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Media Release

Australia unsure on whether businesses ready to face the future

Australia unsure if businesses are ready for the future

Commonwealth Bank transforms business banking to help small to medium enterprises face emerging challenges and opportunities.

The nation is divided 50/50 on whether Australian businesses are ready to face the future, according to results of a nationwide survey second in size only to the Census, released by the Commonwealth Bank today. 

This finding comes from almost 180,000 responses to a question asked of Australians through CBA ATMs and the CommBank website – ‘are our businesses ready to face the future’? And the result is even starker with 67 per cent of those who responded via the CommBank website saying businesses are not ready, and younger people much less optimistic than older Australians. 

This national insight follows what has been a transformation of the traditional business banking model of ‘accounts and loans’ of yesteryear to the modern partnership based on analytically driven insights and industry expertise, as well as innovative tools and technology based products and services. 

“We now provide businesses with the sorts of tools and business data that were beyond our dreams only a decade ago, giving them access to highly sophisticated yet easy to use analytics and banking services,” Group Executive Business and Private Banking Adam Bennett said. 

“This is helping our customers to seek new market opportunities domestically and offshore and to provide their customers with a better experience. Our business bankers are now both guiding and advising clients more as a partner than the traditional banking provider of years gone by.” 

Examples of this include our next generation Daily IQ business analytics platform, our world leading app-based and wireless payments device Albert, and our Innovation Labs that use customer centred design principles and innovative technology solutions to help our clients meet head-on their business challenges and opportunities. 

“A banker’s role is now about understanding and supporting the ways in which our customers can make themselves more competitive in their respective industries, how they can innovate and grow their operations to respond to external market changes, and how all of this drives value for them and the communities they work and live in.” 

Younger generations in the survey are less optimistic, with only 44 per cent of respondents under 35 believing Australian businesses are ready. This compares to 64 per cent of over 65 year old respondents. 

To help businesses be prepared for the future, CommBank is currently running a “21 Day Change Challenge”. The program can be started at any time, to help them focus on their current challenges and opportunities.  It also provides an opportunity to come into our Innovation Lab for a Think Tank session led by an Innovation Coach to progress their idea. 

Case study 

Online children’s clothing retailer Korango has taken full advantage of CBA’s expertise in innovation, completing a ‘Think Tank’ in one of the bank’s Innovation Labs to help take their business forward. The sessions helped business owners John and David De La Fontaine define their business goals and, through interviews arranged by the Lab with Korango customers, enabled them to uncover new ideas to enhance their business. 

“We now understand the importance of getting to the heart of what our customers want for us as a business. Through these sessions, we came to understand that our customers wanted much more than just clothing but they really wanted a place to come together, interact and talk about their kids,” said Korango Founder John De La Fontaine. 

“So we’ve taken this principle and applied it to our business strategy. We’ve improved our social media to help create a stronger sense of community within our own customer base and are now working towards launching an app in the near-future to take this even further.” 



In the recent Business Insights Report – Unlocking Everyday Innovation – extensive research conducted by CBA shows that 82 per cent of Australian business consider themselves to be innovators but only 44 per cent are actually meeting criteria for innovation when assessed against international guidelines. The above report provides extensive data and deep insights into the state of innovation in Australian businesses and sectors. 

For more information about the ‘21 Day Change Challenge’ visit

Visit the CommBank website for more information on the analytics and banking tools to support businesses including Daily IQ, Albert and our Innovation Labs