ANZ plans mid-year tests for NZ core banking platform

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ANZ plans mid-year tests for NZ core banking platform

Reveals iPad pilot in Australia.

ANZ Bank will begin testing a new Systematics core banking platform in the coming months as it moves to migrate its New Zealand operations onto a single system.

CEO Mike Smith said today that the bank was on track to roll out the platform this year after pushing back initial plans to deploy the system by late 2011.

He said the project could face further delays depending on the outcome of system tests.

"We'll be doing testing in the middle of the year and then we'll make a decision on whether to go by the end of this year or not," he said at the bank's half-yearly results announcement today.

"The important thing there is to get it right," he said. "But certainly [a 2012 rollout is] ... the plan right now."

However, the timeline was pushed out to 2012 to allow for testing and staff training.

ANZ New Zealand began training 4000 frontline staff to use the new Systematics system in August last year.

The bank said in a statement that the core banking consolidation would aid "productivity gains in 2013", though it did not elaborate further.

iPad pilot

ANZ told investors today that it would pilot the use of iPads by frontline bankers in Australia. iTnews was seeking further comment on the pilot at the time of publication.

News of the pilot came on the same day a research report released by Ovum lamented the lack of use of tablets by wealth managers and corporate banking organisations, despite the device's potential to add customer interactions.

"A tablet's slick, gesture-driven user interface and shareable screen is ideal for helping customer meetings run more smoothly and effectively," the analyst firm noted.

"The financial sector as a whole has come out of the global crisis with an urgent need to rebuild its credibility with a disillusioned public," senior analyst Rik Turner said.

"In certain sub-verticals such as wealth management more 'face-time' with the customer can help this rebuilding process."

Online growth

ANZ noted the growth of online as the customer's "channel of choice". The bank said that branch transactions were declining "at the rate of [around] four to five percent" a year.

In the meantime, ANZ's internet banking service had more than 5.6 million registered users, who performed 146 million transactions worth $216 billion in the past 12 months.

The transaction figure was up four percent year-on-year; the value of internet banking transactions was up eight percent over the same period.

The bank's iOS app, goMoney, has clocked up over 600,000 registered users since launching in mid-2010. In the past year, customers have used it to execute 20 million transactions totalling over $12 billion.

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