Commonwealth Bank customers to see balances from other banks in-app

In addition to announcing customers will be able to see their account balances from other banks within the CommBank app, CEO Matt Comyn has made a AU$50 million investment in two fintechs.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) will be trialling a new feature that will allow customers to see their account balances from other banks within its app.

The service is labelled by the bank as a CDR pilot.

Australia's Consumer Data Right (CDR) officially launched on July 1 last year with the first tranche, an open banking-like regime, requiring financial services providers to share a customers' data when requested by the customer.

"The CDR pilot launched today will soon be available to all CBA customers, allowing them to see their account balances from other eligible financial institutions directly in the CommBank app," the yellow and black bank said on Thursday. "We will continue to invest behind the consumer data right to bring benefits to our customers."

While the first tranche of the CDR applies to the financial services industry, energy and telecommunications will soon join the regime.

"There will be increasing benefits to consumers as the consumer data right is extended to energy and other sectors," CBA said.

Read more: Australia's Consumer Data Right: Here's everything you need to know

The announcement was made by CEO Matt Comyn, who was providing an update on his bank's strategy and investments "to reimagine products and services and build the best digital banking experiences".

"The shift to digital banking is accelerating and we are investing to remain at the forefront of innovation," he said, reiterating his plan for CBA to be the "best digital experience in Australia, bar none".

"We aim to be the most trusted partner at the centre of our customers' financial lives by saving them money, giving them more control over their finances, and by making banking simpler and easier."

The CEO said new services integrated into the CommBank app would allow for a more personalised banking experience.

"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," Comyn said.

To that end, Commonwealth Bank will be investing AU$50 million to take a share of two startups.

It will claim a 23% shareholding in online shopping startup Little Birdie and a 25% stake in Amber, which provides subscription-based access to wholesale electricity prices.

"Little Birdie will bring customers the best shopping deals from across the internet and will help to connect our 7.5 million digitally active customers with our 700,000 business customers," Comyn explained.

"Combined with our 50:50 partnership with Klarna in Australia and StepPay, CBA's recently announced buy now, pay later card, we have a highly differentiated platform to help business customers grow and retail customers save money."

Comyn said Amber, meanwhile, would help CBA differentiate its home buying proposition, with Amber providing direct access to wholesale prices and additional discounts for the bank's customers.

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