 km ocean swim – followed by coffee and a chat at a beachside cafe with fellow Port Beach Polar Bears – keeps him mentally, emotionally and physically vital.

A combination of mental agility, capacity to change, physical health and emotional stability, vitality is increasingly connected to our capacity to lead longer, happier and more productive lives.

But what is vitality exactly, and how do we tap into it? We spoke to body and mind experts about ways we can all boost and sustain our personal vitality.



Register to explore the latest in business thinking, management tips, technology trends and Telstra events.


Swim in the sea

From Hobart’s Kingston Beach, to Perth’s Cottesloe Beach, ocean swim clubs are uniting tens of thousands of Australians to swim their way to vitality. Unlike many sports, ocean swimming boasts high levels of participation from individuals enjoying their seventh and eighth decade, as it delivers social and physical benefits which boost vitality.

Eat a Rainbow

Nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan says a Mediterranean-style diet with a rainbow of veggies, fruit, nuts, legumes, whole grains, seafood, a little meat, and extra virgin olive oil is a great way to maintain vitality.

“Our diets impact vitality and brain health enormously,” she said. “It’s not down to a list of key foods, rather a good dietary pattern that is based on plenty of whole foods and lots of plant foods in particular.”

Get Some Shut-Eye

Although there is a persistent myth that older people need less sleep, Professor Peter Eastwood, Head of the Centre for Sleep Science at The University of Western Australia says the most important thing we can do to stay vital throughout our lives is to get eight hours of sleep every night.

“We need to have sleep for our brain to recover, to consolidate memory and to reset our computer for the next day,” he explains.

The most important thing we can do to stay vital is to nod off for eight hours.


Stay Social

Strong, diverse social networks are associated with ongoing vitality, as they ensure we are constantly coming into contact with new ideas and different ways of thinking. Professor of Management Practice at London Business School, Lynda Gratton says the professional networks we develop throughout our careers are often what sustain our vitality as we mature. “Work plays a very important role in allowing you to build long friendships,” Gratton says. “Not just with your husband or wife or your kids, but actually with the sort of friends that are going to make you happy right the way through your lives.”

Learn Something New

Professor Henry Brodaty, co-director of the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing at the University of NSW says that “stretching your brain” by learning something new is just as important as stretching your muscles. Periodically challenging our brains to learn new skills and abilities is key to maintaining the capacity to embrace change and remain vital.


This article is intended for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment, or to cure or prevent any disease. Please consider your personal circumstances before acting on any information in this article. You should always seek the advice of a qualified health practitioner with any medical questions you may have. Reliance on any information provided in this article is entirely at your own risk and we are not responsible for any medical events, injuries, illness or other outcomes related to or resulting from the information in this article.


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2 min

It’s personalised: How the finance sector woos Gen X and Y



It’s personalised: How the finance sector woos Gen X and Y

Generations X and Y don’t want to tell you who they are, they expect you to know – and to offer them what they want.

Australian banks and financial institutions are creating services that reflect their customers’ dramatically different expectations depending upon their age and life stage.

In this connected, smartphone age, this means automatically recognising generations X and Y using biometric markers to establish their identity as they track their finances.

Telstra’s recent whitepaper, “Mobile Identity – The Fusion of Financial Services, Mobile and Identity”, uncovers a number of interesting trends that have seen the traditionally conservative financial sector embrace a new era of change and innovation.

Join Rocky Scopelliti, Global Industry Executive, Banking, Finance and Insurance at Telstra Global Enterprise Services; Jason Hulme, General Manager of Banking and Financial Services for Roy Morgan; Simon Andrews, Chief Operating Officer, ING Direct Australia; and Adam Bennett, Executive General Manager, Digital and Direct Banking at National Australia Bank, as they discuss the trends highlighted by this research.

Talk to your account executive about how mobile identity impacts your business – or download the whitepaper.



