The theme of this year’s Sibos conference was recharging global finance. Against that backdrop, we recently held a webinar to discuss our approach to investing in strategic global payments capability. We also reaffirmed our commitment to sharing our strengths with partner banks to create unassailable customer propositions.

Investing in modern architecture

Banks today must compete against hundreds of organisations that look to pick off parts of our banking proposition or intrude on the traditional banking domains from broader ecosystems. Therefore, the number one objective of our payments strategy is to expand the value we provide to our customers.

Firstly though, safe, sound and secure access to our services and products is of paramount importance. Every time we add a new customer capability, we are also investing in the integrity and security of payments. At the same time, we are investing in technologies that enable us to move at pace and scale.

Central to this is modernising our architecture. This means moving away from big monolithic stacks that we have to touch every time we want to build a new capability. Instead, we are shifting to open and agile architecture that is cloud native with modernised API connectivity.  By modernising our estate, the tensions between building customer capability and resilience and pace greatly diminish. One example of this investment is our “95 x 25” initiative which will move 95% of the group’s computing onto the cloud by 2025. We are about halfway there.

Scale and digital capabilities

As Australia’s largest bank we have several competitive advantages. In a population of 25 million, we have 11 million retail customers, 1 million business customers, and are the main financial institution to more than a third of Australians.

We have Australia’s leading mobile banking app, as well as the highest volume of transactions in Australia’s real-time payment system, the New Payments Platform (NPP). We have the largest market share in Australian payment flows, and the most end points with more than 40% of international payments into Australia for credit to a Commonwealth Bank beneficiary account. This means, inbound AUD payments from our correspondent banking partners go directly to our customer’s account with less friction allowing for quicker and more cost effective access to funds.

Stronger together

Over the last two years, new competitors looking to serve customers in a holistic way have entered the market at an accelerating pace. Our response is to continue investing in capabilities and activate our competitive advantages to solve customer problems upstream. This creates areas where competitors have no opportunity to disrupt. Domestically we lead the way, while as a significant player in global payments, we can move with banking partners that are equally motivated and aware to create unassailable market propositions.

Amid the many fronts facing us, the pace of change in the environment and balancing all of our needs, partnerships have grown in importance. International payments is now the area where we are facing the most direct competition and where we need to think about our proposition to our retail and business customers as well as our correspondent banking partners. Our aim is to enrich the payment experiences and identify the investment areas that our mutual customers will value most.

Convergence happening

We see huge potential to recharge global finance as standardised global payment messaging converges with real-time payments and our real-time sanctions screening capability. Ahead of gpi instant adoption in Australia, we are targeting a 90% straight-through processing rate and will extend our market-leading 15-hour-plus processing availability. The result will be richer customer experiences and reduced risk, friction and cost.

Our job is to adopt these fundamental components and foundational technologies at pace and at scale and be open to their potential. If we always start with the customer, focus on safe, sound and secure services, and moving at pace, we will naturally deliver highly competitive customer experiences while enhancing the economics of the overall correspondent banking proposition. We measure our success by the success of our customers – we look forward to defining these moments together.

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