Era of banks owning all technology is gone: ANZ Bank

ANZ Bank believes the future of banking is about partnering with specialist providers that can provide new technology investments.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The days of a bank owning every piece of technology are now gone, according to ANZ Bank.

"As we have seen with ANZ's recent introduction of Apply Pay and Android Pay, the days of a bank needing to own every piece of technology are gone," ANZ managing director pensions and investments Peter Mullin said in statement on Friday.

"We believe we can achieve better outcomes for our customers by partnering with a specialist provider committed to the technology investment and product innovation needed to provide a world-class offering."

ANZ announced to the Australian Securities Exchange on Friday that it was exploring options for its online share investing strategy, which it indicated may include the sale of its share trading platform.

The comments by Mullin come days after it was revealed ANZ had initially signed up to join forces with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, Westpac, and Bendigo, and Adelaide Bank to seek approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to collectively negotiate with Apple on putting their mobile banking apps on the iPhone, before backing down.

"One of the applicants was ANZ Bank," Novantas senior advisor Lance Blockley, a representative on behalf of the banks, said on Wednesday.

"They chose to pull a fast one on their competitors and their joint applicants earlier this year when they withdrew from the group of applicants and decided to negotiate separately with Apple."

ANZ Bank and American Express are currently the only banks that have signed up to offer Apple Pay in Australia after it launched in November last year.

ANZ also stole the spotlight from competing banks earlier this month after it became the first out of the big four banks in Australia to offer Google's Android Pay.

ANZ chief Shayne Elliott said at the time that offering a range of options within its contactless payment portfolio, which also consists of ANZ's propriety ANZ Mobile Pay, will give ANZ customers more choice, which is a key goal for the bank.

"We have customers who are really passionate and want to have a bank-branded wallet that gives them a sense of security and that's what they like, and then we have a whole bunch of other customers who really feel totally secure and love their mobile device whether it's an Android or Apple. Ultimately, it's about giving choice and so we have to support all of those platforms, and we will continue to do so," he said at the time.

"Our proprietary wallet is successful and there is a market for that, and it will continue to be the case."

Despite the rapid growth of its mobile offerings, ANZ is taking a different approach to changing its core banking platform.

ANZ CIO Scott Collary recently said it is not rushing to head to a new core banking platform, which has existed for quite a while now, and is one the bank believes will suffice for the near term.

"We're going through the technology stack and capability, picking off the things that are more naturally aligned to that, but we'll get to them, there will be CI/CD [continuous integration/continuous delivery] in that area as well," he said.

"Right now, as you look at the capability we have on the core system, it's not a hindrance for us ... actual development in the core is not slowing anything down; it's a fairly flexible environment."

Collary said the bank would only look at upgrading its core banking once it hit a point where it couldn't do something or scale properly, was hitting its support end-of-life, or would slow down development of new features.

He also said ANZ is looking to become a more open bank, and will get there by adopting open technology.

"At the end of the day, we'll be a more open bank, that's what we have to be to evolve," he said.

"I want the inside of ANZ to look like the outside world, from a tech perspective. So more open, more standard and interoperable, as opposed to closed and proprietary, but you can't expose everything to everybody.

"There'll be some things we design for outside use, some things we design for inside, and something we design for both."

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