Commonwealth Bank of Australia\u2019s IT services expenses decreased by 32 per cent to $752 million in the half year ended in December, compared with the same period in 2016.\nThis was mainly due to the one-off cost for the \u201cacceleration of amortisation on certain software assets\u201d the bank revealed in its half year results this morning. These assets mainly relate to digital and direct banking channels.\n \nWithout this one-off cost, expenses rose by six per cent, driven by a higher investment spend and rising software licensing costs.\n \nThe bank invested $627 million in the half year to December 2017 on productivity and growth, risk and branch refurbishment initiatives, an increase of eight per cent on the prior comparative period.\n \nMore than half of that spend was on productivity and technology, which was already paying off, the bank said.\n \n\u201cThis result underlines the continued impact of our strategy of investing in our people and technology,\u201d departing CEO Ian Narev said in a statement this morning.\nInvestments included the delivery of \u201ctools and capabilities which allow easier and cheaper access to the group\u2019s data\u201d such as data analytics tools and infrastructure and ongoing spend in the \u201cdevelopment and resilience of our digital channel\u201d.\n \nThe result has been that six million customers now use CBA\u2019s digital channels, an increase of eight per cent in the last 12 months with 29 per cent of new accounts opened online. More than half of transactions by value are completed digitally, with digital channels accounting for a quarter of all sales. Over the last year logins to the banks mobile app rose by a quarter.\n \nInvestment was also made in \u201cinnovative digital experiences\u201d such as the AI powered chatbot Ceba which can recognise approximately 60,000 different ways customers ask for 200 tasks such as activating their card, checking the account balance, making payments, or getting cardless cash.\n \nThe bot will soon provide \u201creal-time alerts in the Commbank app to give customers even more tools to help manage their spending and avoid fees and charges\u201d the bank revealed.\n \nOther customer experience efforts included the release of the Daily IQ 2.0 business tool, which provides customers with insights into their business performance, and the development of TymeCoach, a financial wellbeing platform for customers in South Africa. The technology developed for Tyme is now being transferred to the CBA-owned ASB Bank in New Zealand, with the deployment of 130 digital kiosks.\n \nCBA continued to invest in cyber security with a focus on data protection and \u201cconsistent application of cyber security controls\u201d to help it identify and remediate suspicious activity. It also pumped money into \u201cimproving the resilience of the Group\u2019s IT infrastructure\u201d, including payments and data centres.\n \nCapitalised software costs remained flat between half year end December 2017 and half year end December 2016, the investments in growth offset by \u201cthe reclassification of capitalised software within the life insurance businesses to assets held for sale\u201d.\n \nCostly code\nOverall, the bank revealed a 1.9 per cent fall in cash profit to $4.73 billion.\n \nPart of that fall was put down to provisions totalling $375 million, being made for the fines it expects to receive from AUSTRAC.\n \nThe money laundering watchdog in August took action against the bank, accusing it of 53,700 breaches of theAnti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.\n \nThe bank blamed a software \u2018coding error\u2019for the breaches.\n \n\u201cWe have taken a significant provision for regulatory and compliance costs, consistent with accounting standardshellip;We recognise, and regret, that these costs arise from our failure to meet some standards that we should have. We will continue to work hard to do better,\u201d Narev said in a statement.