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CBA ups tech spending budget by a further $1 billion

CBA ups tech spending budget by a further $1 billion

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is to add a further $1 billion to its five-year $5 billion tech spending commitment in order to provide personalised digital services to customers and fend off competition from insurgent fintechs.

Speaking at the bank's bi-annual technology update, chief exectuive Matt Comyn said the global pandemic had driven more customers to remote banking, revealing a 10% uplift in active digital customers over the past two years to 7.5 million.

“Covid was really an accelerant of some of the structural shifts that were really already underway,” he told the briefing.

Comyn says the bank wants to use advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide a more personalied experiences to customers using its mobile banking app.

“We are moving quickly to build, develop, partner and invest in new services we can integrate into the CommBank app," he says. "Our ambition is that our ‘For You’ personalisation function will bring together internal and external services and provide a single place for our customers to receive personalised service, benefits and offers.”

CBA is also scouring the market for fintech investment opportunities via its x15ventures unit, which announced the addition of a fifth business to its portfolio in the form of hospitality startup Doshii.

Managing anything from reservations and online delivery services, to customer loyalty programmes and payments, Doshii curates these apps into a single marketplace and makes them easy to connect to the venue’s POS.

X15ventures managing director Toby Norton-Smith, says: “Doshii is our first ‘platform’ business, and to make it successful we want to bring the best of CBA’s backing and scale to grow it, while allowing the business to remain independent and continue to innovate and grow the ecosystem of services on the platform."

The acquisition of Doshii comes as x15 celebrates its first anniversary, after a year in which it put its muscle behind four ventures: Home-in, Credit Savvy, Vonto and Backr.

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