Leading BPAY Group’s transformation for an innovative future

- By Collaborative Media & Publishing
When Chief Executive John Banfield joined BPAY Group with a mandate from the Board to transform the company and set it up for the future in the rapidly emerging digital economy, he knew it was a job he couldn’t do on his own.
 
So, he designed his ideal leadership team, with Chief Operating Officer Hugh Frames as his first hire in July 2015.
 
Frames joined from Sony DADC Australia where he was the Finance and Commercial Director, and while the entertainment industry might seem a long way from financial services, Frames came on board to bring a more commercial perspective to the business.
 
“I came from outside of the industry, and my BPAY Group colleagues, as a whole, are from the financial services industry. So I think I bring a different perspective, and ask questions that people who have been at the company longer than me, perhaps wouldn't ask,” says Frames, who has also worked in the automobile and electronics sectors.
 
The BPAY Group purpose is to ‘make life simpler’, be it for their employees, everyday consumers, shareholders, or other stakeholders.
 
“John and the Board wanted BPAY Group to be more bold in the way we added value to our stakeholders, and so there was a strong focus on becoming more innovative within the business,” says Frames.
 
“When we consider our strategy, we constantly assess how we can add value for our shareholders or other stakeholders. And we do that by following our purpose to ‘make life simpler’ whether that be for stakeholders, the industry or the end customer.”
Protecting the core business
 
While innovating and moving the company forward, BPAY Group also needed to protect its core BPAY product – the payment service that is vital to the daily lives of millions of Australians and the operation of over 60,000 businesses.
 
“We all knew that we could never put BPAY Group's core business at risk because it's too important to us, it's too important to our shareholders, and it's too important to the industry,” Frames says.
 
The solution was to reinvent BPAY Group’s corporate structure by introducing a BPAY Group Holding company that owns several subsidiaries, enabling each entity to operate independently. These include the core BPAY product & its ongoing innovation, the new Osko service, and new ventures such as data analytics operation Sypht.
 
This has two key advantages. First, it insulates risk associated with the start-ups away from the core BPAY product. Second, it allows the new entities to be more agile and flexible.
 
“We also didn’t know how the entities would evolve over time; whether we would invest further, or divest. To the advantage of the new entities, we also intentionally planned to accommodate shared ownership where it may be appropriate, as is the case with Sypht – a joint venture with BCG Digital Ventures. And so, we needed that flexibility to be able to have partnerships, joint ventures, to invest further, or divest,” he says.
 
Frames consolidated BPAY Group’s Corporate Services division, bringing the legal, finance, governance and company secretarial roles into one place to help transform the business.

The Corporate Services division has been a major success in BPAY Group’s transformational leadership. The division’s capabilities have blossomed, engagement has improved, and the reputation of the organisation has lifted.
Ready to support the ventures of the future
 
Along with providing support to BPAY Group, Corporate Services also support the new ventures owned by the holding company.
 
The new ventures benefit from access to the sort of support and expertise that most start-ups couldn’t afford. And there are also advantages for BPAY Group itself, specifically by providing development opportunities for staff in the start-up space.
 
“It's significantly more complex to manage these different entities which are so different in nature and the way they operate, because BPAY is a 20 year old mature product,” says Frames. “Then you've got a start-up which is 18 months old in a completely different industry sector.”
 
The new challenges are important now, and also set up BPAY Group for the future, with the team able to apply today’s learnings to BPAY Group ventures in future. “The team relish the challenges that the new organisation has brought, and we leverage that knowledge from company to company,” Frames says.
 
“We've got some great ideas which we’re pursuing, and we’re constantly looking for new opportunities. In five years’ time we will be adding value to our shareholders, stakeholders, and our industry in ways that we might not even have thought about yet ­– and we’ll do that by making people's lives simpler.”

Published by BPAY Pty Ltd (ABN 69 079 137 518) email: [marketing@bpay.com.au]).  The BPAY Scheme is managed by BPAY Pty Ltd.  BPAY is issued by over 150 BPAY Scheme participants.  When you use BPAY, the BPAY Scheme is paid fees relating to processing costs and BPAY Scheme membership.  Contact your financial institution to see if it offers BPAY and to get the Product Disclosure Statement.  Any financial product advice provided by BPAY Pty Ltd in relation to BPAY is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before acting on such advice, you should review the Product Disclosure Statement and consider whether BPAY is appropriate for your personal circumstances.
 

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