Derek Corcoran, customer and marketing operations executive for fintech Avoka, said that the next few years would see banks start to embedded their operations where people think of them. 

“Embed banking is where we see the future of banking heading, so those banking services will become embed in the places that people are thinking about them,” he said. 

Mr Corcoran said that most people did not want to go into a bank, so banks needed to make it easier for people to connect with their products. 

“One of the challenging conversations we have with banks is that nobody wants to bank. They want what banking can facilitate and those functions are generally tied to something that people are doing,” he said. 

There was no reason for banking products not to be inbuilt into payroll systems, for instance, where people can create an account on the same system that they use at work, Mr Corcoran said. 

“I get my money from my employee, so there is an opportunity for us to embed the basic transaction account into payroll systems that employees are using. 

“There is no reason why, from inside the payroll system, I couldn’t have hit a button that says apply now for a bank account and have all the data that I’ve already entered into the payroll system,” he said. 

Mr Corcoran said Australia was generally ahead of the world when it came to investing in new technology and that would likely continue.

“Unquestionably Australia is leading. For the last three years Australia has been consistently ahead of the other two markets that we look at which is North America and Europe,” he said. 

Australian banks had always been early adopters and their smaller scale made it easier to get things done but according to Mr Corcoran those were not the main reason Australia was leading in banking’s digital transformation. 

“The primary reason for Australia being ahead is as a result of how much better it weathered the GFC than the rest of the world. 

“While the rest of the world was still picking up the pieces in 2009, Australia had already begun to invest significantly in their digital transformation,” he said. 

Already Australian banks had shifted from just putting things online and had now changed to transform banking for small business owners. 

“When we look at the ability for SMEs to acquire bank products through digital channels in Australia, in 2016 it was eight per cent of bank products could be digital for SME, in 2018 it was 30 per cent. We are seeing a significant shift of digital channels towards SME,” Mr Corcoran said. 

Looking ahead Mr Corcoran said that shift would continue but he again said that embedded banking was where the transformation was going to turn to. 

“There’s going to be a lot of business as usual and moving things to digital but I think what we will see is the next evolution of banking is in that embedded banking.”