Westpac today announced the launch of its “Data Driven Experience Platform”, a customer insights and analytics hub which pulls data from across Westpac Group. The bank says the hub will help propel its digital push and prepare it for the upcoming open banking regime.

The platform was co-designed and backed by Microsoft which is supplying the cloud services. 

Westpac says the platform will eventually allow the bank to provide more personalised digital services, beginning with its mobile app.

At the moment the Commonwealth Bank is king in that regard, according to analysts. CBA says it crunches millions of data points each day to understand its customers and trigger personalised experiences in its mobile app. Australia’s largest bank says it will spend another $5 billion over the next five years to upgrade its technology further.

CBA relies on Pegasystems for much of its personalisation capabilities but Westpac will be turning to Microsoft and its Azure cloud services. 

Westpac says the platform will “increasingly use machine learning and other Azure cognitive services to support decision making and enhance customer interactions”.

The platform will also be monitored by Azure Sentinel and Security Centre, Microsoft’s artificial intelligence security services.

Open banking future

Westpac also noted the platform will play a role in its transition to Open Banking, Australia’s data portability regime set to begin in February next year. Open Banking, the first test of Australia’s new Consumer Data Right, allows consumers to receive access to their financial data, with the hope the data portability will lower barriers to switching and drive both competition and the creation of new financial services.

“We’ll be differentiated not by our strategy, but by our ability to execute with speed and efficiency,” said Westpac Group CIO Craig Bright.

“Our use of cloud and our partnership with Microsoft is therefore key to our success. 

“The Data Driven Experience Platform gives us access to an incredibly rich set of capabilities that enable us to engage digitally in real-time with our customers in a way that’s personalised, intelligent and autonomous. Our customers will start to experience this with the rollout of our new mobile app next year.”

Steven Worrall, managing director of Microsoft Australia said, “We are delighted to be working closely with Westpac on their deployment of cloud and new digital platforms to support their vision of being one of the world’s great service companies.

“Recognising the critical importance of robust, resilient and secure cloud infrastructure Microsoft continuously invests in our technology, our Australian operations and the skills of our people.”

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