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Macquarie Bank's tech overhaul helps speed up bank account applications

Macquarie Bank claims customers can now open a new transaction and savings account in under a minute.
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Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Senior Journalist on
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Image: Manfred Gottschalk/Getty Images

Macquarie Bank has launched what it is claiming as the fastest digital account opening experience in Australia, following a revamp of its technology systems.

The bank announced on Monday that customers can now apply for a transaction and savings account, have their identity fully verified, and be able to have their debit card instantly loaded on a customer's Apple or Google wallet in under a minute.  

"Many banks still require customers to visit a branch or wait days for the physical card to arrive in the mail. We have reimagined the account opening experience to be almost instantaneous while still delivering all of the same comprehensive security and identity checks," Macquarie Bank deposit and payments head Olivia McArdle said.

"The feedback from customers since we pushed this innovation live a month ago has been fantastic. Customers have told us they are setting up their accounts from the comfort of their couch on a Sunday evening or out and about on the weekend."

Additionally, Macquarie Bank has launched its one-click offset accounts so that home loan customers can instantly open and link up to 10 offset accounts to their home loan with just a click.

Read also: Macquarie Bank using tech to fix how it handles complaints

According to the bank, the speed at which it can provide these digital experiences is underpinned by the bank's cloud-native platform. Macquarie Banking and Financial Services CIO Richard Heeley previously told ZDNet the company's cloud migration journey started in 2016 when the bank began moving to Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, and had to rebuild its tech stack from scratch.

"We do not use 'lift and shift', and so each of our applications is re-designed to make use of cloud-native technology," Heeley said. "The most obvious example of this is that we reduce all of our applications to a code level so that we can rebuild them whenever we choose. This increases our resilience but also reduces our obsolescence."

At the time, Heeley said the bank had its sight set on operating 100% in the cloud by the end of March 2022.

Despite being able to provide customers with a speedier experience, the bank has assured it has not compromised on any security features.

"We've set out to provide the kinds of experiences you might expect from a fintech, but with the security of a bank," Macquarie Bank's chief digital officer Luis Uguina said.

"With this in mind, we've built our own security app Macquarie Authenticator which gives customers real-time control to approve or deny transactions and account changes. It's fast, personalised and most importantly, a seamless way to incorporate extra security into the way you manage your finances." 

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