Since taking on the top tech job at the Commonwealth Bank last year, CIO David Whiteing has had his work cut out for him.
Immediately he set about establishing a plan to open up the bank’s APIs and went in search of duplicated processes to streamline CBA’s tech department but this month he said there’s a lot to be done if the nation’s largest bank wants to maintain its reputation as one of the most tech-forward ones too.
Speaking at the Australian Information Industry Association lunch in Sydney, the AFR reported that Whiteing revealed the bank had launched an internal trial to use crypto-currency exchange Ripple to transfer payments between its subsidiaries. He also flagged that the notion of what a bank account is and the type of wealth it holds, including frequent flyer points for example, is about to change.
“I have a view that a bank account will become a storer of value, rather than a storer of currency value, so why can’t a bank account be used to store loyalty points in the same way that you can use the slider on a Qantas website to decide whether you are paying with points or dollars?” Whiteing said.
“We have multi-currency bank accounts today, with 15 currencies available on your phone instantly in real-time, so it is not that difficult for us to take that technology and make that a loyalty point store. It shouldn’t be that difficult for us to then add crypto-currencies to it, and whatever other means of payment transfers people might want.”
Last month Ripple closed a $28 million series A round. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures and IDG Capital Partners.
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