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Welcome to doing things differently

At Heartland Bank, we’re on a mission to improve the lives of Kiwis by making money work for them. We believe banking shouldn’t be hard. We’re always working to integrate innovative new technology that enables you to live and bank the way you want.

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Being Digital

Digital is one of Heartland’s three core strategic focus areas alongside Australian Reverse Mortgages and New Zealand Banking.


The concept of digital is frequently defined by the internet or mobile phones or APIs (Application Programming Interface). These are digital tools. Being digital is a way of doing things:

“Digging down, digital is about two things: speed and agility – externally to your customers and market and internally within your organisation.” – John Rossman1

One of Heartland’s mātāpono, or values, is mahi tipu – always evolving. This is the essence of being digital. The purpose is to deliver great customer outcomes by always striving to deliver fast and simple service. Increasingly, how we are judged will be by how successful we are in delivering excellent User Experience (UX).


UX encompasses all aspects of a customer’s interaction with our products and services.2

A good UX is one which makes it easy for the customer to access services and which delivers the desired outcome quickly. UX is a constantly evolving challenge: identifying user pain points to address, gathering insights about how we can do things better, and letting our customers know that their experience with us matters.

Examples of UX in action at Heartland include: usability testing of new websites, updates to the Heartland Mobile App and new digital products; the introduction of online, real-time customer feedback mechanisms on the Heartland website; and using online qualitative analytics tools to record UX and customer journeys across all webpages.

Prioritising UX means we keep our customers at the forefront of decision making. This leads to better customer loyalty and retention, and better business outcomes.


 Our Digital strategy has two objectives.

1: To give our customers products accessible online or via an app, and provide simple, frictionless and fast on-boarding and processing.

2: To reach as many customers as possible at the lowest cost, through online and smartphone access and highly automated processes.

In practice, digital is a way of operating – how we get things done. A digital mindset enables us to remain agile and innovate at speed to meet changing customer expectations.

To deliver low cost on-boarding and transaction processing we will ensure we have the right technology and infrastructure in place to provide a seamless customer experience that ultimately reduces costs across the business. According to research by PWC, people who manage their finances online are more cost effective to serve and are more likely to purchase financial services products than those who conduct their banking in person.3

By automating processes behind the scenes, Heartland will create more capacity to do more for customers.


 As Heartland’s digital offering increases, we expand our reach to customers. This presents an opportunity for digital innovation to help us grow and meet the needs of new customers. A number of digital achievements were realised in FY2019, including the following.


In May 2019, Heartland Bank launched YouChoose – a savings account with an arranged overdraft, designed to provide customers with the flexibility to save when they can and spend when they want to.

Biometrics, DocuSign and document uploads

Facial recognition technology (biometrics) for ID verification, online document signing via DocuSign and document upload functionality was introduced this year, enabling easier and faster customer on-boarding4.

Heartland Mobile App

App downloads have increased significantly. The app has been installed over 5,900 times. This is a 72% increase since the start of 2019. This year, 24 app improvement updates saw more functionality built in to provide greater security with PIN and fingerprint login features, and to allow customers greater access to Heartland’s products.


In order to provide customers with greater flexibility in how they spend their money, Heartland Bank has partnered with Paymark to deliver Online EFTPOS services to our YouChoose customers. Online EFTPOS will allow customers to shop online from participating retailers without the need for a debit card.

Open for Business (O4B)

O4B is Heartland’s digital-led small business lending product and has been continuously improved to ensure a frictionless end-to-end process. The three minute application with real-time technology manages credit risk by reviewing a number of data points to assess the applicant’s situation and give them a more personalised response. The number of people visiting the O4B web pages in FY2019 increased by 163%5, and the number of online applications increased by 160%6.

Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (GFV) finance calculator

Heartland Bank, in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, launched their first fully integrated online GFV calculator for a third-party finance provider. Customers can use the calculator to generate an indicative GFV finance quote which lets them know what the minimum trade value will be at the end of the vehicle loan, provided they keep within the terms of their agreement.


In FY2019 we completed beta testing of our new Heartland Digital platform with a select group of customers. The Heartland Digital platform provides an efficient, user-friendly online banking solution that savings and deposits customers can access in place of internet banking on a desktop or devices which don’t support the app. In FY2020 we will continue to roll the platform out to our Heartland customers.

FY2020 welcomes some exciting digital advancements. Online calculators and automated application decisioning, based on lending criteria, for Reverse Mortgage customers in New Zealand will help customers get the information they need to progress their loan applications. Similar online calculators are also being developed for Australian Reverse Mortgages to assist the huge broker network in Australia and will provide customers with more personalised information that is relevant to them. Work will also begin on the creation of a GFV calculator for Holden Financial Services, similar to the one launched this year for Jaguar Land Rover Financial Services.

Heartland has also taken a keen interest in the launch of two new API standards which help New Zealand take a step towards Open Banking. The standards provide the opportunity for banks to work together and with third parties to launch new financial services for customers. Heartland is working with PaymentsNZ to register as an API provider which will allow us to use the new standards. We believe Open Banking will improve banking processes and services for customers, and contribute towards the development of simple, secure, personalised banking for each customer’s needs.

Being digital is a mindset and way of working. We’ve been incorporating that mindset throughout our products, services and operations throughout FY2019 and will increase that focus in the year ahead to ensure we’re always evolving and continue to strive for excellence – whāia te iti kahurangi.

1 John Rossman, Think Like Amazon: 50 1 Ideas to Become A Digital Leader (2019).



4 For customers using our biometric solution, the average time taken to complete is 10 minutes.

5 Data sources: Google Analytics, 30 June 2019.

6 Data sources: Proprietary data collection platform, 30 June 2019.

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