One year on since the Australian Military Bank overhauled its digital systems, mobile transactions have risen 250 per cent.

Australian Military Bank (AMB) is a member-based financial institution serving Australian Defence personnel and their families since 1959. In order to best serve its members — who are predominantly young and tech savvy — and to remain competitive against the fintechs, neo banks and big banks, AMB decided to embrace digital. That process required new technology foundations.

AMB selected Infosys Finacle to introduce a new digital banking solution, including core, loan origination, CMS and online banking channels. The bank chose to go with a complete Finacle banking suite delivered on a SaaS basis, using a private cloud solution. The project was delivered in 10 months.

“We couldn’t afford to be both small and slow – that would be a losing strategy long term. The Finacle solution with its open application programming interfaces (APIs) enables the bank to work effectively with multiple ecosystem partners,” said John Ford, CEO of AMB.

Twelve months since going live on the Finacle banking suite, the bank says it has benefited from significant operational benefits and cost efficiencies, along with enhanced security and scalability.

The process – which involved migrating data from one core banking system to another – wasn’t without its challenges.

Ford said, “The conversion was highly challenging but ultimately has proven successful. We lost some bark along the way and have been highly distracted for the last 12 months or so.

“Pleasingly, the early green shoots of success are now emerging with strong evidence that our new system is delivering a modern sustainable platform for the bank. We wanted to ensure our long-term relevance and our members clearly want to be in control of their money and act on their accounts at a time and place of their choosing. Importantly, our member base continues to grow by 3.8 per cent year to date.”

By reviewing members’ pain points and introducing self service wherever possible, inbound calls were reduced by 27 per cent and emails and service requests declined 19 per cent. In the 12 months after converting to the Finacle solution mobile transactions have increased 250 per cent.

“It’s great to know that our online branch operates 24 x 7 and has no bandwidth issues. As a small institution, we need to make our investments pay their way. Over the last 12 months we took the difficult decision to retire some of our legacy distribution channels. We closed three branches in late 2018 and discontinued ‘phone banking’ just prior to going live knowing that our real time alerts and improved channel functionality would address the underlying purpose of these calls.”

The bank has now commenced phase two of its transformation, which involves using open APIs resulting in quicker turnaround times, as well as removing routine activities.

AMB Chief Digital & Marketing Officer Sarah McClure notes, “As we continue to make payment enhancements, such as introducing NPP & digital wallets; the opportunity will lie in becoming a fast follower and supporting banking services that meet our members ever changing needs. Thankfully we’ve partnered with Infosys Finacle who support a strategy of being digital first.”

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