Contact Information

Suite 702 53 Walker Street
North Sydney NSW 2060
Australia
Phone: (+61) 2 9964 9900
Email:

Darren Woolley

Darren Woolley

Managing Director

Phone: (+61) 4 11126176


Basic Info

Founded in: 2000

Network:

Employees: 20

Founded in: 2000

Network:

Employees: 20

TrinityP3 Australia

Suite 702 53 Walker Street
North Sydney NSW 2060
Australia
Phone: (+61) 2 9964 9900
Email:
Darren Woolley

Darren Woolley

Managing Director

Phone: (+61) 4 11126176

Managing Marketing: High Performing Culture and Business Transformation

This episode of Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Senior Consultant, Anton Buchner. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Renee Amor (on the left) is the General Manager Marketing & Communication, and Lucy Lithgow (on the right) is the General Manager of People & Culture at BPAY Group. They share how they engaged the whole organisation to redefine the purpose, mission, vision and values to help carve out a new position in the financial services ecosystem. Employee behaviour now forms 50% of people’s performance measurement. You can find out more here on how people bought into the business transformation with an innovation mindset.

You can listen to the podcast here:

Follow Managing Marketing on Soundcloud, Podbean, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Apple Podcast and Amazon Podcasts (the USA, UK, Germany & Japan only)

Transcription:

Anton:

Welcome to Managing Marketing, a weekly podcast where we discuss the issues and opportunities facing marketing, media, and advertising with industry thought leaders and practitioners.

I’m Anton Buchner, and today, I’m sitting down with Renee Amor, General Manager, Marketing and Communication at BPAY Group. Welcome, Renee.

Renee:

Hi Anton.

Anton:

How are you?

Renee:

Glad to be here.

Anton:

I’m also here with Lucy Lithgow, General Manager of People & Culture, also at BPAY Group. Welcome, Lucy.

Lucy:

Hi Anton, it’s great to see you again.

Anton:

Great to see you. We caught up a couple of years ago now, I think back in 2018 or so. We were looking at helping you with the transformation of where you’d got to, where BPAY Group had got to, and helping some of the change in your capability. So, it’s great to be back two, almost three, years after.

A few things have happened. A little pandemic was thrown in. Lots of changes I guess, in payment systems and platforms, and you’ve launched new products. So, I’m really excited to hear and get under the skin of what BPAY Group is doing. And would love to hear your point of view from people and culture and some of the work you’re doing there Lucy, and the marketing impact, Renee as well.

How does that sound to have a bit of a chat today?

Lucy:

It sounds great. And thanks again for having us. So, we’re both delighted to be here to talk to you about all the wonderful things that we’ve been working on.

Anton:

Excellent. Let’s jump in. I must admit when I first came into the BPAY building, I had in the back of my head that it would be a bit dusty, a bit dowdy, a payment ─ I think I’ve just paid bills with BPAY. I hadn’t thought too much about it.

But I was pleasantly, absolutely pleasantly, surprised walking into ─ and I’ll say Google-esque for fear of saying that word, but a very modern workspace that really actually blew me away compared to most companies I’ve walked into.

So, I’d love to hear a bit of the story of what has happened to BPAY, and what’s been changing in the background that maybe our listeners don’t know anything about.

Renee:

Well, most people do know us Anton first and foremost for our BPAY product, because it is the most preferred way for Australians to pay their bills. So, it’s very well-known. You know, it’s 100% brand awareness. It’s a very well-known iconic Australian brand over 20-years-old.

So, when I joined the company only four years ago, I was the same as you. I walked in thinking, “What am I getting myself into? Where is this organisation going?” But when I met John Banfield, our CEO, and I met with Lucy, who’s beside me today, I quickly understood that they were on a transformation journey and I was really excited to be part of that.

Since then, we’ve launched the Osko product, which essentially, has supercharged the way payments happen in internet banking between people. So, it’s now an instant payments product, and we’re very quickly becoming known for that brand as well.

So, while BPAY has continued to grow as a product, Osko has been introduced ─ we’ve introduced a range of innovations from artificial intelligence to machine learning and some other business lines as well. From a corporate perspective, that meant we needed to introduce a corporate approach to our product set.

The transformation shifted from a one product line monoline type of business into a multi-line business, multi-brand business. So, we introduced brand architecture and corporate architecture around BPAY Group. And so, that’s what we’ve been working on from a marketing and communications perspective, but also an organisational perspective for at least the last four years.

