Westpac has announced that its customers can now make cash transactions at any branch within its group – including its Westpac, St George, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne branches – following the completion of a major technology modernisation program.
With the tech roll-out, customers from any Westpac banking group business will be able to make withdrawals, deposits and transfers at any branch within its network, and vice versa.
Westpac said the capability was unlocked through upgrades to legacy platforms across its brands, effectively creating “one bank system for handling cash”.
“That means that all ATMs and coin deposit machines will also be available for use by customers across all brands,” the bank said in a statement.
Westpac Group chief executive of consumer Jason Yetton said the upgrade acknowledges changing consumer behaviours, with customers “now doing their banking across multiple channels”.
“[We’ve] created a more connected branch network to make it easier for them to bank with us, no matter which of our brands they choose.”
The integration program, led by Westpac’s consumer and business banking divisions, was achieved through an overhaul of the branch network’s cost centre structure, including updates to branch BSBs.
The new capability builds on Westpac’s co-location strategy, formally unveiled mid-last year, whereby two group brands in one area are integrated within a single physical location. This effectively enables customers of any Westpac Group banking entity to use branches interchangeably.
For instance, BankSA customers will now have access to 488 additional banking locations across Australia, including 15 Westpac branches in South Australia, while Westpac customers will have access to 53 BankSA branches in South Australia.
Since 2021, Westpac noted, more than 80 co-located branches have opened across Australia.
“This completes a major piece of work as we integrate technology across Westpac Group brands”, said Westpac chief executive Peter King.
“This is part of our broader strategy to provide our customers, including in rural and regional Australia, greater access to banking services through investing in technology, digital services such as our mobile app and video banking, branch footprint and key partnerships,” he added.
Westpac’s colocation push comes as Australia’s big four banks face increased scrutiny in an ongoing Senate inquiry into regional branch closures.
Westpac in May this year scrapped plans to shut eight branches across regional Australia, which in February it had mooted to close. The bank has since put a moratorium on branch closures pending the outcome of the Senate inquiry.