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Commbank can - a technology and UX driven campaign

27 May 2012  |  3716 views  |  3

This is a very exciting campaign launched by the Commonwealth Bank in Australia.  After some weeks of teaser posters around the country and some art installations etc with the big letters CAN'T on them, they have launched a campaign today with a significant technology flavour, emphasising real time transfers and merchant services, their mobile payment offerings, the property guide and many other capabilities, all wrapped up in a very modern offering pitch at http://www.commbank.com.au/about-us/can/ or simply can.com.au

The local papers have a downloadable iphone app with newspaper ads that interact with the phone (mind you, I didn't have wifi at my coffee shop so will have to do later).

I am looking forward to this as it may spark the other banks to focus on the digital/technology assets they already have (eg. a few have been 'realtime' for years, ANZ has a great mobile payment solution GoMoney) - and result in a few more buying new technical capabilities.

What is also very interesting is that it is the first pitch I have seen in a long time that not only focusses on technology, but also emphasises how it makes the customers life easy. Its not all about product pitches and rate messages.  The friendly graphical style begs for its message to be understood.

I hope this campaign goes very well for them, and starts an arms race for improved banking technology and user experience!

TagsOnline bankingRetail banking

Comments: (5)

Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 29 May, 2012, 13:41

"The local papers have a downloadable iphone app with newspaper ads that interact with the phone (mind you, I didn't have wifi at my coffee shop so will have to do later)."

Talking about technology, just curious to know why CBA's mobile app won't work without WiFi. To me, a mobile app that doesn't work on 3G sounds like a contradiction in terms. India's leading newspaper The Times of India has a multi-OS mobile app called Times intARact which works fine on WiFi and 3G. In fact, I happen to have used it only on 3G to experience the augmented reality extension to many recent print ads. 

Retired Member - - | 29 May, 2012, 13:47 My apologies, I just meant I wasn't going to download the app on my 3G connection, I am sure the app would work on a 3G (but I just havent done it). - guess it depends how much bandwidth it needs - will advise after I have downloaded it!
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 29 May, 2012, 14:03

Thanks but the crux of my observation still remains. Downloadable mobile apps flaunt their ability to provide better UX than mobile web apps. So, making them downloadable - not just usable - over 3G is a cross that mobile developers must bear. This is even more true for an app intended to engage deeper with a highly fungible commodity like a newspaper ad. Most people wouldn't have carried the newspaper home, or, even if they did, wouldn't have remembered to go back to the CBA ad. BTW, although I hadn't mentioned it before, I'd downloaded the Times intARact app via 3G.

Retired Member - - | 30 May, 2012, 02:40 Thanks, so I finally downloaded the app, and as you say, next time I will be able to look when I see the ad, but you are right I would not connect the two events. Will be interesting to see if CBA releases stats on the usage of the interactive app. It wound up being a 14mb file for the app, so while I could have downloaded it on 3G, I wouldn't have. I would be interested in what the size of the times interact app is ? I wasn't able to find that Times app on the apple store, what name do I need to search for to find it?
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 30 May, 2012, 09:14

14MB for such an app is indeed high. In India, most 3G plans charge around US$ 10 / mo. for 500MB data usage, so it's still conceivable to download this app via 3G. If 3G is much costlier in Australia, I agree that most users there would decide to download it only via WiFi. Which is a pity - by taking away the scope for 'instant gratification', CBA risks reduced CTA and lower conversion.

I've used Times intARact on Android. The app size is only 1.69MB. I did spot it on the Apple AppStore here, and it says app size is 3MB. In case the app is restricted to certain geographies (e.g. India), I think you won't be able find it from Australia.

As for usage of the app, Google Play shows # of installs in the public domain whereas AppStore doesn't. While both may supply many more usage metrics to the app owner, I'm not sure if CBA will share them in open. At least, far as I know, none of the advertisers using intARact have done so.

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