In the Spotlight... Paul Vivian and Andy Weir from Bankwest

As an innovative player on the banking scene, Bankwest has a long history of keeping its customers’ needs at the heart of everything it does. A big part of that is making banking simple and transparent, to help Aussies work toward their goals, big and small.

After it swept the floor in our Experts Choice Deposit Awards, with multiple wins in the Exceptional Everyday Account category and the gong for the Banking Innovation Award, we spoke to Bankwest General Manager of Products and Pricing, Paul Vivian and Executive General Manager of Technology and Transformation, Andy Weir, about the innovation and value Bankwest offers to Aussies all over the country.

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By Kelly Emmerton· Wednesday 28 March 2018

A bank account to suit anyone and everyone

Everyone has a bank account, and chances are you haven’t put a lot of thought into yours. Well, neither have most banks, which tend to treat an everyday bank account as a one-size-fits-all solution.

Unlike most banks, Bankwest hasn’t settled for the standard option with their transaction account lineup. Instead, they’ve designed their accounts to cater to what customers really need and want.

“We understand that everyone uses their bank account in different ways and that’s why we have a range of accounts available,” says Vivian.

“Whether you want a simple account for everyday banking, to earn interest or even earn Qantas points we have the account for you.”

The Bankwest Hero Transaction Account, Rewards Transaction Account and Qantas Transaction Accounts are all perfect examples of bank accounts that go above and beyond the traditional offerings from banks - and that’s why they all took out Experts Choice Exceptional Everyday Account Awards this year.

“The Rewards and Qantas Transaction accounts, both the first of their kind, give customers the chance to earn rewards points on their account balance and everyday spends, while the Hero Transaction Account comes with 1.50% interest on balances over $5,000,” explained Mozo Data Manager and Expert Peter Marshall.

“That’s impressive value, considering the vast majority of everyday bank accounts offer just 0.01% interest.”

Putting a ring on it: Innovation in wearable payment technology

Bankwest’s commitment to innovation and simple banking doesn’t stop there.

With alternative payment methods moving ahead in leaps and bounds over the past year or so, and Aussies embracing them wholeheartedly, many banks are getting behind the trend in different ways.

It started with contactless payment chips appearing in our credit cards, then came mobile wallets, which let shoppers use their smartphones to tap and pay. The latest innovations are taking place in the wearable technology space - mainly smartwatches with contactless payment technology built in.

Bankwest has not only joined the world of wearable technology this year, its done so with a product that brings another step of innovation and simplicity to the table: Australia’s first payment ring, the Bankwest Halo.

“It’s a new era in contactless payment,” says Bankwest Executive General Manager of Technology and Transformation, Andy Weir.

“No more fumbling for your purse or wallet, no need to ensure your phone’s charged in order to pay.”

Waterproof up to 50m and with the same security as a Bankwest Mastercard, including 24/7 fraud protection, the Bankwest Halo means you don’t have to worry about carrying a bulky wallet, whether you’re hitting the surf or pounding the pavement.

Instead it’s like carrying your money on your finger, because the ring is linked directly to your transaction account, and can be used to pay for purchases just like a contactless debit card.

“Our customers’ lives are so varied and this ring offers them freedom to pay wherever and however they want,” says Weir.

“Plus, as it’s a ring, something usually that people choose to wear as jewellery, we think it’s got that little bit of a wow factor too.”

The Mozo Experts were impressed as well, and awarded the Bankwest Halo the 2018 Experts Choice Banking Innovation Award.

“The Bankwest Halo took out the Innovation Award because it’s a unique and useful development in the wearables tend, and it takes that all important step towards combining the practicality of wearable payment technology with fashion,” Marshall says.

Keeping up to speed with the New Payments Platform

Just like having to carry a physical piece of plastic to make payments, using a BSB and account number to transfer money is set to become a thing of the past, with the introduction of the New Payments Platform (NPP) in 2018.

The NPP makes transferring money from your account to someone else’s quick and painless, because you’ll no longer need their BSB and account number, just their PayID, which can be as simple as a phone number or email address.

According to Weir, while Bankwest customers can’t use the NPP just yet, they can look forward to accessing it in the near future.

“We're excited about the NPP and we're investing significant resources in order to bring it to our customers,” he explained.

“We'll be launching in the coming months, but given it's a brand new service, we're taking some extra time to ensure that when we do launch, it's a seamless experience for our customers.”