[Interview] With Westpac Group’s Business Digital Transformation & Performance Lead, Janice Johnson

March 11, 2019

Digital transformation is a vital part of many businesses these days! Companies, especially banks need to stay relevant and on top of things, and in order for that to happen and to keep customers staying with them, they need to focus on researching and developing digital transformation strategies for the banks.  What tech to build, buy or to avoid, and what the customers need.


The team at Upwise were lucky enough to have a chat with Janice Johnson, Business digital transformation and performance at Westpac Group.  Westpac is Australia’s first bank and oldest company, one of four major banking organizations in Australia and one of the largest banks in New Zealand. Westpac provides a broad range of consumer, business and institutional banking and wealth management services through a portfolio of financial services brands and businesses.



  • How Do You Define Successful Digital Transformation?



Digital transformation success is being able to leverage off the changes in digital technologies and their impact on peoples’ behaviors day to day, in other words, it’s about understanding and accepting the shift in customer behaviors as a result of new digital technologies. Success means solving for existing technical problems, making enhancements to meet functionality needs, improving customer usability and tracking/reporting on key measurables in an agile fashion.


  1. How Do You See The Effect Of Digital Transformation On The Banking Industry?


Digital transformation has revolutionized how we do banking today shifting the focus from sales to service. Not to say that sales are not an important piece, but rather we are able to achieve these greater sales targets through better servicing via online/mobile/tablet banking. The focus is now on self-servicing – Empowering our customers to manage their personal finances and businesses in their own time and from the comfort of their homes or offices, this is achieved by delivering digital functionality that covers:-


  • Real-time financial data
  • Reporting and reconciliation
  • Automated service request features
  • Enhanced payment capabilities
  • Multi-factor authentication


  1. How Do You See Westpac Group’s Digital Transformation Efforts Affecting Customers In The Next 5 Year?


Westpac is poised to deliver greater enhanced features and new capabilities aimed at making banking easier and faster for all our customers. Our efforts are concentrated on addressing our customers’ pain points and providing our staff with the relevant resources to give the best customer service possible. We are one team and we aim to streamline our processes to ensure we have the right tools to assist our customers no matter which segment they are in.


Change is happening, whether we are ready for it or not. I am excited to be part of the Digital transformation team working on a multitude of initiatives that will deliver a myriad of features that our customers can take advantage of continuously in the next 5 years. I believe our customers will welcome the changes that are coming in a very positive way.


  1. Which Are The Emerging Technologies That Will Play A Significant Role In The Banking Digital Transformation Process?


We live in a very technologically savvy world, the digital space moves almost at the speed of light. As a personal opinion, I feel that some of the few emerging technologies that will play a significant role in the digital transformation process:-


  1. Advanced analytics coupled with AI interactions
  2. API’s and Open banking
  3. Augmented reality
  4. Smart technology


These technologies are already changing how we solution and build features today and they will change the financial ecosystem from products and services to the platforms/delivery channels – Affecting partnerships and innovating the way we share information in the future that will subsequently affect the customer experience.


  1. How Do You See The Integration Of Blockchain Affecting The Banking System?


Not having been involved in a lot of cryptocurrencies, my knowledge and opinion is quite limited for the time being. For the longest time, however, I always thought of blockchain as being mostly just about Bitcoin, some variation or broader category of cryptocurrency that sounds almost like it’s all done via the dark web (LOL). I do however have an appreciation of the underlying technology that propels this fast-evolving cryptocurrency ecosystem development. Financial Institutions are hurrying to understand and subsequently partner with blockchain specific companies or form internal team specialists looking at:-


  • Application dev and APIs,
  • Application
  • Comms and distributed messaging
  • Business logic


Implementing such complex and high-tech solutions does not come without risk and it is important for us to continue to understand blockchain further focussing on:-


  • Risk and Security
  • Data acquisition and usage
  • Data accuracy
  • Processing


The team really enjoyed this interview with Janice, who is leading the company to really focus on the right moves, right research and is doing some great stuff! We really enjoyed the chat and hope to see some more great stuff coming from Westpac in the future.  


Janice Johnson is a Digital Product Owner in Business Digital Transformation & Performance for Westpac, working to deliver award-winning platform Westpac Live – which took out the 2018 Australian Business Banking Awards for Best Digital Platform. Janice who has over 14 years of experience in Finance, 12 years in Sales and 8 years in Media has a wealth of knowledge across products, consumer and B2B sales and technology. When she is not focussed on work, she spends time traveling, learning new languages, dining out with friends and enjoying fine wine. She is currently trying her hand at writing a cook book “The Career Woman’s Kitchen”. You can reach her at janicejohnson@westpac.com.au or Linkedin.