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In the Spotlight... Graham Heunis from HSBC

Whether you’re a globe trotting traveller or someone who can’t resist an online shopping spree, having a convenient, cost-effective way to spend money overseas is a huge part of modern life. As a global brand with strong roots in the Australian community, that’s something HSBC understands.

HSBC was named Mozo’s Travel Money Bank of the Year in 2018, with top performing products across multiple Travel Money categories. We caught up with Graham Heunis, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC Australia to talk about global banking, innovation and how the new Everyday Global Account is changing the way Aussies spend overseas.

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Thursday 26 July 2018

Article by Kelly Emmerton

The rise of global banking

Spending money overseas has never been so easy - or so common. Recent research shows that over 2.3 million Australians are planning to travel overseas in the next 12 months* - that’s a lot of people shelling out cash for accommodation, transport, tours, souvenirs and poolside cocktails.

And that’s not to mention the fact that in 2017, Australians spent $21.65 billion shopping online, with online spending growing by 10.2% compared to a growth of just 3.3% in traditional retail^.

All this means that between international travel and having the internet at our fingertips, Aussies are now more connected to the rest of the world than ever before - so isn’t it time for our banking to be too?

As one of the world largest banking institutions, with 38 million customers in 67 countries around the world, it’s no surprise that HSBC has travel money down to a fine art. In 2018 HSBC came out on top in the Mozo Experts Choice Travel Money Awards to be crowned Travel Money Bank of the Year.

Part of that victory is thanks to the HSBC Premier World Mastercard, which Heunis says is “ideal for frequent travellers” and was a Mozo Experts Choice Travel Credit Card Award winner this year. So what sets it apart from the crowd?

“One of the great features of the Premier World Mastercard is you can choose your reward program; either Qantas Frequent Flyer or HSBC Rewards Plus which lets you transfer your air miles to other frequent flyer programmes,” Heunis says.

“It also comes with travel insurance and emergency cash if something should happen to you while you’re overseas.”

The HSBC Everyday Global Account

With online shopping becoming a regular household activity and international travel skyrocketing, innovation is quickly becoming the name of the game in the travel money world.

For HSBC, that’s where the Everyday Global Account comes in.

The Everyday Global Account, which took home the Mozo Experts Choice Travel Money Innovation Award this year, is the first account in Australia to give spenders the ability to pay like a local anywhere in the world. It’s a fee-free everyday bank account that lets Aussies save, spend and get paid in up to 10 global currencies - all from the one account.

“Australians are travelling overseas and shopping on overseas sites more than ever before, and we wanted to provide a more convenient solution for customers and remove the hassle of fees,” Heunis says.

So what’s the benefit over a prepaid travel card? It’s the unique blend of global and everyday convenience. You’re not always going to be travelling - so when you’re not using the linked debit card to pick up some fresh sushi in Tokyo using your saved up Yen, the account pulls double duty as an everyday Australian bank account, complete with phone and internet banking, BPAY, direct debits and the option to bank at your local Australia Post branch.

“Unlike travel money cards the Everyday Global Account can be your normal bank account, with no fees for depositing money, no fees for spending your money and it doesn’t expire,” Heunis explains.

Plus, you can also blend your travel aspirations with the everyday business of saving, planning and managing your money - for example, Heunis says, “...if you’re planning a trip to Italy, regularly adding to your Euro account will make it easier to plan and manage your holiday budget and you can take advantage of the exchange rates when they’re in your favour.”

If you can think of better motivation to save your spare change than a growing stack of Euros labelled “Italian getaway”, we’d like to hear it.

Local roots, global reach

But it isn’t all global innovation over at HSBC. Just as important is the bank’s commitment to the local Australian community it serves. HSBC partners with programs focussing on education and the environment, such as the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust to make an impact on local communities.

“As an international bank in Australia, we are particularly proud to have had our first Reconciliation Action Plan endorsed, and through our partnerships we are helping to create equal access to quality education, improved employment outcomes, and in the case of the Fred Hollows Foundation an end to avoidable blindness from trachoma and better healthcare,” Heunis says.

*Roy Morgan data.
^Australia Post Inside Australian Online Shopping - Online shopping trends in Australia