Commonwealth Bank\u2019s network of 1000 physical branches and its Australia-based call centre staff will \u201cremain very relevant\u201d in the future despite customers growing use of digital channels, the bank\u2019s CEO Matt Comyn said today.\nMore than 6.5 million customers logged into online banking NetBank or the CommBank app at least once in the month of June, with five million logging in every day.\n \n\u201cSo we have never had more engagement with our customers. Into the future that is going to be even more important as more of our customers are using our digital channels,\u201d Comyn said in an interview posted to the bank\u2019s website following the release of its annual results this morning.\n \nDespite some impressive figures around customer take-up of digital options, human interaction will remain part of operations, Comyn explained.\n \n\u201cIt is going to be that combination of both the best digital experience in Australia, combined with leading customer experience across all of our face-to-face and assisted channels,\u201d Comyn, who was appointed to the role in January following the resignation of Ian Narev, said.\n \nCBA is undoubtedly a market leader in digital banking. As of June this year, 59 per cent of total banking transactions by value were done over digital channels, up from 50 per cent in 2014. Since then monthly unique users of the CommBank app had nearly doubled to five million. Daily logons had risen to 5.1 million compared to 2.3 million four years ago.\n \nAccording to market research, Net Promoter Scores for CBA\u2019s mobile app and internet banking are considerably higher than its Big Four competitors.\n \nThe bank said today there would be \u201ccontinued leadership in digital\u201d. Recent consumer-focused innovations include automated banking assistant Ceba, assisted chat and click to call features added to the app, as well as a \u2018spend tracker\u2019 and fee avoidance alerts.\n \nA customer pilot of an in-app \u2018Spend Less Challenge\u2019 is currently underway and earlier this week CBA subsidiary Bankwest rolled out a chat function which can be synced across the web and app, allowing a customer to begin a conversation on one platform and then resume it on another.\n \n\u201cInnovative solutions remain key to the group\u2019s business customer offerings\u201d the bank said, pointing to the recent roll out of business insights portal DailyIQ, which now boasts more than 600,000 users, and CBA\u2019s touchscreen EFTPOS terminal Albert of which there are now more than 94,000 in use.\n \nA SME targeted management offering called Wiise \u2013 created in collaboration with Microsoft and KPMG \u2013 will be \u2018launching soon\u2019.\n \n"Simpler, better"\nBeing \u201cbest in digital\u201d is one of the central tenets of Comyn\u2019s effort to make CBA a \u201csimpler, better bank\u201d.\n \n\u201cWe are simplifying our portfolio, operating model and processes to deliver better customer, efficiency, and risk outcomes. This will be underpinned by stronger capabilities in operational risk and compliance management, cost reduction, data and analytics and a continuing commitment to innovation and customer service,\u201d Comyn said.\n \nOverall, the bank\u2019s cash profit for continuing operations fell by 4.8 per cent, which Comyn blamed on some \u201cone-off items that have impacted the result\u201d.\n \nThe full-year profit drop is the first since 2009 in the midst of the global financial crisis.\nThese include the $700m plus legal costs penalty it must pay to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) after breaching anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. The bank blamed a software\u2018coding error\u2019for the breaches.\n \nSome $375m of that fine needs to be paid in the first half of the next financial year.\n \nThe banks has also put aside $389m for \u201cfinancial crimes compliance, the ASIC investigation, the shareholder class actions, the AUSTRAC proceedings, the Royal Commission and the APRA Prudential Inquiry,\u201d it said.\n \n\u201cIf you strip some of those out, actually the result looks more from an underlying perspective up 3.7 per cent,\u201d Comyn said. \u201cI think given the context of what we have had to operate in, it really does show the resilience of our core franchise.\u201d\n \nOperating expenses over the year have included a $65m increase in capitalised software impairments, \u201cprimarily due to the decision to implement a new institutional lending platform\u201d at a cost of $51m, plus a $58m increase in amortisation of software assets.\n\nThe bank hired Deutsche Bank\u2019s London-based group CIO, Pascal Boillat as its new technology chief in June, following an executive restructure which sawDavid Whiteing depart after nearly five years.