Janelle McGuinness (BOQ and VMA) on the Consumer Data Right

Janelle McGuinness

General Manager, Digital & Innovation, 
Bank of Queensland & Virgin Money Australia

"CDR has a big part to play in the proposition we want to bring to customers."

In March 2020 Virgin Money Australia (VMA), owned by Bank of Queensland (BOQ) Group, announced it will launch a new app-based digital bank by the end of 2020.

The new bank is being launched through a partnership between VMA, Deloitte Digital and Swiss-based banking software firm, Temenos AG. Frollo’s technology will be an integral part of their app.

VMA’s plans will leverage the bank’s existing relationships with more than 200,000 loyal customers and $3 billion home loan portfolio to effectively compete against challenger and incumbent banks in the Australian market.

Why we wanted to talk to Janelle

Overseeing digital and innovation across BOQ Group (including Virgin Money), Janelle McGuinness is responsible for ensuring that what VMA builds – including the digital experience, features and functionality – supports the needs of both the business and its customers.

With more than 15 years’ experience working with Virgin, BOQ and ING, Janelle sees the Open Banking system as the next evolution of the digital space she has seen change and grow over the past decade.

VMA announced that you're building a digital bank earlier this year. Has COVID-19 impacted the rollout of those plans at all?

Not at all. If anything with everyone working from home, it has accelerated why a digital bank will be important. The foot hasn’t come off the gas so to speak and we are still planning a soft launch at the end of 2020. ​

What kind of digital bank are you building, and what makes VMA so well positioned to do this?

We want to build a bank of bigger possibilities – one that is beautifully simple and rewarding. What that really means is putting the customer front and centre by supporting them to manage and thrive in terms of their financial fitness.

It’s also about rewarding them for their loyalty. Virgin has a history of disrupting the market wherever it plays. VMA is no different and being supported by a strong, challenger bank like BOQ with the kind of security that they have had in place for over 145 years gives us the strength that we need and the agility people are looking for. That’s why we think we’ll be different. ​

How does CDR fit into your digital strategy?

Because CDR provides the foundations for customers to take control of their data and manage it in a way that benefits them, CDR has a big part to play in the proposition we want to bring to customers. It also allows us to bring customer data together, allowing for frictionless experiences that give customers better insights into their money and financial fitness – not just at an account level, but at a customer level.
Having open APIs means we can also have deeper connections and relationships with third parties including partnerships with fintechs and others that will help us deliver on that proposition.

Where do you see the most immediate use cases and longer-term opportunities for CDR?

Given that we are launching the new digital bank with savings and transaction accounts and credit cards, the most immediate opportunity for us is account aggregation. We know upfront that we probably won’t be the only bank account our customers hold, but looking at how we can help them better manage their money and level of financial fitness, it’s around providing those insights and nudges across their total financial footprint, not just what they have with VMA.

Over time we will be exploring a number of other use cases not only in the personal financial management space but others like how we can help them with lending and making the experience of gathering data for their home loan application a whole lot easier. We’ll also look at how to provide better deals and offers to customers based on the data we have about them.

Internally, it’s about using that data to help us streamline our internal processes and get efficiencies that ultimately means we can spend more time on the customer value proposition.

This interview with Janelle McGuinness was originally published in ‘The state of Open Banking in Australia (2020)‘: a comprehensive report on the state, challenges and opportunities for Open Banking in Australia, based on an industry survey and interviews with leaders in the space.

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