CommBank building on 'technology advantages', CEO says

The Commonwealth Bank has announced statutory net profit after tax of $4.535 billion for the half year ending 31 December, up 8 per cent compared to the half ending December 2013.

"Again in this period we've seen the Commonwealth Bank build on its technology advantages, build of its investment in the SAP core system and continue to innovate at the head of the market," the bank's CEO, Ian Narev, told a results briefing.

The CEO gave as examples CBA being the first bank to perform property purchase settlement on the Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) platform and the implementation of e-documents for new home loan customers. There has been 75 per cent take-up of e-docs, Narev said.

The Commonwealth Bank mobile app is a technology "bedrock" for CBA, Narev said.

"We have continued to see that thrive and we have continued to innovate on that app," the CEO said.

"It's the number one free financial app. It's the number one app in customer satisfaction."

The app has 3 million unique users who every week collectively are logging on 15 million times and carrying out $2.5 billion of transactions.

"But it's the nature of these sorts of customer friendly functionalities and investments, you must keep innovating," Narev said.

"So just in the month of October last year what you saw is innovation — being the first to market with a temporary lock and unlock on credit cards, [giving] people confidence their cards are more secure. And likewise in the same month an ability for people to instantly cancel and replace a lost, stolen or damaged card."

The CEO said that there was a "capability aspect" to the bank's growth outside Australia. Narev gave as an example the acquisition of South African firm 'Take Your Money Everywhere'.

TYME "provides the ability for the emerging middle class in the markets that we're in to get very rapid access to a regulated bank account," Narev said.

"It will supplement our strategies in India, China and Vietnam and give us new capabilities and target segments in these areas, where the emerging middle classes create a very attractive opportunities."

"This result again demonstrates the benefits of sticking to a consistent strategy for a high quality franchise. Our ongoing focus on long term strategic priorities – people, technology, strength and productivity – continues to benefit our customers, our shareholders, our people and other key stakeholders," Narev said in a statement.

"The group's revenue momentum has continued, while our focus on productivity has delivered a further $300 million of cost savings over the last 12 months."

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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