​Bendigo Bank invests in new trading platform technology

In continued efforts to improve its customer service, the company has partnered with CMC Markets Stockbroking to launch a new online share trading platform.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Bendigo Bank has launched a new online share trading platform Bendigo Invest Direct (BID) as the company continues to work on improving customer service by making technology investments.

According to the bank, more than 10,000 customers have transitioned off the former legacy share trading platform and onto BID, which was built in partnership with CMC Markets Stockbroking.

Customers now have access to stock analytics, ASX unlisted managed funds, upcoming dividend distributions, live and historic company news, and live ASX announcements. There is also a mobile version of the platform, which the bank claims gives investors the ability to trade wherever and whenever.

BID project sponsor Matt Smith said initial feedback from customers has been positive.

"BID is all about confidence, providing customers with the market leading research, sophisticated analytics tools, and speed they need to execute trades as they identify opportunities," he said.

The launch comes after the bank reported during its half year 2016 financial results that technology investments it continued to make as part of its Base II Advanced Accreditation progressed well. It made enhancements to data, decision making processing, and risk and return measurements.

The Base II project was launched by the bank to improve the way it identifies and manages risk and services for customers through improved banking systems, business and risk management processes and practices, and operating a more capital efficient business.

Of the AU$445.9 million total operating expenses Bendigo reported for the six months, information technology costs accounted for AU$35.8 million, a 5.8 percent decrease from the previous corresponding period year when AU$38 million was spent.

Bendigo Bank, however, is not alone in upgrading its trading platform. The Australian Stock Exchange reported in February it plans to accelerate its assessment of using distributed ledger technology.

At the start of the year, the ASX announced that it will contract US-based firm Digital Asset to develop blockchain technology, the underlying system that facilitates transactions such as bitcoin trading, to replace or upgrade its main trading and post-trade platforms.

Phase one of the program will involve replacing the ASX's existing trading and risk management system, which is expected to run to the end of 2016. Meanwhile, phase two will focus on the revamp of the ASX's post-grade services, including clearing and settlement of the cash equities market.

The initial development will take six to 12 months, when the solution is expected to demonstrate the benefits for a range of users including investors, listed companies, and intermediaries.

The ASX said a final decision on market design will be made by mid-2017, and will include a decision on the future of Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS), which is expected to continue to operate as normal during the development of the blockchain technology. CHESS is the computer system that the ASX uses to record shareholdings and manage settlements of share transaction.

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