Westpac Group has today announced the next steps in becoming a digital first bank and transforming the products and services offered for customers.
The changes include a digital mortgage where customers can gain unconditional approval in as little as 10 minutes, new features in the Westpac app and an enhanced digital strategy for branches to help customers bank anytime, anywhere.
Westpac Group CEO Peter King says the changes are being driven by customers who want banking services that are fast, secure, and personalised to meet their needs.
"What we are announcing today is a step towards our future banking network and service model. We have five million digitally active customers, so we're building a better digital banking experience," Mr King said.
"Integrating new digital technology throughout Westpac's branches is a key component of the bank's customer service strategy, where soon, any St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA customer will be able to do their cash transactions at a Westpac branch and vice versa, for the first time.
"We are investing to create a digital first bank, where customers can choose to interact with us through online channels from start to finish. We'll also continue to support customers seeking face-to-face service through our bankers and broker network," Mr King said.
Westpac's new digital mortgage will offer refinancers a simpler digital mortgage process where customers can gain unconditional approval in as little as 10 minutes.
This streamlined process will be available in the final quarter of the calendar year for new and existing owner-occupier sole applicants refinancing to Westpac’s Flexi First variable home loan. It will then be expanded to a range of other customers and mortgage products.
"This innovation is about digitising our end-to-end mortgage processing to make the time from application to unconditional approval easier and faster, with no paperwork. We are starting by targeting new or existing owner-occupiers looking to refinance, but over time the benefits will be felt by more customers," Mr King said.
A more connected branch network
Westpac Group is also improving service for branch customers through advancements in technology, so that for the first time, St.George, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne customers will be able to do their cash transactions at any Westpac branch. Westpac customers will be able to bank at any regional Westpac Group branch.
This builds on the ongoing program of co-locations where select branches are combined, bringing two Westpac Group brands together under one roof.
Westpac has already co-located 21 branches in key locations including Bega and Dubbo in New South Wales, Alice Springs and Darwin in the Northern Territory, and Port Pirie in South Australia. We are currently reviewing opportunities to co-locate around 100 more branches over the next 18 months.
“The co-location approach enables us to move two branches into one single location in cases where the two buildings are located very close together. This maintains a physical presence for customers and signals a long-term investment in these communities, while reducing footprint duplication in the same location,” Mr King said.
The technology enhancements to better connect the branch network will be rolled out from early next year.
Upgrades in the Westpac banking app
Westpac is adding several new digital features to the Westpac app which will be rolled out over coming months, including:
Track your spending: the ability to track and categorise expenses to help manage the cost of living; new budgeting tools and the ability to view accounts from multiple financial institutions in the Westpac app will give customers a better overview of their finances
Carbon footprint tracker: Westpac is announcing a new partnership with sustainability fintech Cogo to help customers track their carbon footprint and make more environmentally friendly spending choices
Westpac app for Business customers: Westpac is now rolling out its award-winning app to business customers making banking easier, faster and more secure.