Digital Drives BRW's Most Innovative Companies of 2014

The recently published BRW list of our top 50 most innovative companies makes for interesting reading. The list includes a number of start-ups as well as some well-established players who are changing the playing field through technological innovation.

Digital technology plays a significant role in the solutions these companies are employing. The Findex Group is a case in point. They are using technology to help solve the challenge of providing personal financial advice to those with smaller portfolios.

With Movo, a groundbreaking online financial advice platform, Findex is making financial advice more accessible by reducing the gap between what customers are prepared to pay, and what it costs to provide personalised financial advice. Their online solution lowers costs for advisers while delivering tailored advice for customers.

Movo allows Findex to target users without a history of using financial planners, says Findex CEO, Spiro Paule:

"We're not targeting Australians currently using advisors who, from our understanding of this market segment, are unlikely to change their habits and go online. We're targeting the Australians who never get to see a financial planner - the four fifths of Australians who are currently priced out of the market."

Creating new market segments through innovation

Another company making it easier for Australian’s to manage their money is Financial Synergy. Their online tool makes it quick and easy for members to consolidate their superannuation from many funds into the one account. Members can provide their information once, and have all their rollover application forms completed in a single transaction. has grown quickly, by offering health insurance to those who strongly prefer to communicate with their health insurer electronically. With all its customer processes available online, and customer support available through social media, text, email and live-chat, this niche player is making inroads into the insurance market through innovation. Making things easier for customers

Commonwealth Bank and Westpac feature as top innovators. Both are using technology to enable customer to transact without cash. Commonwealth introduced new features to its phone app that enable customers to transact using their phones in place of credit and debit cards. Using the app, customers can use their mobile phones to make payments at MasterCard PayPass terminals, and withdraw cash at CommBank ATMs without needing a card.

Westpac’s closed-loop payment system uses ID badges and NFC mobile phones to replace cash at existing points of sale. This system is particularly useful for those operating in remote locations, such as mines, and large organisations including hospitals, universities and clubs where customer spending can be retained and tracked within the organisation. RAMS customers can now view all their accounts, at different financial institutions, all on the one screen using their Account Hubb. They are the first to offer this portfolio view to customers, and are considering turning it into a stand-alone product available to a wider audience.

Unified Healthcare Group (UHG) made the BRW list by improving outcomes for claimants by reducing the time between claim and assessment. Their web-based platform enables select pieces of medical information to be sent from doctor’s computers directly into their claim assessment software. Not only do doctors spend less time completing paperwork, but those making claims find out more quickly whether they are successful or not.