With that, includes the transformation of culture, the transformation of where people work, how they work, our values, our behaviours, and all the things that we can share with you today.

Anton:

And I think that sounds easy and listeners will be going, “Oh, that sounds relatively easy moving from a single line product company to a multiline product company.” But actually, fair to say most people would probably go, “No, that’s very hard,” especially when you’re talking about culture, people that have been in job roles for maybe 20, 25 years or plus.

So, Lucy, I’d love to hear from your perspective, when Renee is talking there about purpose and vision and mission and culture; what has happened from your perspective. Because I remember walking in and seeing some values on the walls, but I also really, the interactions with people ─ they were living and breathing those values, which was really, for me, quite surprising.

Lucy:

Yes. Well, I mean, you ask what have we done ─ we’ve done so much, and this is a transformation that has occurred over a number of years. So, it didn’t just happen overnight. The reason why our values seem to be lived by everyone and, we live and breathe them, is because they aren’t just pictures on a wall like you said.

At the time, we were really keen to make sure that everyone had an opportunity to actually help us co-design them. And so, as a consequence, we truly believe that they now resonate with most people.

We also got a lot of our people involved with the shaping of our behaviours. So, they’re just as important as our values because the behaviours are what underpin each value and actually bring them to life. So, people are clear on what our expectations are of each other and ourselves.

Anton:

I think that’s really important because we’ve seen as TrinityP3, lots of companies with values and quite often, they’re sort of put on the wall or stuck in a document, or bottom of an email signature or something. And actually, it’s the behaviour.

So, how does that show up, do you think? Or what’s changed from a behavioural perspective, I guess from the leadership team all the way down through the line?

Lucy:

Well, key to having any values or behaviours in place, you’ve got to hold people accountable for them. But you’ve also got to make sure that they’re clear on what is expected. And so, one of the things that I really love about the work we did with our values was that we created these wonderful visuals and art pieces around the office, but we also gave each value a really simple tagline.

Previously, we had had our values on the wall and this long description of what they meant. And more often than not, I mean, we had to issue booklets, so people could actually look back and see what each value meant.

Whereas at the moment, we’ve got like I said, these wonderful murals on the wall and these wonderful, wonderful short, funky taglines. So, for example, “better together, it’s simply like bacon and eggs, gin tonic and lime, we’re better together.”

It’s really clear, people understand it, and they’re able to talk about it with each other. And so, that’s been really important in actually bringing them to life and getting that understanding out into the business. So, each of our values has one of those taglines.

So, for our values to truly be embedded and representative of how we do things, we’ve done a significant amount of work to actually incorporate them into our recognition and performance management programs and to truly hold people accountable for them because otherwise, they’re useless.

So, our people get to recognize and reward each other when they display our values through Shout-Outs, which are electronic thank-yous, and also Accolades, which recognize above and beyond effort and come with a monetary award.

One of the things that I’m really proud of is that previously, we used to restrict Accolades to leaders. So, they were the only ones who could dish out or recognize people for above and beyond behaviours or effort.

Now, everyone in the organisation is able to actually recognise a peer and give them a monetary reward. And that feeds into our culture of trust and empowering people. We trust that they will do the right thing by the budget, but also, recognising the qualities that we want to see in our people as well.

Anton:

Yeah, I think that’s a really interesting point. I think it’s moved, what I’m hearing there, is from the hierarchical ─ the old top-down leaders can dictate the direction of a company and leaders dictate the team.

We hear a lot in business today of how to get teams working better together, agile (I’ve thrown that in fairly early in the discussion, sorry) ─ but how do we get people working better together, bringing your value to life. So, I love hearing that, that you’ve, I guess, empowered all through the line to hold people to account because that’s ultimately what it is.

How do your teams work better together? Sort of strip hierarchy away I guess, and build a culture, which is a bit of a dirty word in business; the culture, but the values and behaviours that are brought to life every day when someone walks into the office or jumps on a Zoom, or is calling in from home these days.

Lucy:

Yes. And look, one of the things that was really important for us is embedding it in our performance management program as well. So, we take our behaviours so seriously that they represent 50% of someone’s overall performance outcome at the end of the year. So, how people behave and interact with others is just as important for us as what they achieve or deliver. That’s why we have such a positive and inclusive workplace culture.

