Commbank unveils big tech investment

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    Commonwealth Bank has unveiled major changes to its mobile application in order to move the app toward being a “one-stop shop” for banking.

    On Thursday, CBA announced investments worth $50 million into tech platforms Amber and Little Birdie, both of which will be integrated into the bank’s app, The Australian reported. The expansion is a key part of CBA’s effort to create an online banking system that links multiple services, including retail, loans and utilities, under one platform.

    CBA chief executive Matt Comyn said the bank’s app needed to be cutting-edge given that customers are increasingly switching to digital financial services.

    “We are integrating new services into our platform to customise and personalise the digital experience in ways that will increase engagement and bring greater value to our customers,” Comyn told The Australian. “It’s about moving beyond customer service and delivering more rewarding experiences and better outcomes that will build a deeper, more trusted relationship with our customers.”

    Amber is an energy retailer that charges customers a $15-per-month subscription fee to access real-time wholesale energy prices, with the aim of reducing the customer’s power bill. Little Birdie is an online shopping platform that allows users to track and compare more than 70 million shopping products. CBA has a 25% stake in Amber and a 23% stake in Little Birdie, according to The Australian.

    Comyn said that Amber, in particular, would help differentiate CBA from its competitors when trying to attract mortgage business.

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    “Purchasing a home is a time when customers look for ways to save money, and electricity is a large expense in a household budget,” he said. “Our partnership with Amer will help to differentiate our homebuying proposition, with Amber providing direct access to wholesale prices and bringing additional discounts for CBA customers.”

    As Australians adopt mobile banking technology, they’re also turning their backs on branches. Australian banks are closing branches at the fastest rate in 20 years, and an April report by RFi Group found that 90% of Australians said they had no plans to return to their pre-COVID-19 branch usage.

    Ryan SmithRyan Smith is currently an executive editor at Key Media, where he started as a journalist in 2013. He has since he worked his way up to managing editor and is now an executive editor. He edits content for several B2B publications across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He also writes feature content for trade publications for the insurance and mortgage industries.
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