As the Head of Operations and Customer Service at Indue, Ian Doig is responsible for the delivery of Indue’s customer service function. Across Ian’s extensive experience in the finance and payments industry he has seen significant changes. He shares his thoughts on the most recent developments.
In your time working in banking and finance, what are your insights on the changes facing the industry?
I started in banking in 1987 and we only had one computer in the section (i.e. Cheque Section – that’s right Cheques were so popular then they still had their own section in banks!) that looked like PC’s that people would recognise today (i.e. like the old white ones, not tablets). The advances in technology have helped us be much more efficient, get rid of a lot of the boring tasks (i.e. when I first started I put statements in envelopes in the morning and cheque books in envelopes in the afternoon as well as licking the envelopes) and provide much better service to people (e.g. think how much we do online or on mobile devices now and we have access to 24/7 – not between 10am and 3pm). When I started in the industry it was the Banks that decided service levels, now it is the customers driving them (i.e. if you can’t service the ‘now’ generation you won’t last long these days).
The industry is now so heavily regulated that many smaller institutions have difficulty or can’t keep up with the requirements. I am always a bit torn when I think of this. Part of me gets frustrated with the bureaucracy attached with regulation, but then I also understand the benefits of a strong banking sector, for both the broader Australian economy and our industry.
What does advancements in digital payments mean for Indue’s operations and customer service teams?
Advancements in digital payments keeps operations and customer service interesting. As these advancements allow us to improve our products, it should also allow us to improve our service delivery to customers. I tend to get bored easily, so I always enjoy the opportunities advancements provide the operations and service areas to become better (i.e. I am glad new starters today do not have to lick envelopes!).
What attracted you to work at Indue and how does it differ from other companies?
I was attracted to the role at Indue because it allowed me to utilise the skills and knowledge I had acquired over my career, but apply them a bit differently. This point of difference excited me and I had been at my previous employer for 9 years, so it was time for a change as well. The other key difference is that at Indue my knowledge and skills are directly linked to the core business of the company. In banks, the core business is always lending so I have always had to fight for resources against this.
What are the Indue products and/or services you are most excited about?
I like that we can positively impact so many customers, by providing solutions for companies, instead of directly to people. The product I feel most passionate about is the Debit Card Trial (DCT). Anytime that you get an opportunity to positively impact a community like this product does is fantastic. Often this industry can be a bit ‘soulless’, so being part of something like this has been rare in my experience. I’m also very excited about NPP. In payments, this is the biggest change I have or will see in my career. I can see endless benefits both commercially and at an individual level.
What does the future of the financial payment industry look like to you? What are your predictions?
I think the NPP will change our industry significantly. Whilst this impact won’t happen overnight, I think once people understand the opportunities, we will look back and see that it was a turning point for the industry. I think it will ‘swallow up’ or bring to a minimum a lot of the other more mature payment instruments (e.g. cheques, DE). When we can combine mobile technology and NPP efficiency, I think future generations will look back and laugh at how we used to operate (e.g. you had to wait days for payments to clear, are you kidding!).
What are the most common challenges facing Indue’s customers?
I think for our smaller financial institutions, their major challenge is being able to stay relevant and compete with larger institutions who are better resourced – this is what provides Indue with opportunities. For the Government sector, their biggest challenge is being able to deliver services/products that improve communities and address issues that currently exist – isn’t it amazing a plastic card has been able to help facilitate this!
What inspires you outside of the office?
Since having children and being involved in their lives, especially in coaching some of their sporting teams, I am also inspired by kids who, although they might not have skills/training, don’t know the meaning of defeat. They will keep going at something until they have mastered it, because they haven’t been conditioned to quit. I often wonder about the nature versus nurture argument, but love watching kids just keep trying because they believe in themselves. This is a lesson I never tire of learning.
Also, my favourite inspiration of course is Queensland’s 1980 state of origin victory – it encaptures all of the above plus my favourite passion, rugby league. Those who know me would question my honesty if I didn’t relate something to footy during something like this!
Head of Operations & Customer Service