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CBA ups digital game with Open Banking move and $50 million investment in disruptive businesses

CBA ups digital game with Open Banking move and $50 million investment in disruptive businesses

Commonwealth Bank of Australia will become the first of Australia's Big Four banks to let customers see balances from other banks within its banking app under the country's new Open Banking rules.

The move comes as the bank ups its digital game with a $50 million investment in disruptive business platforms Little Birdie and Amber.

CEO Matt Comyn says: “The shift to digital banking is accelerating and we are investing to remain at the forefront of innovation. We aim to be the most trusted partner at the centre of our customers’ financial lives by saving them money, giving them more control over their finances, and by making banking simpler and easier."

To this end, the bank has taken a 23% stake in Little Birdie, an online shopping start-up that helps customers find special deals when shopping online, and acquired a 25% share in Amber which provides consumers with subscription-based access to wholesale electricity prices.

“Little Birdie will bring customers the best shopping deals from across the internet and will help to connect our 7.5m digitally active customers with our 700k business customers," says Comyn. "Combined with our 50:50 partnership with Klarna in Australia and StepPay, CBA’s recently announced buy now, pay later card, we have a highly differentiated platform to help business customers grow and retail customers save money. Deals and offers, integrated with CBA’s goal savings products, will help customers save for a special purchase in a completely different way."

Amber's technology, meanwhile, will be wrapped up as part of CBA's home lending proposition, providing customers with energy saving discounts by providing direct access to wholesale electricty prices.

The agreement with Amber will reinforce the bank's investment in Open Banking under Australia's Consumer Data Right (CDR) Act.

“There will be increasing benefits to consumers as the consumer data right is extended to energy and other sectors," says Comyn. "The CDR pilot launched today will soon be available to all CBA customers, allowing them to see their account balances from other eligible financial institutions directly in the CommBank app. We will continue to invest behind the consumer data right to bring benefits to our customers."

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