This latest agreement between the pair builds on an existing three-year partnership, which resulted in the launch of Westpac’s banking-as-a-service offering. According to Westpac Institutional Bank boss Anthony Miller, delivering a new institutional banking platform will give customers access to advanced liquidity management, cash flow forecasting, and real-time payments processing. “Just as consumers are changing the way they bank, large institutional clients also need access to quick and secure digital transaction services,” he said. “We’ve seen significant success working with 10x Banking and its modern technology to deliver our Banking as a Service platform and we are now planning the next step in that evolution for our institutional clients. “The new platform will enable us to improve productivity and cost-efficiencies while simplifying processes and making it easier for our customers to do business with us. Earlier this year, the bank announced a restructure that resulted in the company’s support services, including technology, finance, and HR, moving into a newly created division called customer services and technology. The new division, according to the bank, would be responsible for functions that “supports our customers and benefit from operating at scale” including technology, operations, remediation, and complaints. “We are building a simpler bank, streamlining our organisation and lowering the cost of running the group,” Westpac CEO Peter King said of the restructure. “This is key to delivering better services for customers and better results for shareholders. Elsewhere, energy retailer Origin, together with Google Cloud and Accenture, has launched an online tool that uses 3D data, visual AI, and advanced analytics to provide customers with tailored information about how solar will perform on their rooftops based on details including roof pitch, area and shading from obstructions, plus insights on specific household energy consumption. Origin added the platform can also provide customers with details around system and installation costs, potential energy and bill savings, and a complete assessment of the merits of a potential investment in solar panels. “Previously, prospective solar customers would need to speak with a sales agent and schedule a site inspection to gain this level of personalisation and detail in their quote, a process which can sometimes take weeks,” Origin retail sales and marketing general manager Duncan Permezel said. “For customers who would prefer to chat to a solar expert or have someone visit their home to inspect their roof, that level of service is still something we provide. This DIY online solar platform is another way that we are trying to make it easier for more customers to access cleaner, smarter and more affordable energy solutions.”  The tool is available to customers based in metropolitan areas in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra.

CBA expands digital offerings for customers 

Also on Tuesday, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) announced a slew of new initiatives including the introduction of Kit, a money app designed specifically for kids, which the bank touted would help them “learn about money, how to save, how to budget and how to manage their spending”. The bank said it will pilot Kit with up to 5,000 customers.   According to CBA, Kit was built with the assistance of kids, parents, caregivers, and an independent advisory panel of experts in youth mental health and wellbeing, digital services for children and families, artificial intelligence and financial capability.    Commonwealth Bank also launched its new digital home loan, Unloan, where digital home loan applications are touted to take as little as 10 minutes to complete; and has integrated its online investment platform CommSec into the CommBank app, starting with CommSec Pocket to allow customers to access and transact on their investment accounts directly through the CommBank app. Moreover, the yellow and black bank has introduced Yello, which has been dubbed as a “recognition program” that will offer benefits including discounts, cash backs and additional services and tools, to reward existing customers. The benefits will be tailored to customers depending on their products and tenure with the bank, whether they are a homeowner, investor or everyday banking customer, CBA said.  Yello will initially be available to Homeowner and Homeowner Plus customers, with benefits to include a AU$120 annual cashback on home insurance, exclusive shopping offers and discounts on home-related purchases, and reports on property trends tailored to their area as well as the chance to win prizes like a $1200 contribution available each month to go towards their home. The program is expected to be progressively rolled out to customers later this year. Updated 17 May 2022, 4.03pm AEST: CBA information added

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