  • Rocky Scopelliti, Global Industry Executive, Banking, Finance and Insurance, Telstra Global Enterprise Services
  • Jason Hulme, General Manager of Banking and Financial Services, Roy Morgan
  • Simon Andrews, Chief Operating Officer, ING Direct Australia
  • Adam Bennett, Executive General Manager, Digital and Direct Banking, National Australia Bank

Rocky Scopelliti:
Generations X and Y have now become really the focal point for the sector and this is all to do with intergenerational wealth transfer.

Adam Bennett:
Dependent on what kind of product set a customer has it starts to impact what we offer them.

Jason Hulme:
We see that mobile is absolutely front and centre for Generation Y. Generation X still has a lenience if you will, towards the online or the website channel, but we do see that changing, we see incidents changing across that piece.

Simon Andrews:
I think Gen X and Gen Y just are empowered, so they’re just picking up the services they want. If you want to get into their ecosystem you have to be relevant.

Adam Bennett:
Some of the more simple products like personal loans and credit cards, for example, we’re finding over 50 per cent of those products are being originated on online channels.

Jason Hulme:
What’s interesting is if you look at the Australian population, five per cent consider their interaction with their bank as mobile only, that is how they interact with their bank through their mobile, and if we look at that over time and with the growth rates that we’ve seen which have been about 40 per cent year-on-year, by 2020 that’s going to double.

Simon Andrews:
Obviously people in our customer group who are, you know, 80 years of age, and they use technology.

Jason Hulme:
So traditionally having it there, being able to check a balance, being able to make a transfer, was enough, but we’re now seeing a groundswell of individuals wanting to do more through that device.


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2 min

Injecting innovation into healthcare



Injecting innovation into healthcare

Entrepreneur Dr Jeffrey Tobias explains why innovation has traditionally been a challenge for the healthcare sector, and why this is about to change.

After more than three decades at the forefront of innovation in the healthcare sector, Managing Director of the Strategy Group Dr Jeffrey Tobias says profound changes are underway. This typically conservative and risk-averse sector needs to shift its focus away from the organisation and respond more directly to the needs of consumers.

It’s a shift that, Tobias says, will ultimately result in individuals taking control of their healthcare, ushering in a new era of transparency and empowerment.

The healthcare community needs to start to think like a start-up. They need to say yes, privacy and regulation are important. Yes our history in the space is great. But how do we think entrepreneurially?
– Dr Jeffrey Tobias

Talk to your account executive about the rapidly evolving technological solutions for the healthcare sector.


My name is Jeffrey Tobias, I’m the director of the Strategy Group.

Some of the challenges around bringing innovation into the healthcare space are that innovative thinking requires potential failure. It requires thinking of doing things differently that may or may not succeed. It requires the desire to be entrepreneurial, the desire to move away from the status quo and to look at new ways of doing things – personal creativity. And the health sector has not traditionally embraced those sorts of values, it’s been traditionally very risk averse.

Traditionally, innovation in the healthcare sector, and to be honest in most other sectors, has been around product or service, building a new object, building a new service, building a thing of some sort that then gets taken to market. What we’ve seen over the past few years, and we’re continuing to see moving forward, is a shift to innovation happening anywhere in the organisation around brand, around product, around service, around the opportunity to run the company in a better way, and that’s called business model innovation.

I think the healthcare community needs to start to think like a start-up. They need to say yes, privacy and regulation are important. Yes our history in the space is great. But how do we think entrepreneurially? How do we bring that entrepreneurial flare into an organisation or into a culture that traditionally hasn’t had it? And I think there’s an interesting hurdle for us to cross to get to that point. But I think when we reach that point in the healthcare industry it will be transformational.

From the consumer’s perspective, let’s reimagine what it might be. So as an individual moving through the healthcare system, I have total information available at my fingertips around diseases, around medicines, and anything to do with my health – whatever that may be. My health history is available to all health providers when they need it, where they need it, to provide me, as the consumer, the ultimate in healthcare delivery.

If I look at empowerment in healthcare, it’s around me being allowed to make the decisions that I want to make irrespective of what the organisation wants me to do.

So all of the secrecy and the magicianship drops away, we have total transparency, total access, and I am totally empowered to manage my healthcare process in the way that I see fit.


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