CommBank opens up wealth portal

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CommBank opens up wealth portal
Commonwealth Bank group executive, technology, Michael Harte.

Ditches apps for HTML5, with an API on the way.

The Commonwealth Bank has launched a wealth management website to help its 1.5 million customers personally managing their investment portfolios and superannuation.

The MyWealth site, which goes live today, bundles portfolio, stock and cash management with a daily financial news service and a community forum.

The site was written in HTML5 and deliberately avoiding Flash. And while the site is optimised for mobile platforms, the bank has decided against launching it as a platform-native app, preferring to first judge its take-up as a website.

“Our customers desire information, access and education,” explained Graeme Petersen, group executive, private banking, “They want control over their own investments, and a sense of immediacy.”

Commonwealth Bank CIO Michael Harte told iTnews that the bank has also written an API (application programming interface) to allow external developers to hook in additional functionality.

“It could be that an external developer has a portfolio management tool we don’t provide,” Harte told iTnews. “They’d get access to the APIs and then we’d allow customers access to those functions.”

The bank has not yet developed a formal approval process for external developers to access this API, he said.

Lisa Frazier, CommBank's chief innovation officer for equities and margin lending told journalists the site was crash-developed in under nine months.

The bank approached the project as a start-up would, she added, with a small, agile team and a tight deadline.

Harte said the bank will take the same "start-up mentality" to some, but not all, of its tech projects in future.

“We are now shifting the capital investment we have [put into] our core banking systems ion the past into content, applications and analytics,” Harte said.

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