NAB to ‘double’ investment in innovation lab


NAB has announced it will more than double its investment in its NAB Labs team, the company’s dedicated innovation and technology experimentation hub, which includes a 70 per cent boost to its workforce in 2018.

As part of the cash injection, the Labs team will add 35 new members next year, bringing the total number of employees to 85. According to NAB, this number can swell to around 150 people at any given time pending the number of experiments underway.

“We are bringing the age of digital to our customers and to do that, we need to continue to attract the best talent and invest in our resources to deliver those new experiences our customers are expecting from us,” said NAB chief operating officer Antony Cahill.

The investment is expected to spur initiatives in areas such as experimentation, incubation, human centred design, as well as prepare for the government’s forthcoming ‘open banking’ regime, Cahill said.

“The increased investment will include extra resources for our incubator program to support the scaling of initiatives such as the recently launched HICAPS Go app, developed in partnership with start-up Medipass Solutions, as well as to increase our new experiment numbers,” he said.

News of the funding boost comes after the bank last month announced it expects to axe more than 4,000 jobs by 2020 as part of an aggressive expansion of its automation program. However, NAB will offset at least part of this loss with the addition of 600 new digital and technology specialists next year.

Cahill said the innovation hub plays an important role in experimentation and future development of the bank’s customer experience channels.

“We have a clear plan; we are investing in our platforms, services and products to deliver faster, simpler and seamless experiences for our customers,” he said.