Commonwealth Bank targets SMEs with new big data analytics platform

Daily IQ 2.0 is expected to assist small-to-medium enterprises to make sense of big data.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has launched a new business analytics platform that aims to provide small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) with access to big data.

The bank's new Daily IQ 2.0 platform brings together online tools and data feeds from CBA's pool of 1.2 billion monthly transaction records, which the bank said will allow SMEs to model future scenarios based on current financial and industry data, in addition to allowing performance monitoring in real-time.

The platform also allows SMEs to check what their competitors are up to, and track the spending patterns and demographics of customers in any location, the bank explained.

"SMEs are constantly being told about the benefits of big data, but the reality is that many don't know where to start or have the time and expertise to produce insights that actually impact their day-to-day decision-making," CBA executive general manager business banking SME Claire Roberts said.

"Through Daily IQ 2.0, our goal is to empower SMEs to take advantage of the scale of CommBank's transaction information combined with important data feeds and scenario modelling to create a clearer daily picture of the opportunities and risks that exist within their business."

Daily IQ 2.0 is integrated within the existing functionality of CBA's online banking portal, NetBank, and business banking platform CommBiz.

CBA said the platform will be rolled out progressively, with "micro-sized" businesses pencilled in for access later this year.

Also on Tuesday, CBA and ASX-listed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider GetSwift announced a multi-year partnership that will give CBA's retail merchants access to a logistics platform to be used for product deliveries.

The partnership will see the bank's Albert POS automatically queue, batch, route, and dispatch the delivery of any good purchased via the platform, with Albert outsourcing the delivery to either existing logistics companies on the GetSwift network, or the merchant's in-house delivery team.

GetSwift estimates the deal will result in over 257 million deliveries on its platform over the next five years, with an estimated aggregate transaction value of AU$9 billion.

"This is a game-changer for the Australian retail sector and the country's leading bank is charting new territory here," GetSwift executive chairman Bane Hunter said.

"For vendors, it's a cost-effective way of tackling the threat from Amazon, Foodora, UberEats, Deliveroo, and other global technology companies attempting to capture this space, and charge retailers a significant premium for the benefit of what is becoming an expected service."

Rollouts will commence shortly to selected markets with a full national deployment expected to be in place before the end of the year.

CBA partnered with Airtasker earlier this year to provide the outsourcing company with an identity verification function for its online platform.

"CBA is focused on simplifying and enhancing customer experiences through its existing digital banking solutions," executive general manager of digital at CBA Pete Steel said at the time. "As our customers continue to use emerging online services, we believe we also have a role to play in enhancing that experience. Identity verification is one area where we can add value."

In October, CBA entered into a memorandum of understanding with Alipay, Alibaba's online payment platform, to deliver payment solutions to Australian and Chinese consumers and retailers.

Under the agreement that saw CBA become the first Australian bank to secure a deal with Alipay, the Chinese giant will use the bank's digital payments infrastructure to enable Australian consumers to make purchases across Alibaba Group's ecommerce websites including AliExpress.

For the first half of the 2017 financial year, CBA reported AU$4.9 billion in statutory net profit after tax, up 6 percent from the corresponding period a year prior. Operating income for the period experienced a 6 percent increase to AU$13.1 billion.

During the six-month period, the bank spent AU$1.2 billion on IT services, which was up from the AU$752 million it spent during the first half of FY16.

With total IT spend increasing 54 percent, the amortisation of software assets cost the bank AU$613 million during the six-month period, while AU$222 million was spent on technology application, maintenance, and development.

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