CBA digital platforms see surge in activity

CBA Digital Activity

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has recorded a big jump in active customers on its digital platforms, with around 400,000 new digitally active customers recorded by the bank over the last year, according to the latest data from its just-released full-year report.

As of June this year, CBA reports it has 8.0 million active customers on its digital platforms, representing a net gain of around 400,000 customers over the last year.

Digitally active customers are defined as the total number of customers who have logged on to a core digital asset of CBA, including NetBank, the CommBank mobile app or CommBank tablet app.

Active customers on the CommBank app alone also surged by around half a million, based on year-on-year figures, with the bank recording 6.9 million digitally active customers on the app – a figure which represents individuals who have logged onto the CBA mobile app at least once in the month of June.

According to the bank, digital transactions now make up 72 per cent of all transactions by value, up from 70 per cent in June 2021, with 36 average monthly logins per active customer compared to 34 in the previous year.

CBA’s consumer net promoter score (NPS), a broad measure of customers’ positive recommendation of an online service, also reached +30.7, a little over five points above the next-best big four bank.

CBA’s digital business services NPS score also surged to +20.2, nearly 13 points above the next best big four bank.

FY22 saw more than 200,000 new business accounts created, with nearly one in three delivered via digital.

Profits up, tech expenses down

CBA recorded a $9.67 billion profit in FY22, up nine per cent on FY21, coming off the back of healthy growth in its home and business lending divisions, and a 1.5 per cent decline in overall operating expenses.

IT expenses decreased by $65 million (three per cent) year-on-year, standing at a total of $1.97 billion, largely, CBA said, due to lower software amortisation and productivity initiatives.

However, it noted that this expense decrease was partly offset by increased IT infrastructure costs, including higher cloud computing volumes as well as increased investments in cybersecurity capabilities and systems resiliency.

A well-publicised tech employee recruitment drive, including a recent push to onboard 1,000 software engineers by FY23, has contributed to a nine per cent jump in staff expenses (representing around $547 million) to a total of $6.5 billion.

According to CBA, the average number of full-time employees jumped by 10 per cent, or 4,414 new recruits, largely to “support increased operational and financial crime assessment volumes, and the delivery of strategic investment priorities, while reducing the reliance on external vendors as we enhance our internal engineering capabilities”.

“In addition”, the bank said, “the Bank has increased its frontline and technology resources to help out customers uplift our cybersecurity capabilities and improve system resiliency, partly offset by productivity initiatives.”