by Rohan Pearce

CBA’s CIO seeks to build a ‘new intimacy’ with customers

Jul 31, 20132 mins
Big DataRisk Management

Commonwealth Bank chief information officer Michael Harte wants to resurrect the intimacy that banks and their customers used to have.

“[A]s the world got bigger and faster and wanted to do things through smaller and smaller devices, any time any where, we lost that intimacy that we used to have that deep relationship we had; [the] meaningful conversation about our day-to-day needs and about our long-term dreams,” Harte said.

“We’ve got people at work every single day thinking about how they bring back that intimacy,” Harte said.

“How they restore that trust, how they increasingly try to personalise all of the interactions that we have with everyone we deal with on a daily basis. To personalise the exact needs and help facilitate the growth and dreams of families and communities.”

The CIO was opening Wired for Wonder, a two-day conference that brings together speakers from the spheres of art and technology, and a number who straddle the divide.

“We seek inspiration from the arts and sciences,” Harte said. “We’re trying to bring together a group of passionate and inspired people in every corner of the Commonwealth Bank where we are seeking purpose and meaning in serving the people, the households the communities the businesses that we look after.

“We thought we’d go about it in a very different way because everybody learns differently everybody is inspired by different things everybody approaches this weird and wonderful world of technology.”

Harte has previously said that he wants to resurrect the ‘old fashioned’ banking experience of personal service, but having it realised using modern technology.

The CIO led a re-engineering process at the bank that cost around $1.5 billion in order to implement data structures that would let the business trace an individual’s relationship for their entire lifespan, from early savings accounts through to home loans later on in life, allowing CBA to personalise the services and products they offer to customers.