Westpac customers are flocking to online banking, allowing the group to contain costs by closing branches, the company said in its interim financial report this morning. The bank posted an interim cash profit of more than $4 billion, coming in the wake of a busy six months in its digital transformation. \u201cThis is a solid result given the current complex operating environment,\u201d Westpac Group CEO Brian Hartzer said in a statement. \u201cWe\u2019ve digitised more processes, which is improving service for customers while also bringing costs down. We\u2019ve launched a number of new systems including Samsung Pay, SuperCheck, and our new wealth system Panorama; and we\u2019ve added around 100 new online features to assist customers,\u201d he added.The number of digital transactions made by Australian consumer and business customers had increased from the first half of 2016 to this half by eight per cent to 287 million. The number of \u2018digitally active customers\u2019 had also increased, up seven per cent in March this year compared with the same month last year. Digital sales had fallen slightly however, impacted by lower credit card balance transfers, the bank said. Customers\u2019 move to digital channels had seen the number of branch transactions fall by 9 per cent since the last half, continuing a steady trend. \u201cFurther digital adoption has enabled the Group to continue its network reconfiguration\u201d the bank said, resulting in the closure of 45 branches over the last six months. Overall, the bank had found productivity savings during the period of $118 million. Wide view The group\u2019s wealth division Panorama system is now \u201clargely completed\u201d the bank said, and now has the capability to support financial advisers in managing their clients superannuation. Together with a recently launched self-managed fund, the new capability has contributed to funds under administration on the system of $3.9billion. The Panorama wealth management platform integrates a range of investment options \u2013 managed portfolios, managed funds, term deposits, BT cash and listed securities as well as SMSF administration. The system has significantly changed the way BT Financial Group (Westpac\u2019s wealth management arm) delivers services by allowing customers to access their investment and SMSF needs on one, digital platform. As it continues working towards creating a single-view of customers across systems, the bank recently appointed Oracle for the foundation of its Customer Service Hub which is moving from \u201cdesign phases into development\u201d the bank said. The bank had also been able to automate a slew of manual processes, it said, such as implementing mobile personal loan applications, and auto form-filling for staff conducting business customer reviews. Active response The last six months have also seen a number of digital service releases, including the Westpac keyboard for easier payments within social chat apps including Facebook and Instagram; an expense splitter for St George customers; and \u2018quick transfers\u2019 which allows customers to transfer between accounts without needing to log on to online banking. In April, Westpac became the first major bank to offer mobile payments via Samsung Pay. In March, it was one of a group of banks to lose its fight with Apple over the iPhone-maker\u2019s payments platform. The bank was \u201cactively responding to new digital opportunities\u201d it said in its investor presentation today, backing various innovation accelerators, including its internal Hotbox program, fintech space Stone Chalk and distributed ledger group R3. In January, Westpac Group upped its stake in QuintessenceLabs to enable the homegrown quantum cyber security company to further expand its global reach. Investment continues in mortgage broker disruptor Uno and cloud claiming and payments platform Lantern Pay, and the bank has committed $100m to independent venture capital fund Reinventure which allowed it to \u201cgain insights into emerging fintech business models\u201d."The Group has continued to use advances in digital technologies to improve the customer experience, enhance\nproductivity and reduce risk," the bank said.