CBA cashes in on AU$589 million investment in technology

Investment in technology is paying off for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia after it reported a 16 percent half year net profit.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has highlighted in announcing its half-year results that technology has been and will continue to be a key investment priority.

The bank reported a 16 percent increase in statutory net profit after tax (NPAX) to AU$4.2 billion from the corresponding period in the previous year.

Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev said the result demonstrates the bank's focus on its long-term strategic priorities — people, technology, strength, and productivity.

"All of our businesses have performed well. We have strengthened our focus on enhancing the financial well-being of our customers, and have used our leading technology platform to deliver innovative products and services to business and personal customers," he said.

According to Narev, the company invested AU$589 million during the half year in technology, productivity, and risk. As a result, the company was able to introduce a new CommBank app in December, which now has over 1 million registered users; video conferencing across its network of branches; smaller, smarter express branches that focused on self-service; and more simplified processes that saw an 80 percent reduction in online account opening times.

The bank highlights that its long-term investments are showing results. Retail customer satisfaction has grown steadily since June 2007, and there are now more than 83 percent of CBA customers who say they are satisfied. Similarly, business customer satisfaction results are indicating that CBA is out-performing its peers in the large business segment.

At the same time, NetBank logins via a mobile device peaked at 70 percent in December 2013. This follows the release of improved and new mobile applications for the bank's NetBank and CommSec products across iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone. Last October, CBA also launched its CommBank app with near-field communication (NFC) support to meet the growing demand for mobile transactions.

Narev said that going forward, the focus for the company is to look at the "branch of the future" by addressing three key pillars: Proud people, simple and easy process, and leading technology.

He said there are plans to introduce video conferencing in all major CBA branches, 189 smart ATMs allowing anytime deposits, new tablet and software for branch concierges to enhance customer flow, and dedicated small business capability with 123 new specialists. CBA is also trialling new concept branches across the country.

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