ME completes major technology investment
(2 July 2015 – Australia) ME Bank has completed one of its most important investments, a total rebuild of its technology systems.
ME chief executive Jamie McPhee said the Bank had invested nearly A$90 million over five years, employing 25 vendors and over 700 personnel to write over 1 million lines of code.
“We’ve built and integrated seven new software systems and moved 320,000 customers on to these systems, all with minimal disruptions.”
McPhee said the new systems are state-of-the-art and would keep ME competitive well into the future.
“When we planned transformation we had the option to renovate the house or build a new one. While more challenging, we chose the latter.
“The result is a brand-new piece of banking architecture that’s been built to be updated – future-proofing the Bank.
“That’s a structural advantage other organisations would be envious of.”
McPhee said the Bank has built eight new banking products on its new systems but will maintain just one centralised record for each customer for the first time.
“When a customer now calls we have all their details at our fingertips, which means quicker, more accurate customer service.”
ME has already seen big productivity and customer experience improvements from the new business process automation system, Pega.
“We can process more applications for the same effort and easily absorb higher volumes as we grow. It also translates into a better customer experience.
“The time it now takes to open a deposit or transaction account has been cut from five days to five minutes; the time to get conditional approval on a home loan from three days to three minutes.”
McPhee said one of the most important outcomes of transformation is the ability to offer new competitive variable home loans.
“Our old technology restricted us to one variable home loan product. Transformation means we can offer new variable rate home loans priced competitively.
“We’ve just launched a basic home loan with a variable rate of 4.29 percent p.a. for the first time and with 10 percent of the market purchasing this product we expect it to boost lending growth.”
Big data is a new battleground between bank-owned super funds and industry super funds and McPhee said ME is now able to analyse data to help its industry fund owners.
“Thanks to transformation we can detect when customers have had a change in circumstances. This provides data trigger points for cross-selling super if they’re not with an industry fund and for building loyalty if they’re with an industry fund.
“Because it’s easier to plug new functionality into our systems, we’ll also be able to display super accounts through our internet and mobile banking platforms in the future. That means members of industry super fund will be more engaged with their super balances and their funds.”
McPhee said with transformation complete ME is now focusing on capitalising on the opportunities the new technology provides. He said a range of work programs are already in train.