Further highlighting the increasing popularity of digital banking, 71.5 per cent of all transactions (by value) are now digital, up from 63.9 per cent two years ago – a statistic that serves to reinforce the need for banks to focus on delivering global best digital products and services.
In August 2021, the bank’s Buy Now, Pay Later product, StepPay, was officially launched to market. Since that time, more than 2 million transactions have been made and approximately 150,000 accounts have been opened.
In addition to StepPay, the bank also launched its ‘SMART’ terminal for retail merchants last year. More than just a payments device, the ‘SMART’ terminal integrates the latest technology and customisable features to help transform payments in Australia.
In an Australian first, the terminal features dual SIM functionality, plus Wi-Fi, 4G/3G and broadband, to offer improved connectivity to keep business up and running. It also includes a number of in built features to split payments, add surcharging, tipping, and email receipts – making it more seamless and convenient for consumers to pay and businesses to get paid.
Over the last six months, the bank has also joined forces with a number of tech leaders and market disruptors to help customers navigate the rapidly changing retail landscape with ease.
In November, CommBank’s venture-scaling entity, x15ventures, launched its newest venture, Cheddar – an app that finds and sends retail offers to customers based on their shopping preferences, using artificial intelligence to curate and tailor the content from over 600 merchants.
Targeted at younger consumers who expect retailers to anticipate their needs, the platform rewards Australians for shopping with popular brands and enables retailers to regain control of their marketing spend.
The investment in Cheddar followed a strategic partnership in October with gift card disruptor, Karta. Through this partnership, consumers will be able to purchase a gift card (from a participating business), and gift it electronically to anyone, anywhere. The recipient of the gift card can then redeem it from their digital wallet at any time.
Everyday Banking Executive General Manager, Kate Crous, said the partnership would help to reimagine the shopping experience for Australians as it would simplify the purchase, delivery and use of gift cards, enabling more businesses to participate in the market and, in turn, help CBA customers to better support the businesses they love.
But it isn’t just the consumer shopping offering that CBA is looking to reimagine and evolve.
In November, Commonwealth Bank announced its strategic partnership with world-leading artificial intelligence firm, H2O.ai. As part of the partnership agreement, Commonwealth Bank will provide H2O.ai’s state-of-the-art AI Cloud to its entire organisation, including data scientists, data engineers and business users. The bank will gain a dedicated H2O.ai team of experts, including industry-renowned ‘Kaggle Grandmasters’, machine learning engineers and product specialists, to work full time on developing new AI solutions within the bank.
Speaking about the partnership at the time, CommBank Chief Executive Officer, Matt Comyn, said it would help differentiate and extend the bank’s artificial intelligence capability to better anticipate customer needs, and reimagine products and digital experiences to meet those needs.
“We see broad application for AI and machine learning technology right across our business – in operational processes, protecting customers from fraud, lending decisions, and risk management. It builds on the foundational data and analytics capabilities that Commonwealth Bank has developed over the past decade.
“We aspire to be the trusted partner at the centre of our customers’ financial lives. To do this in an increasingly digital world, artificial intelligence is playing an even more important role in delivering personalised and relevant experiences. When these experiences drive demonstrably better outcomes for customers, this builds trust, confidence, and ultimately engagement – and the more our customers engage with us, the better we are able to anticipate their needs.”
Beyond greater personalisation of digital experiences, the bank has also spent the last six months partnering with various organisations to offer customers cheaper deals on energy and telecommunications, two significant items in the cost of living.
In July, the bank acquired a stake in sister telecommunication service providers, More Telecom and Tangerine, which will enable CBA to offer discounted NBN and broadband services to its customers.
This was announced alongside a strategic partnership with fast-growing property management company, :Different, which will help digitise many parts of property management to remove and reduce pain points such as paperwork, admin and time consuming manual tasks faced by property owners, investors and renters.
Speaking about the partnership with :Different back in September 2021, CommBank’s Group Executive for Retail Banking Services, Angus Sullivan said: “we are reimagining banking for our customers, creating more value for them, putting more money back in their pockets, and helping them save money by exposing them to new ways of doing things and new quality products and services.”
Looking ahead, the bank will continue to invest in delivering global best digital experiences and providing reimagined products and services in a bid to create more value for customers.