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Best Digital Banks in Australia and New Zealand

A Backbase and IDC report recently noted, “three in five are likely to use banking offered by the neobanks by 2025“. By 2025, Australia will reach 90% of the retail transactions through the smartphone. So it is imperative that the big banks will up their digital game.


Commonwealth Bank


The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, or CommBank, is an Australian multinational bank headquartered in Sydney with businesses across New Zealand, Asia, the United States and the United Kingdom. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia was founded in 1911.


The bank in October 2019 announced it was pumping more than AU$5 billion into technology over a five-year period. As a result earlier this year in 2021 the bank announced an updated digital platform with the Customer Engagement Engine that runs on 400 machine learning models and is capable of ingesting about 157 billion data points in real time. The Customer Engagement Engine, in terms of throughput, is delivering about 35 million decisions per day, it's done in real time, in less than 300 milliseconds for each of those decisions.


Earlier in July 2020 - Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) CEO Matt Comyn shared his vision for the yellow bank, one that provides the best digital experience to customers.


Commonwealth Bank has more than 7.5 million digitally active customers.


National Australian Bank (NAB)


National Australia Bank is one of the four largest financial institutions in Australia in terms of market capitalisation, earnings and customers. NAB was formed by the merger of the National Bank of Australasia and the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney in 1982.


NAB personal banking financial solutions include internet banking, accounts, insurance, credit cards, home loans and personal loans.


NAB has been on a digital transformation journey with a plan to go 100% on the cloud. NAB CEO Ross McEwan, in his first address at the AGM concluded in early 2020 has articulated the five focus areas for the bank.


As on October 2020 reported by ITVibes

  • Over 90% of NAB’s customer interactions are now taking place online or by phone

  • More than 50% of customers log into NAB digital banking via the app or online

  • Over-the-counter transactions have reduced by 25 per cent in the past year


Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, commonly called ANZ, is an Australian multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1835 as the Bank of Australasia, it is one of the largest bank by assets and third largest bank by market capitalization in Australia.


The ultimate goals of ANZ Bank’s digital transformation is to make the customer journey more seamless said Darrin Burke - Head of Technology at ANZ Bank in an interview with BusinessCheif.asia


The two pronged approach to make banking frictionless is focussed on 1) Improving service through data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, cloud services, and machine learning. 2) To improve app architecture, ANZ Bank introduced microservices and application programme interface (API), which allows the company to be more flexible and deliver quickly on incremental change.


ANZ Bank mentioned about 3.6 million digitally active customers in 2019


Westpac Bank

Westpac Banking Corporation, known simply as Westpac, is an Australian bank and financial services provider headquartered in Sydney, Australia. Westpac Bank was established in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales, it acquired the Commercial Bank of Australia in 1982 before being renamed shortly afterwards.


Earlier this month in May 2021, Westpac announced a digitally-driven 'reset' plan. Westpac aims to simplify operation and reduce costs through digitalization. Westpac CEO, Peter King, called out Westpac’s banking-as-a-services capabilities as "a bit of a foothold” for the bank's digitisation. He also said APIs and cloud services had "a massive role to play".

“The benefit of cloud is not only the variable costs, but more the software that's built on the cloud is what's called 'evergreen' so it upgrades itself regularly," King said.


In September 2020, Westpac started the phased rollout of a new native iOS mobile banking app to 120,000 “digitally active” customers ahead of a broader launch of the app in 2021.


Bank of Queensland

The Bank of Queensland was founded in 1874. It is an Australian retail bank with headquarters in Brisbane, Queensland. The bank is one of the oldest financial institutions in Queensland, having begun as a building society.


Following its underperformance in 2019 where a 14% decline was recorded in its full-year cash profit, BoQ CEO George Frazis had this to say: “In the recent past BOQ has not lived up to its full potential and has underperformed for its key stakeholders, including our shareholders.” The bank is coming back stronger than ever as it embraces digitization and announces new five-pillared operational strategies that will combine traditional banking models with contemporary digital capabilities.


The Brisbane-based corporation aims to close the digital and data gap, deliver mobile and VMA.Earlier in December 2020, Fiserv was selected to further Bank of Queensland’s Digital Strategy. This program will enable debit card programs for Bank of Queensland and Virgin Money Australia. Bank also has clear plans for cloud migration and the revamp of its customer-centric digital platforms.