by Bonnie Gardiner

Westpac invests $1.3B in digital transformation

Sep 07, 2015
Digital TransformationFinancial Services IndustryRisk Management

Westpac Group will increase its annual investment spend by 20 per cent to $1.3 billion, the majority of which will be dedicated to technology, digital and simplification projects.

Providing the details of its new service-led strategy on Monday, Westpac Group said it aims to improve the depth and duration of customer relationships, adding over one million new customers by 2017, and increasing the number of products per customer.

Underpinning the program will be continuing consolidation of the bank’s infrastructure, including increased use of private and public cloud.

Westpac expects material cost savings over the next three years from leveraging hybrid cloud technology, and has already carried out significant efforts to consolidate data centres and implement virtualisation solutions but still has discrete infrastructure for Westpac, St George and BT.

At the strategy update, Westpac CIO David Curran outlined a vision for the Group’s infrastructure where hybrid cloud and traditional infrastructure will co-exist. Private and public cloud and traditional infrastructure will sit underneath a single platform delivered as a platform-as-a-service to the bank, Curran said.

The bank will also develop a ‘customer service hub’, which will leverage cloud infrastructure and combine multiple technology systems to create a single view of the customer.

The hub is expected to enable greater opportunities for cross-channel conversations with customers as well as enable the bank to “rationalise numerous applications and systems and drive efficiencies as we do so,” Curran said. Customer and product data will be excised from the bank’s core ‘systems of record’ and become part of the customer service hub.

Under the transformation plan, the systems of record will continue to be used as registers for account and transaction data, meaning Westpac doesn’t need to wait for a core banking upgrade, the CIO said.

Westpac has predicted the savings from the digital transformation will be upwards of $100 million.

“If we want to be one of the world’s great service companies, you’ve got to put the customer at the centre of everything you do — and that’s equally as true in technology as it is on the front line,” said Curran.