Anton:

And I noticed you picked up a couple of awards. So, you must be doing something absolutely right, Lucy. I’ve seen, you’ve won a couple of years in a row ─ you’ve won the Aon Hewitt Best Employer.

Lucy:

Yes, that’s right.

Anton:

Which I guess is building the culture, that’s driving your transformation. So, that’s a huge, huge tick. And you’ve also been the Employer of Choice, I think in the Australian business awards in the top five, best places to work.

Lucy:

I know. It’s been an amazing couple of years and looking back, I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved. And it’s wonderful to get recognition, not only from our people through our engagement surveys, but also externally from the likes of Aon, the Australian Business Awards, and of course, Great Places to Work.

I’m extremely proud of what we’ve been able to achieve and accolades aside, I actually get the most satisfaction and sense of accomplishment from knowing that we’ve actually created a really positive and inclusive high-performing culture and a place where people really enjoy coming to work. So, that means everything to me.

Anton:

And do people ─ they obviously buy-in. I mean, to win these awards, you’ve got a lot of people throughout the business, and I think you’re like 120 people?

Lucy:

130, yeah, thereabouts.

Anton:

A good size business, they’re not easy to manage, 120, especially now offsite and onsite. But tell us a bit about how did people really end up buying into it. I guess, I understand the structures you talked about and what you’ve done. What do you think on a day-to-day level made people buy-in and say, “Yes, I want to be part of this BPAY Group?”

Lucy:

Well, I think importantly, when we started out with the engagement surveys, we want people to be honest, but you need to demonstrate that you’re actually listening and that you’re acting on the feedback.

So, back in the day, we had very mediocre engagement results. But we were really committed to actually listening and putting in place things that would address their concerns. And likewise, you know, obviously, we wanted to revamp the culture and make it more dynamic and exciting and innovative and an attractive proposition for people.

So, it’s that balance of asking the question, being open to the feedback, and actually acting on it. And then eventually people actually see the change and I think that’s how they bought into it. They actually recognise that we have shifted quite significantly and that we are really quite different to a lot of organisations out there, particularly because of the way we treat each other.

Renee:

I hear from people often it’s because we’re quite genuine throughout the leadership and throughout the hierarchy. And it’s often fed back to me that it’s just so transparent that there’s an honest circle of conversation and communication. That means whatever we are saying, whatever we are suggesting people try for the first time, they’re open to it because there’s a genuine good intent behind that.

Anton:

Almost sounds like you’re not the typical financial services, but you’re in the payments. I mean, what industry would you say you’re in? Payments sector? Or?

Renee:

I’d say we’re in payments, but I’d argue we’re probably more in the relationship business. In many ways, we have a very solid technology arm, but it’s built on making sure we’re meeting the needs of our partners. We very much see the people we work with in the industry as partners. And that comes directly from one of those values, which is Better Together, which is not just about an internal collaborative approach; it’s an external and it’s built on a truth of how we behave with the industry.

Anton:

I like all of your values. You talked about Minds Wide-Open, you talk about Always Step Forward, you talk about Think Customer, and of course, as you said, Better Together. They are lovely words and I can see why people buy into them quite easily.

Values aside, you need to have great clarity in where you’re going as a business. So, the purpose, the vision, the mission seems to be articulated really well. I’m looking at the purpose here; is making life simpler now and in the future.

Can you talk, Renee, a bit about that? What does that mean to you to guide the business direction?

Renee:

Sure can. Yes. When we were forming the BPAY Group as an organisation, not just a reference to our product set, it’s a group of people that come together to do really good things. We, again, built on our values, which had already been created to bring all employees together to help define the purpose, vision, and mission of the organisation.

And we embarked on almost the three-month piece of work to define that together. We looked back to our heritage and where we had come from over years, multiple years, and multiple brands that no longer exist even, to look also forward to our business strategy and what we wanted to be.

And eventually, we realised that our place in the ecosystem, which sits squarely within financial services, but we’re not a bank. We’re not a financial institution, but we definitely have financial services as a remit. And we had this fantastic collaborative approach within that ecosystem. We knew our products have a direct impact and lasting impact on consumers in Australia.

We’re not necessarily driving after the dollar. We’re not here to necessarily drive pure cash and revenue at all costs. We’re here to really make a difference to people. And that’s really where “making life simpler (came from) now and in the future.”

