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UBank here to disrupt banking forever

By Eliot Hastie
3 minute read

UBank has a mandate to disrupt banking for good and to do so they have placed technology at the forefront of the customer experience. 

Speaking at IBM’s Think Summit, UBank’s Lee Hatton said that technology gave the bank opportunity to fulfil their mandate. 

“If you take our opportunity and our mandate which is to disrupt banking for good, and MIA or AI have allowed us to push out these new economics of banking,” she said. 

MIA is UBank’s new virtual assistant but Ms Hatton said it was really a vital part of the UBank team. 

“We took the opportunity to take MIA to the next level to answers questions for customers in the comfort of their homes. Giving them the experimentation and delight of experiencing a virtual assistant in a different way,” Ms Hatton said. 

MIA was born from UBank’s other AI programs Robobrain and Robochat, said Ms Hatton. Together all three of them empower  customers and employees. 

“People shouldn’t be intimidated by the future of AI and that’s why we really want to make sure we use these tools now. 

“It does change your culture because people are least intimidated by the opportunity and they can see the future skills that are required,” she said. 

UBank was born of being NAB’s disruptor said Ms Hatton and that mission had changed how the company saw itself. 

“It’s always great to have a vision, and for UBank we recut that and said we want to be Australia’s most referred brand. We’ve removed the mentality of being a bank and put the customer right in the centre of what we want to be there for and stand for,” she said. 

Part of that was by giving employees back time with the use of AI so that everybody in the building could have discussions about the future of banking. 

“It’s not unusual to talk about what the next five years looks like or what should we focus on today for tomorrow but you need to take that capacity and have people coming outside in and sharing their views to really think about what the future can hold,” she said. 

For Ms Hatton, the future of banking could well be a fully fledge cognitive bank which would see greater development of products and tools. 

“A cognitive bank that takes people away from not necessarily serving customers but designing products and services for them in a way that makes banking anonymous and completely empowers people to be part of a system of things that they choose to do every day,” she said.