​NAB unveils startup-led Business in One cloud platform

National Australia Bank has announced NAB Business in One, its latest customer innovation developed in conjunction with Australian cloud-focused startup Maestrano.

National Australia Bank (NAB) has announced a new cloud-based digital platform for its small business customers.

According to NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn, the new NAB Business in One platform synchronises data in real-time across numerous applications including accounting, sales, and customer relationship management software, into a central, customisable dashboard.

"Business in One will give small business owners the data and information they need to help them run their small business in one place," Thorburn said in a statement. "Our customers have been asking us to make it easier for them, and that's exactly what Business in One does."

Business in One was developed in conjunction with Australian cloud startup Maestrano, which provides applications and integrated solutions to small and medium businesses.

The idea was born out of NAB Labs, the bank's dedicated innovation hub, which it said was formed to build a culture of innovation and customer-led design within NAB, and position the bank to be adaptive to rapidly changing digital advancements.

Speaking to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) on Wednesday, Thorburn said NAB was responding to its customers' appetite for convenience with solutions such as its latest Business in One platform.

"At NAB we are absolutely focused on our customers. We want to make it easier to do business with us and we are driving real and sustainable change through our business," he said.

"We are working hard to ensure that changes happen faster across the bank in a more agile way. We have to innovate with focus, creating change that will best serve our customers."

Thorburn said NAB is also investing in new technologies to make it quicker and easier to make purchases, and will next month begin rolling out NAB Dash -- a streamlined order, pay, and collect technology.

The first to trial the technology will be supporters of the Australian Football League's (AFL) Gold Coast Suns, who will be able to use NAB Dash to order drinks and food from their seats and pay in advance at Queensland's Metricon Stadium during the 2016 AFL Premiership season.

The NAB Dash application uses location-based technology to alert staff at food stands and bars when a user approaches the counter to collect their order.

"Footy fans don't want to go to the game and spend their time lining up for food and drinks, which is why we're giving them a way to skip the queue," Thorburn said. "Customers want easy, fast, and simple ways to pay and we will keep investing in and testing new technologies to create brilliant experiences."

Thorburn also announced a strategic alliance with the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Business School to promote and support innovation and collaboration between the business and the university sector.

The agreement will facilitate the exchange of talent and ideas between NAB Labs and the university to support joint design and research projects, the CEO said.

"NAB Labs works with existing technology partners and with new startups, to drive change at pace and try new things," he said. "We are disrupting our business from within, tapping into ideas and talent from both inside and outside the organisation, for the benefit of our customers.

"We are listening to what our customers are telling us they want and we are delivering for them."

Earlier this year, NAB announced plans to nationally roll out its Personal Banking Origination Platform by the end of the year, with the company saying it would form the final piece to its Nextgen technology transformation and the "biggest technology overhaul in the bank's history".

The bank worked with technology partner Oracle to deliver the platform. Oracle has previously been responsible for helping the bank deliver NAB View and Credit Risk Engine, with the technology rollouts forming part of the bank's Nextgen project that commenced in 2009.

Last September, NAB also launched NAB Prosper to offer its customers personalised financial advice through its online internet banking platform.

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