It’s making life simpler to each other within the organisation, to our customers within that B2B framing, but also then the B2B2C model that we operate, which is where we distribute our products through banks. And then also B2C as we think about how we communicate to the end consumer and users of our products.

Anton:

I think that’s interesting to get your head around because as a consumer, of course, I use BPAY, as I said. I loved it when Osko came out, because I could just transfer instantly to people. And that idea was I think, in consumers’ heads.

But what we probably don’t realise is the amount of work done behind the scenes in the B2B space that you’re really enabling or getting the banks all on board, and to get a new product in like Osko and others, that’s a hell of a job to manage through the banking system.

Renee:

Yeah, so most people know the products, most people know BPAY Osko and some of the other new products that are evolving. But what most people don’t know is the fundamental of the business is actually BPAY Scheme. We’re a membership-based organisation of over 150 financial institutions in Australia.

And our role is to make sure that each one of those institutions offers the best possible version of our product with the opportunity to build on top of it for competitive advantage. So, our job is to make sure they’re abiding by essentially the rules. And we work collaboratively with them to define those rules and how the product should evolve.

And then we use what we’re doing with that scheme to build our brands on top of that, which we take ownership over to communicate to consumers and businesses who then offer our products and use the products.

So, this scheme underneath is where a lot of the collaboration happens, where a lot of our customers truly sit. They’re actually the people within financial services, institutions who are building digital banking platforms or who are building the next big thing, like Beem It is a product that’s launched that now offers BPAY through our APIs.

And so, we’re tapping into all of those financial services institutions and FinTechs in order to distribute our products, and that’s the core of the business.

Anton:

So, you’ve got a high relationship marketing B2B side, obviously to your marketing.

Renee:

Yes.

Anton:

Can you talk a bit about that from the people listening, going, “Okay, what does BPAY do from a marketing perspective when you just talked about the relationship and the B2B relationships you’re building?”

Renee:

Yeah, we obviously have a business development relationship-manage focus, and within that, we offer, which is quite unique in my experience in B2B markets ─ we offer tailored marketing opportunities and plans with each of those customers; whether a financial institution or a business that offers BPAY. And whoever puts up their hand and says, “We would like to work with you,” we work with them. You would never know half the time that our team has done the work behind the scenes.

And it’s very labour-intensive, but it’s much more effective than spending a lot of money on advertising because if a business tells their customers, “BPAY’s right for you,” it is so much stronger than them seeing BPAY out on TV.

And so, we obviously compliment both because we can’t dictate to people that they should be talking to their customers about our products. And we balance the relationship tailored joint activity that we focus quite heavily on through relationships and building strong relationships with just stock standard mass marketing.

Anton:

Can you give one example, maybe bring that to life? What does a relationship-managed marketing activity look like? I’m using marketing as a broader sense, but I guess comms is only one angle to that as we all know. Can you bring that to life?

Renee:

A good example would be what we’ve recently done with Westpac. So, Westpac has implemented some of our BPAY product in a way that enables them to very quickly onboard small businesses into their small business platform and uses BPAY as a selling tool. It’s part of the program.

Often small business might find it difficult to choose which payment methods option. So, Westpac found an opportunity, they launched a Biz invoice product, and we worked with them very carefully to align the brands of BPAY and Westpac to sell their product to small business customers, that’s gone great guns.

The most effective, … you know in any type of marketing campaign, there’s that test and learn around creative elements, particularly in digital environments. Most effective creative they’re seeing often is this combined BPAY Westpac joint branding because of the trust that comes with the BPAY brand, and the pure value that that product offers business, as well as combining that with Westpac. And it’s made it a really simple solution for them.

And so, that took a number of months working with Westpac directly, and not only from a marketing sense but from a product sense to help them build the product that would be the simplest opportunity for their customers to onboard.

Anton:

Yeah, fantastic.

Renee:

And it’s just one of many examples. We often do 50, 60 of those things a year, if not more.

Anton:

Wow. I don’t think anyone’s got any idea out there what’s happening behind the scenes?

Renee:

No. And it’s genuinely going to make a difference. It’s going to make life simpler for those small businesses. So, why wouldn’t we do it? It’s going to be really effective and make a big difference to the companies involved, never mind the small businesses.

Anton:

So, it sounds like we talked a moment ago, the purpose, that’s very clear. The mission and vision are out there and that’s guiding all your product development activity. All the marketing relationship activity seems to be very squarely in that same direction. So, it’s all very aligned.

