Commonwealth Bank doubles down on data trawling with new business

The yellow bank has partnered with Quantium for new Commbank iQ business.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has announced a new joint venture that it said would provide "fast, current, and highly relevant data insights".

Alongside data science firm Quantium, the yellow bank is launching CommBank iQ. It claims the initiative -- which will become a standalone business in the latter half of 2021 -- will combine Australia's largest pool of transaction data.

The pair said Commbank iQ would create a suite of data-driven products to support and, where possible, automate decision-making to "help institutions move from insight to action with unprecedented speed and accuracy".

According to Commonwealth Bank group executive of institutional banking and markets Andrew Hinchliff, the new initiative will help Australia's leading institutions drive the nation's economic recovery and transition, through the "powerful insights" the platform will produce.

"As Australia's biggest bank, we see more transactions than any other institution in the country," he said. "By working in partnership with Quantium, we can harness the power of this peerless dataset to help Australian governments, businesses, investors and NGOs predict and adapt to the changing needs and wants of their customers.

"In short, CommBank iQ will help Australian institutions become more customer-centric and better able to quickly identify and respond to both complex problems and significant growth opportunities."

Hinchliff added the new company would apply "best practice" data ethics and governance standards and all transaction data handled by Commbank iQ would be aggregated and fully de-identified.

The new business is expected to offer a range of services, providing examples such as insights reports, decision support tools, and AI decision engines. There will also be consultants to offer commercial skills to customers.

Both CBA and Quantium will contribute founding team members to the joint venture, with Quantium also contributing its big data tech stack.

Elsewhere, Tyro payments on Monday announced its intentions to wholly acquire Medipass, a Melbourne-based digital health fintech backed by the National Australia Bank's (NAB) venture arm.

The purchase will set Tyro back AU$22.5 million, with Medipass founder Peter Williams and CEO Jonathan Davey set to remain with the business.

Prior to his time at Medipass, which officially began in May 2020, Davey was executive general manager at NAB Labs. NAB announced in March 2017 it was working with Medipass to develop a new digital platform to connect patients with healthcare practitioners.

"NAB and Medipass Solutions are redefining the healthcare experience, delivering an 'Uber-like' approach to the way patients, practitioners, and health funds integrate," Davey said at the time.

"The solution delivers a seamless and transparent experience for patients, practitioners, and health insurers, through a digitally integrated platform; the first of its kind globally with such breadth and capability."

The current Medipass solution integrates with 17 cloud-based practice management and booking systems, and boasts approximately 4,400 active healthcare providers working with it.

"This complements (with limited overlap) the approximate 9,300 merchants in Tyro's health vertical and the 42 practice management systems integrated with Tyro," the company added.

Medipass achieved a revenue run rate for the 12 months to 28 February 2021 of approximately AU$1.8 million and generated an EBITDA loss over that 12-month period of around AU$1.5 million.


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