05 October 2012 6:45am
ANZ outlined a five-year investment program for its domestic business yesterday that serves as a reminder that amid the job-shedding and cost-cutting there remains scope for banks to refashion services and meet the customer demand for more sophisticated mobile banking.
The bank said it will spend "up to A$1.5 billion" on a range of upgrades, many of them relating to applications for mobile devices.
It's not clear if much of this investment is of a one-off or project kind or is rather just the Australian business' share of the group investment pool and is being marketed, partly for public relations purposes, using a topical innovation theme.
On the other hand, ANZ clearly has room to invest in a meaningful way in core services, something that cannot be said for, say, many commercial banks in Europe, which are burdened by compliance projects.
Business customers are a particular focus of the ANZ product releases announced yesterday. These included a smart phone application that works as a merchant terminal processing credit card payments, as well as a mobile version of the existing Transactive product that provides account access for business owners and managers.
(For more on the technology side of ANZ's investment plans see the next article.)
ANZ also plans to refurbish many of its 790 branches and to introduce video-conferencing into 43 of its remote branches. It will also replace 800 ATMs with more sophisticated versions being provided by long-term supplier NCR.