Renee:

Yes. And it’s not something you often see. I’ve worked in many organisations, bigger and smaller where you have a purpose and it’s almost a token. This, because it’s being developed, our purpose is being developed with everybody and looking at the heritage to the future, it’s almost a no brainer that it helps guide what we’re doing.

Anton:

Yeah, but you’re right. A lot of companies have the purpose there, but it’s the business going in another direction or the silos within a business competing with each other and going in slightly different directions, which are dragging companies off the purpose. That’s great to hear.

This little thing called COVID hit, the little pandemic. I know lots of listeners are probably sick of hearing the words. But I’d love to know, maybe the listeners would love to know, what was the impact obviously for the workers and staff, Lucy, and maybe from the marketing perspective Renee, after that. But Lucy, yeah, how did that impact you from employee perspectives?

Lucy:

Well, obviously, we shut up shop and everyone went home and started working remotely from home. And because of the technology we had in place, that transition was relatively seamless. And because we’ve always had a people-first approach to many of our internal policies and practices, people were foremost front of mind and that didn’t change.

And the emphasis on their health, safety and wellbeing was pronounced, especially within the leadership team, we were really concerned.

So, we worked with leaders to make sure that they were building those connections with their teams, that every individual wasn’t feeling isolated, that they had a purpose and that they knew where they could add value and contribute on a day-to-day basis, particularly as you know, we’re all at home and not necessarily bumping into each other and looking out for each other.

Anton:

And did you have to lose many people? Because I know in retail businesses, obviously, that was a huge impact. But I’m assuming BPAY didn’t have to lose.

Renee:

We re-prioritised. It might be worth touching on that. We intentionally re-prioritised to ensure we planned ahead for what we called the pandemic.

Lucy:

But we certainly didn’t have to let go of anybody. And what we did though, is we sort of slowed down any recruitment and really, made sure that it was necessary or business-critical to bring in new people. We didn’t have a recruitment freeze by any means, but we were just more purposeful in thinking about what roles we really needed in the business if they did become vacant.

Anton:

And did anything have to dramatically change or it sounds like locationally it changed that’s okay. But the wheels kept moving, the people knew their roles; did anything drastically change?

Lucy:

Certainly. And this is where Renee could probably add a lot more value, but we really upped the comms, the communications, the daily connections. As a leadership team, we met every morning over Zoom to check in. I did the same for my team. We had an 8:30 am to nine o’clock check-in every day.

Over time, that changed from the Zoom call to maybe a walk and talk over the phone. So, we empowered our team members to actually establish what we call rituals that worked for them. And so, they could maintain that connection.

And then also, we had ─ twice-weekly all-staff briefings. So, for half an hour on Zoom, everyone came together so that we could provide them with updates on what was happening and what our priorities were.

Renee:

I think in addition, from a traditional communication sense, we reached out much more frequently to say, “Is this working for you? Would you like more, would you like less?” We used the poll functionality in Zoom to continually ask people how they were feeling so we could get a pulse check on mental health.

And it was just a pulse check because we’re far from mental health experts, but just to get a sense of where we might need to focus next. As a direct result of that, we realised pretty quickly not everybody had set up a home office. Some people were in one-bedroom units without a desk. And so, we did give everybody an allowance to set up a home office, which was very well-received.

We did set up regular communications, so those people who needed black and white habits knew that they needed to get onto the phone at that time. We made a rule very quickly that all cameras should be on because we wanted to see people. And that was a little bit of probably the greatest hesitation that people had, was this sense of seeing myself on camera. Now, we’re all used to it.

Anton:

We’re all used to it. Yeah, yeah. But a real human connection, trying to maintain that real human connection.

Renee:

And it was to get people in the habit of getting dressed in the morning.

I know when I went home, I had a five-year-old in kindergarten learning to read. My husband was working more often and we were busier than ever. And so, what was fabulous and what I hear back even today from our people (I’m even getting goosebumps saying it), is people feel like they heard from the leadership team what was really happening in their homes, and they felt like they were invited into the home.

And so, when I was saying, “I’m really busy,” and then my little girl Indigo was running around the back and she was showing everybody the letter K that she learnt that day, people felt much more connected to the leadership team and they realised it was transparent and genuine, and what we were sharing was true.

