In September last year, the bank launched Bill Sense - a CommBank app feature that predicts future bills to help customers, especially those new to budgeting, stay on top of their finances.
Then, in March 2021, the bank announced the upcoming launch of its new Buy Now Pay Later offering, Step Pay.
When launching Step Pay, Commonwealth Bank’s Group Executive Retail Banking Services, Angus Sullivan, said: “Customer needs are evolving and this new BNPL offering is about giving customers more choice around how they choose to pay and when, depending on the option which suits them best.”
Indeed, it is these ever evolving customer needs that has seen the bank continue to reimagine its products and services for customers, including small businesses.
Earlier this year, CBA launched a new digital lending solution, Stream Working Capital, to give businesses faster and more flexible access to cash flow using their outstanding invoices.
Further, in May the bank unveiled CommBank iQ – a joint venture with Quantium that delivers fast, current and relevant data insights to Australian businesses. The bank’s Group Executive Institutional Banking and Markets, Andrew Hinchliff, said the joint venture would help Australia’s leading institutions to drive the nation’s economic recovery and transition.
“In short, CommBank iQ will help Australian institutions become more customer centric and better able to quickly identify and respond to both complex problems and significant growth opportunities,” Mr Hinchliff said at the launch of the joint venture in May.
CBA’s partnership with Quantium wasn’t the only strategic alignment the bank made in the past 12 months.
Also in May, the bank unveiled its strategic partnerships with two disruptive businesses: Little Birdie – an online shopping start-up that helps customers find specials deals when shopping online; and Amber – a subscription service that provides customers with access to wholesale electricity prices. In July, the bank announced a further strategic partnership with More Telecom and Tangerine - two sister Australian telecommunication service providers that would enable the bank to provide discounted NBN and broadband services to customers.
In addition to its strategic partnerships, the bank made a number of acquisitions throughout the last financial year.
Specifically, the bank acquired the health technology provider Whitecoat, while its venture-scaling entity, x15ventures, purchased the cloud-platform and marketplace, Doshii.
Whitecoat operates Australia’s largest digital healthcare services directory allowing patients to locate and book appointments with over 300,000 health service providers. It also offers a digital health payment and claims solution with both terminal and in-app mobile claims processing capability for Medicare, private health insurance, and government schemes.
Commonwealth Bank’s Group Executive Business Banking Mike Vacy-Lyle said the acquisition of Whitecoat supported the bank’s strategic priority to provide the best digital services and experiences to its customers.
Meanwhile, x15ventures’ Managing Director Toby Norton-Smith said the acquisition of Doshii – a platform that brings together venues, point of sale (POS) and apps in the one place for small and large hospitality venues and outlets – would serve to empower the bank’s customers as never before.
“It is a transformative solution for the hospitality space – stitching together the diverse range of new digital services and apps that consumers and merchants are using, with the inherently physical nature of the industry,” Mr Norton-Smith said when announcing the acquisition of Doshii in January.
Looking ahead, Matt Comyn said the bank would continue to invest in its digital and technology capabilities as it seeks to provide customers with global best experiences.
“We are focused on continuing to make progress on our more ambitious strategy – building tomorrow’s bank today for our customers. Reimagining banking through new products and partnerships that will support our customers and help build Australia’s future economy, while focused on disciplined execution and investing in digital and technology capability,” he said.