The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has announced a slew of new digital service offerings, including a dedicated digital-only loan service, a money app for kids, and a new rewards program, dubbed ‘Yello’.
CBA chief executive, Matt Comyn, said the initiatives aligned with the Group’s overall strategy to “reimagine banking”.
“Driving digital innovation for our customers is core to our strategy. This is all about reimagining what it means to be a bank, and the ways in which a bank can anticipate and meet customer needs,” Comyn said.
“We seek to be the trusted centre of our customers’ financial lives, using technology to build the best integrated and personalised digital experiences to suit all the ways our customers interact with us.”
Among the more notable of its digital product releases include a new simplified digital home loan service, dubbed ‘Unloan’, which promises to slash the loan application process to under 10 minutes.
Built natively on cloud through the bank’s venture scaler service, X-15, CBA hailed its new loans service as capable of “[moving] at the pace of a fintech while also benefiting from the back-end banking, payments and compliance services of Australia’s leading bank”.
The service, it said, would also provide “downstream compliance and operations services”, with the CBA expecting to utilise these capabilities in other parts of its business over time.
“Unloan is a powerful example of what can be achieved by successfully bringing together the pace and innovation of the start-up world with the scale and assets of Australia’s leading bank, which has always been central to our approach with x15,” Comyn said.
“We are excited to see how Unloan makes a difference for new customers.”
Unloan currently offers just a single interest rate. Owner-occupiers who refinance with Unloan will pay an interest rate of 2.14 per cent, while investors will pay 2.44 per cent.
CBA said it plans to expand the service into new home loans, as well as enable Open Banking-powered assessments to expedite the loan application experience.
CBA also unveiled a new money app and digital information guide tailor-made for children. Known as ‘Kit’, the service is currently being trialled by x15.
Kit customers will be provided with their own account and prepaid card, allowing them to access their money through an ATM and make purchases, while also learning how to save, budget and manage their spending, CBA said.
The app, a potential successor to the Dollarmites program, was co-designed with kids, parents and an independent advisory panel of experts in youth mental health and wellbeing, digital services, artificial intelligence and financial capability, CBA confirmed.
Yish Koh, managing director of Kit, said the service offers a highly interactive interface specifically designed to engage children with “healthy money conversations”.
“Our in-app character is there as much to entertain as educate, with fun facts and even jokes to give kids a laugh and to encourage them to engage with their parents.”
The service is currently in beta mode, being trialled with up to 5,000 people.
“Kit is an ‘earning-and-learning’ money app with a mission to help school-aged kids build their financial capability through fun, experiential learning.”
“With their own Kit account and prepaid card, kids can earn money on ‘PayDay’ linked to chores being completed and create customisable savings ‘Stacks’ with an animated water level that rises as they reach their goal.”
Meanwhile, the bank also announced that its digital stockbroking service, CommSec, will now be integrated and available to access and transact within the CommBank app – giving customers access to both services through a single log-on.
“With active CommSec online investors more than doubling over the past two years, from 750,000 in December 2019 to 1.52 million in November 2021, our customers have told us they want a simple, safe way to invest in equities and other asset classes, using a reliable platform from a trusted institution with sophisticated functionality made easy,” Comyn said.
Finally, CBA has also launched a new rewards program, known as Yello, which is expected to be progressively rolled out to customers later this year.
Yello will be made available to CBA’s more than six million retail customers with a banking account, offering specific and personalised benefits, including discounts, cash backs and additional services depending on the products they have, whether they are a homeowner, investor or everyday banking customer, and tenure with the bank.
Comyn said its new rewards service has “no tiers, no statuses and no need to spend more”.
“We simply want to recognise customers for the depth and duration of their relationships with us by offering them tangible value and ways to save. It’s our way of thanking customers for continuing to bank with us,” he said.