And I think that was almost by default. We didn’t plan let’s invite everybody into our home, but as a direct result, people feel much more connected to the leadership of the organisation as a result. So, there was a positive upside in my view.

Anton:

Yeah. So, that’s really humanised the leadership team, even though I think the way you’re describing it is the leaders are pretty open, and your culture has been really set from John down.

Renee:

Yeah. Well, John was the first person talking about his boys, his twin boys who are in high school, what it was like suddenly to have these boys upstairs, knocking about while he was trying to do a video call.

So, everybody felt it’s okay if things aren’t working perfectly, we’re all in it together. And it really did gel the whole organisation.

Anton:

So, a real rally together, which sounds like a fantastic opportunity.

Renee:

Yeah. And it’s funny, thinking back like it really felt like that. And we still feel it now. It’s just different because things become so much more normalised. But at the time, it was a challenge to get on the camera and brush my hair in the morning. I was lucky if I had Indigo out of her pyjamas by nine o’clock.

Anton:

Oh, it’s the same. I was ferrying kids off to kindy and school and then doing homeschooling as you know. What about from a marketing perspective? Did you change much, Renee?

Renee:

As you know, because you worked with us on restructuring the marketing department to suit this business strategy of transformation. And the team as a direct result were empowered. We have these values, we have these behaviours, and I’ve never seen them as embedded in any other organisation.

So, I have a fabulous team, and the very first thing we did, I mean, we were about to launch an exhibition, a face-to-face exhibition in Sydney to show off some artworks we’d taken of farmers suffering from the drought to raise money for them.

And it started to become very clear that not everybody would be safe or want to be in that environment. It was just before lockdown. And the team said, “Oh, we’re not really sure what’s going on here, what should we do?”

And proactively, they were empowered. They whipped up a customer matrix and said, “Should things get worse with COVID, what will happen across this really complex set of customers? We’ve got banks, we’ve got businesses, we’ve got consumers, we’ve got employees, we’re all in this together. What we’ll need to change, and let’s prioritise both the pivots; what’s going to continue, what’s going to be new.”

And the very first thing, of course, was to shift this exhibition to an online exhibition. And it went really well, ended up better than ever because it had greater reach. But we had a level of comfort and a level of surety almost instantly because we could talk to our customers straight away and say, “This is how it’s impacting us and you. In our case, our products are perfect for you.”

People won’t have to touch dirty money. People won’t have to go into a bank to do something. “You can do it all online with our products. Let us give you all the material you need to give your customers surety,” and we did that within a couple of days. So, it was all very empowered and driven out of these various behaviours we’ve already talked about.

Think Customer, Minds Wide Open, you know, this innovation mindset that’s been almost engendered as a result within the team, meant they could see these problems, come up with some really out of the box solutions and just make it really simple to execute and it’s fast.

Anton:

Fast. I’m hearing there, an art exhibition, bill payments, where did that come from?

Renee:

So we had ahead of then, I have a personal belief that if you can do good, you should. And with BPAY, it’s a beautiful product. It’s easy to use. It’s got this anonymity.

Anton:

Anonymity, yes.

Renee:

Yeah, and your money is safe. You know your money’s going to get there. So, with the drought that had previously … it seems so long ago now with the floods. But with the drought, farmers were really struggling and we knew that they needed some more help and BPAY is a way to get money to those farmers through charities.

And so, we worked directly with Rural Aid to come up with a joint opportunity where we would promote BPAY with them as a biller because it was still this direct marketing activity. And it was doing all the right things by our business while doing good at the same time.

And as a direct result, we’ve built some relationships with the farmers and we had this beautiful photography and the exhibition was to sell the photography to raise even more money. And of course, it moved online and it was a hit. Great team, came up with great ideas.

Anton:

As you say, better reach and maybe bigger impact.

Renee:

Yeah, we rethought.

Anton:

What’s coming down the line? Is there anything you can share with our listeners as to what’s the next innovation? I know the BPAY Group has some other companies involved.

Renee:

Yeah. We are still on an innovation journey. We have a range of things in the pipeline. A bunch of them are really confidential, but should they come off, they are outside of payments. But they will be the next systemic innovation that will help people and will make life simpler for them.

One of those things is related to digital identity, which is part of our business strategy. That’s publicly known. We can share that we are working on a solution there. We are working on a solution around invoice fraud and reducing the number of people and businesses who could be taken advantage of with invoice fraud, which squarely sits within our kind of sweet spot of payments and bill paying.

