Most Commonwealth Bank customers will see real-time banking next year as the bank's main products are switched over onto its new core banking platform.
CommBank's IT dream team (Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au)
Real-time banking allows the bank to process transactions as they happen, rather than in batched groups as most banking is currently done.
"The main set of retail deposit and transactions accounts will
be switched over in the next calendar year so that's obviously where
the bulk of our customers will start to notice real time and what
that means," Commonwealth Bank's executive general manager core
banking modernisation Dave Curran said at a briefing yesterday.
There were already three products — first home saver
accounts, Colonial First State term deposits and staff savings
accounts — on the new platform. The users of those products were
already experiencing real-time banking, he added.
The bank is currently a third of the way through its four-year
core banking modernisation program, which it has been carrying out
with the help of SAP and Accenture. It has completed the first
three major releases and will complete another this year.
The idea of the modernisation has been not to think in
products, but instead to use "industrialisation" — making
standardised pieces of products that could be used to customise
services to user needs. This meant that instead of keeping tabs on which
siloed products went online, the bank kept track of which
capabilities were on line, which in turn controlled which products
could be moved to the new platform. Curran said the bank was
currently working through the deposit and transaction standard
pieces. The next hurdle would be lending.
scope of the program has increased since the core banking
project was first announced last year, adding another $150 million
to the original expected spend. The added scope of the platform made it capable of accommodating the bank's new
Despite the increase in scope the project will run to schedule,
according to Curran. "We've taken a very strong focus on schedule,"
he said. "These programs are huge and if you allow yourself to get
bogged down within them you can actually just spin your wheels.
We've watched a number of organisations globally both before the
program and during the program that have got into that space of
just getting bogged down [in] analysis paralysis."
Part of the bank's schedule success might come from its complete
leadership of the program, keeping partners SAP and Accenture under
the thumb. "The program would be led like the bridge of a ship ... CBA
is the captain. We have SAP as an engineer on the bridge and
Accenture as the navigator on the bridge: [they're] helping us, but the
accountability sits with the captain," Curran said.