Think a bank can’t be mobile and social? “Can’t” isn’t in Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s vocabulary. The CommBank “CAN” campaign—highlighting services ranging from mobile payments to apps for home buyers—is showing Australians what a modern bank can be. “We’re changing the way banking happens,” says Chief Marketing Officer Andy Lark.
CommBank’s social transformation isn’t about technology for technology’s sake. “It’s about what our customers need to make their lives better,” explains Michael Harte, CIO. “Social media is a reflection of the current technology and how gregarious human beings are. We want to be networked; we want to be in the loop.”
Social technologies are helping build relationships between the bank and its customers that emulate the personal connections people once had with their local branch. “If we can bring back some of that intimacy, then we’ve brought back the very essence of trust and transparency,” says Harte.
With over 1,100 branches, CommBank’s 48,000 employees are widely distributed around the country. They’re also a very social group, so an employee social network like Chatter is a natural fit for internal collaboration. “Now the narrative of the business can be captured and shared,” says Lark. “People can turn every communication into a social communication—on their own device. That is enormously powerful.” Especially since many branch employees don’t have their own dedicated computers. “It's about helping employees do more in less time.”
Externally, what started out as a social networking experiment quickly proved to be a pillar of the bank’s marketing strategy. “Facebook is one of the most effective marketing platforms for us,” says Lark. “We use Radian6 to surface the conversations and find the opportunities to make the customer experience personal and relevant, quickly.”
Making banking personal is no small task for a bank that serves half of the country’s citizens. But don’t tell CommBank they can’t pull it off. As a socially-connected business, CommBank can.