CommBank unveils MyWealth investing website

"Startup" approach underpinned by core IT expedited development time, says CBA CIO Michael Harte.

The new MyWealth website, demoed on an iPad.

The new MyWealth website, demoed on an iPad.

Recent core IT upgrades helped Commonwealth Bank of Australia launch a new investing website in less than nine months, CBA officials said at today’s launch of the MyWealth website.

MyWealth provides a single view for CBA customers’ bank accounts and investments. The service adds analysis tools, news and financial advice from experts and a user community.

MyWealth was developed by what CBA officials described as a “startup” within the corporation, comprising staff from CommBank, CommSec and new hires. The bank's CIO, Michael Harte, said it may take a similar approach to some future initiatives where it wants to be “fast to market”.

While developed by a small team, the service is underpinned by IT capabilities provided by the larger corporation, CBA officials said. The bank’s investment in overhauling IT systems has provided a foundation for CBA to develop more content and applications, said Harte.

Large corporations have great resources but often struggle to innovate, Harte said. “If we hadn’t had that large platform, if we hadn’t had the overlapping architecture, it would have made it a lot harder for that startup” to develop MyWealth, he said.

Harte said he expects the new website to help the bank “model a broader relationship” with the customer and give the bank a better understand the “preferences and behaviours of our investing community.”

The bank said it’s targeting “self-directed wealth investors” with the MyWealth site. That target audience is predominantly young people, and it is seeing an increasing number of women in the category, said Lisa Frazier, CBA chief innovation officer of equities margin lending.

The MyWealth website integrates with existing CommSec and NetBank accounts. CommSec is a “complementary” service that the bank will continue to support for more advanced investors, said Stephen Karpin, CBA executive general manager of equities margin lending.

Non-CBA customers are able to register for MyWealth by providing an email address. However, they will not be able to view their accounts from other financial institutions. Those users can still read news, participate in the community and build an investments watch list.

CBA customers who also have accounts at other institutions can only view CBA accounts. “We have not included that in the platform yet but it’s something we want to talk to customers about,” said Frazier.

Karpin added that the bank will continue to develop the website and customers can expect more features related to superannuation and property ownership in the future.

MyWealth exists only as a website but has a tablet-friendly interface. CBA officials said the bank is considering a mobile app but is still determining what features would be most appropriate.

Financial news on MyWealth is written by a dedicated team at CBA, augmented by AAP content. The community portal on MyWealth was built with Lithium software.

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