We definitely are growing BPAY and Osko as well. So, there is already a whole suite of BPAY innovations behind the scenes. We’ve launched a developer portal recently for FinTechs in particular, to tap into APIs for the BPAY product.

And eventually, it’s shifting and modernising that product from being batched to providing an option that’s not batched. That’s techy stuff about the limit of my knowledge, but generally, it means BPAY is getting better, faster, quicker soon.

Anton:

And you’ve got businesses within the group that are looking at AI and that whole direction. Can you talk to that?

Renee:

We’ve got Sypht, yeah. Sypht is a very interesting business line. We keep it as a subsidiary of BPAY Group, but we look after things with them. So, for example, my team will help them with media relations and we’re a resource to tap into.

I know Lucy’s team helps them with culture and values because they’re a small/almost still a startup. They look at unlocking the data in forms. And so, they use artificial intelligence and machine learning to pull data out of what might otherwise sit on a PDF or even a paper document that didn’t get scanned in, so that businesses can create greater insights from that data.

And the rate at which they’re running on accuracy is well beyond anything in the market. They’ve got a lot of opportunity in the States. So, it’s actually a global business line that’s continuing to just thrive.

Anton:

Making life simpler. I keep going back to it… it sounds so aligned doesn’t it? The work you’re doing.

Renee:

Yeah, 100%.

Anton:

What does success look like? Where are you going? If I put the blowtorch on you as marketers and Lucy, the culture, do you have an end game in mind or do you have a mountain you’re climbing?

Renee:

I think it’s really to bring to life that purpose. It’s definitely a destination, not a point in time. And any vision, purpose, the mission is always something to strive towards. And so, the closer we get to that is a success. The closer we get to a fully empowered engaged workforce, we’re pretty close.

We’ve got outstanding engagement results, but there’s always something to improve. And I think if we keep going the way we’re going, success could be something we don’t even expect yet.

Lucy:

Yeah. And I might just add to that, engagement’s obviously key, but culture is something that is continually having to evolve. And as we’ve known with COVID, change can happen overnight and we have to be adaptive and resilient enough to deal with that change.

And I suppose the focus for us now, is actually making sure that we maintain the wonderful elements of our culture, but grow or strengthen those aspects, which will enable us to actually adapt to the change and the pace of change is coming.

And one of those is making sure that we equip our leaders to actually be effective leaders in a hybrid working model. It’s more challenging than leading with people around you, and certainly, that’s a focus for me, and also making sure that people feel productive and motivated to do their best work. Because ultimately, it’s the people within an organisation that turns businesses into successes. Obviously, the product is important, but you need the people behind those products and services as well.

Anton:

That’s a huge challenge. I mean, getting leaders thinking like that, are you using corporate psychologists? Or are you bringing in frameworks? Your job sounds like 24/7.

Lucy:

No, look, we do a lot ourselves. We use the research that’s available to us externally, tap into networks and it’s about listening to our people as well. And we shape up what’s going to work for us. Obviously, we will engage external help when we need it. But a lot of what we have achieved, we’ve done ourselves, which is a testament to the people within our business.

Anton:

Yeah, I’m fascinated. I’ve been fascinated, as I said, right upfront from the moment I walked through the door. Renee, as you said, as you walked into the door of BPAY and the BPAY Group, what a transformation.

So, really appreciate you sharing some of the work you’ve been doing. I think for our listeners to hear the name BPAY or Osko, that there’s so much behind it that is really fascinating. And Lucy, you’re right, the pace of change, things that are coming at you, it sounds really exciting from an innovation perspective.

Lucy:

Yes, it is. And challenging at that.

Anton:

But you’re the ladies for the job, it sounds like you’ve got really two strong females involved.

Lucy:

We’re up for a challenge. Yes, we’re certainly up for a challenge and yeah, bring it on.

Renee:

The teamwork will get us there, I think.

Lucy:

Yes.

Anton:

Thanks, Lucy for your time, and Renee. Glad to catch up again.

Lucy:

Thank you.

Renee:

Yes, you too, thanks, Anton.

Anton:

Just before I run out of time, I’ve got one last question; when can I start paying by Bitcoin?

Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media, and commercial communications professionals, Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by Darren Woolley and special guests. Find all the episodes here

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