Each judge on the panel of The CEO Magazine’s Executive of the Year Awards needs to understand the role that innovation and creativity plays in recognising the success of Australian executives. As the CEO of BPAY Group, John Banfield is therefore an ideal candidate for the panel.
Recognised as giants in its field by a majority of Australians, BPAY Group continues to revolutionise the industry.
The latest demonstration of the company’s innovation is Osko by BPAY, a service that allows 24/7, near-instantaneous transfers to anyone else in Australia.
John has served as CEO since 2014, when the company was still known simply as BPAY. He’s overseen the creation of Osko, as well as the continual improvement of the BPAY service itself.
With 30 years’ executive experience at American Express and Transaction Network Services, John has a profound understanding of the financial services industry, providing that spark of innovation and risk-taking necessary for business excellence.
“Measuring success is all about avoiding complacency,” he says. “At BPAY Group, we aspire to help Australia lead the way in payments – and such innovation just doesn’t happen with an attitude of complacency.”
Lessons in leadership
John considers the Executive of the Year Awards essential for recognising the achievements of Australia’s most accomplished executives, given that it can at times be a lonely job.
“It’s great to take a moment out of our busy calendars to reflect on the success of our peers and leaders we admire,” he says.
“It’s great to take a moment out of our busy calendars to reflect on the success of our peers and leaders we admire.”
“But what’s even more important is the opportunity to hear some insightful lessons about leadership, and think about how we can apply these lessons in our own lives or organisations.”
John has a clear idea of what it means to be a leader, which he credits in part to the former CEO of American Express, Ken Chenault.
Chenault operated on a principle of unwavering care for employees. His belief was that if employees were passionate and looked-after it would lead to content, loyal customers. That philosophy is evident in John’s efforts to communicate and collaborate with his team.
“I’m a big believer in leading through transformation – a huge part of which is always thinking about how you can make a difference,” he says.
“It is about listening and learning from those around you, taking a collaborative and positive approach to change, and pioneering bold ideas.”