While I’ve had lots of general conversations about Wattletree with platform providers, I’m now moving into the phase of ‘we have clients wanting to use the service so can we please talk about getting data extracts’. It’s tough.

As you do when you’re launching a new product or service, I spent some time on the weekend thinking ‘Why am I bothering? Marketplace apps are the hardest to launch and we have such a short runway to get this going.’

But then I slept on it, and remembered that there’s a bl**dy good reason WHY we are doing this.

Why the h*ll are we trying to do the (nearly) impossible?

I am one of those annoying, opinionated people who always wants to do the right thing, even when it’s expensive, time consuming and hard. I just can’t help myself. And this is the perfect example.

Let’s go back to basics with DDO, what is it really about? It’s really about getting better outcomes for the end customers of all our products. These people (millions of them) pay our collective wages, and feed and house everyone in the value chain, from fund managers to platforms to advisers to consultants to tech providers to insurers to regulators. Roughly 200,000 people in Australia work in financial services, and for the most part, we all do very nicely out of it, thank you very much.

And we all want to do a great job for our customers. Of course. But somehow, with all the regulation and requirements and too much on each of our plates, the ability to REALLY do a great job for customers doesn’t always drive decisions.

But with a new regime like DDO, we (collectively) have the opportunity to do something different, to REALLY put consumers first, to deeply understand them and to build the best possible products and services for them, that will help them lead better lives as well as pay our mortgages.

It would be a massive disappointment if DDO ended up like RG146, where a regime that was supposed to drive better quality advice ended up in the ‘more overheads, tick and flick compliance’ bucket instead. And look where that got us.

So, while setting up a data trust is hard and requires lots of people on board, and I don’t know how many meetings and conversations to say nothing of a LOT of legal and IT security review time, we are in a once-in-a-lifetime position, where we really could get together to drive better outcomes for everyone – consumers, our businesses and us personally as actors on the financial services stage.

Imagine REALLY knowing who your end customers are – the opportunities are endless. DDO, Member Outcomes, the Retirement Income Covenant that’s due July next year – all these require deep understanding of your customer base. With Wattletree on board, you’re already part of the way there.

Let’s talk

If there’s a burning DDO question that no-one seems to have a good answer to, or you just need to understand how Wattletree works in more detail, please get in touch. I invite you to shoot through your Q’s using the below form or alternatively you can call me on 0417 970 818. There’s no such thing as a silly question*

*OK, we all know that’s rubbish but you know what I mean!

Cheers, Sarah

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