CBA to crowdsource tech project ideas

Summary:The Commonwealth Bank is set to open a new portal for its customers to submit their ideas for what they think will be the next big technology project or product offering the bank ought to pursue.

The Commonwealth Bank is set to open a new portal for its customers to submit their ideas for what they think will be the next big technology project or product offering the bank ought to pursue.

Dubbed "IdeaBank", the Commonwealth Bank's new crowdsourcing ideas platform is designed to pull the best ideas from the bank's community of customers, according to chief marketing officer, Andy Lark.

"We're looking for ideas in all shapes and forms. Products, recommendations, things we should be using to make banking simpler and easier. Everything from better interest rates to pricing and [technology] infrastructure," he told ZDNet Australia in an interview.

IdeaBank will focus initially on sourcing ideas for "the future of banking" in honour of the bank's 100-year anniversary. Ideas will flow into the program until March 2012 when customers and senior leadership staff will vote on the best of the best for a $10,000 prize.

The bank concedes in its advertising campaign for the new IdeaBank program that the best ideas for customer service technology won't come from inside the bank, they will be ideas from the customer base itself.

"It's a bit self-deprecating," Lark admitted, "but it's taken as a line of encouragement more than anything else. We believe [customers] can come up with great ideas."

The Commonwealth Bank is looking for more ideas like its NFC-enabled, peer-to-peer payments application, Kaching, which was announced recently as the first application where customers can pay each other via Facebook.

Once an idea has been accepted from the IdeaBank program, Lark said it will be allocated appropriate internal resources depending on the requirements of the idea before it's released to customers via the My NetBank Labs portal. My NetBank Lab allows the bank to invite its customers to test its new online banking products before they go to market.

The IdeaBank platform itself is built on a piece of off-the-shelf technology from Salesforce.com, one of the Commonwealth Bank's primary technology suppliers. Lark said that the platform didn't take long to set up and "turned out really well".

Lark added that the IdeaBank is designed to capitalise on the ideas of the tech-hungry Commonwealth Bank customer base.

"We've got a lot of great customers online, more than half of our customers are online and millions using our mobile applications. They've shown a lot of appetite for technology and we want to harness that interest," he said.

The IdeaBank platform is set to go live on 8 December.

Topics: Banking

About

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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