Important to get open banking right for 2020 launch, CBA exec says

CBA executives talk tech trends for the year ahead

commonwealth bank place
Commonwealth Bank

Open banking will be the first element of the Consumer Data Right, with the data exchange system due to launch in 2020, and it is important to focus on getting it right, according to CBA general manager for everyday banking Kate Crous.

"In July of 2019 we started voluntarily sharing product data using our open banking APIs, and the next milestone is sharing consumer data using open banking APIs from early 2020," Crous said.

“This is a step-up from what’s already live because the industry will be sharing consumer data for the first time in open banking with accredited data recipients. We’re currently engaged in testing that will ensure the next phase is delivered securely and reliably, and we’re excited to see how open data ecosystem evolves," she added.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today announced it would change the start date for the launch of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) from February to July 2020.

Banking will be the first sector to which the CDR applies, giving consumers the right to "safely access data about them, held by businesses, and allow this information be transferred to trusted third parties of their choice".

Crous believes the potential of open banking will be realised when information from consumer is brought together across multiple industries, which according to her, is where "truly innovative propositions for consumers" will be seen.

"One of the lessons from the UK is that there is a huge space for partnerships between fintechs, between banks and fintechs; and potentially between other players in the regtech and insurtech space," Crous said.

"Even as we get ready for open banking, building these relationships will be hugely important and will help us build an ecosystem in which consumers and the Australian economy can flourish.”

Personalised experiences for customers through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is also a focus for CBA's leadership.

“For us this means investing heavily in technology and we are powering our customer experience with a centralised decisioning engine called CEE – Customer Engagement Engine," the bank's chief analytics officer, Andrew McMullan, said.

The system uses ML and customer data to improve interaction with customers thorough different communication channels.

"It brings together our data, AI and behavioural science capabilities to provide personalised insights that will help our customers manage their money and improve their financial wellbeing," McMullan said.

“With CEE, in 2020 we predict the app alone will deliver over 3 billion personalised experiences to customers, using 157 billion data points and over 200 advanced machine learning models.”

McMullan said that the system was helping deliver personalised insights to customers. The bank has introduced alerts to help customers avoid fees, he said. Those changes are expected to save customers over $400 million in 2019.

Optimising customer experience through digital experiences is also another area of focus for CBA.

“Our customers are now expecting smart, intuitive and helpful experiences - primarily through their digital devices - that go beyond what you would traditionally expect from your bank," CBA general manager of digital business Hugh Roberts said.

Roberts explained that banks are not competing with one another anymore but facing new competitors such as start-ups and big tech alike.

"Customer expectations are increasingly being set outside of banking – they want more than just to be able to transact money online. Therefore, digital banking experiences will become more simple, smart and secure.

“Our teams don’t anchor in building just one mobile app any more – we think about 5.6m tailored apps, driven by the best in user experience, behavioural science, data and technology," Roberts explained.

"We are able to analyse 157 billion data points in real time and serve to our customers three billion personalised messages inside of their mobile banking app.”

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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