Friday, 20 June 2014 14:26

Financial services needs to ‘lift its game’ with investment in IT Featured

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Australia’s financial services sector is lagging behind other sectors in online transactions, with the industry urged to lift its game and invest more in IT to maintain competitiveness.

Prompted by an Australian Bureau of Statistics report showing that more Australian businesses are transacting online, the executive director of IT solutions vendor for the wealth management industry DST Bluedoor, Karen De Angelis, says it is critical that financial services organisations invest more in IT to keep pace with the competition and the development of technology.

According to ABS data released this week, the financial services industry lags other sectors in online business transactions.

The report - Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business 2012-13 - reveals that the proportion of businesses in the finance industry that ‘received orders via the Internet’ was just 19% in 2012-13, trailing the average across sectors of 30%. This compared to 52% of businesses in the information media and telecommunications industry, 48% in the manufacturing sector, 50% in wholesale trade and 38% in the retail sector.

"All businesses need to invest in IT to remain competitive and to boost their productivity,” says De Angelis.

“As more and more Australians move to mobile devices and transact over the Internet, the financial services sector needs to lift its game and conduct more of its own processes online, including receiving orders over the Internet.

"Given the new SuperStream initiatives which are being introduced from July this year and aimed at improving the efficiency of back-office operations, we expect to see an increase in online business-to-business processing.

"The most successful financial services firms in the future will be those that innovate and invest in IT to meet the quickly evolving needs of their customers."

According to De Angelis, superannuation funds are utilising DST’s Bluedoor platform to introduce innovations in their online platforms, enabling their members to transact online and access information more easily about their superannuation through mobile devices.

“Providers and super funds are better targeting their marketing efforts through online solutions, thereby better meeting their members’ financial needs. Over time, we expect to see productivity improve in the financial services sector through greater use of IT and innovative activity."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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