Australia’s second-biggest bank, Westpac, is poised to overtake the Commonwealth Bank. Not in terms of assets, earnings or market capitalisation, but in having to pay the heftiest fine in Australian corporate history.
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Australia's 'Big Four' banks have decided to remove the cash withdrawal fee for using their ATMs. This means you will no longer be charged $2 for using a CBA, Westpac, ANZ or NAB ATM with your card, regardless of who you bank with. Or to put it another way, the banks are rorting us slightly less than before.
Daniel Bergan is Westpac's lead on customer experience and has been at the forefront of the bank's recent technology transformation. Despite Westpac being around for 200 years, Bergan says the company has gone through many transformations. But the pace of change has accelerated recently. At the Verint Engage conference held in Melbourne on 6-7 September, he spoke about this transformation and how it impacts customer interactions.
Banks such as Westpac, NAB, ANZ, and Commonwealth have employed deliberate delaying tactics to arbitrarily make the process of cancelling a credit card more difficult. Australian banks are yet to meaningfully respond to an industry-led report that found there is a serious need for reform in how credit cards are handled, and as we move closer to a cashless society, it's becoming more and more important.
This week, Australia's four major banks were forced to explain why they are raking in billions of dollars in profit at the expense of consumers to a parliament hearing. They were also grilled about a string of banking scandals in recent years. Here's a summary of what the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Bank, NAB and Westpac had to say for themselves.
Android Pay's debut in Australia has been in the works for months and if rumours are to be believed, the service could begin trials as early as this week. Somewhat surprisingly however, just one of the big four will be involved in the launch.
Westpac's half-yearly results outline how it has been spending money on IT over the last six months. Even though it is no longer stressing over Windows XP, there's still a lot of money going out the door.
Westpac's annual results include a breakout of how much money it is spending on IT. While that number has risen in the last year, the bank appears to think that's worth it.
So this is a nifty extra on the soon-to-be-released Samsung Galaxy S5. If you have a Commonwealth Bank or Westpac account, you can use the phone's built-in NFC for fast Tap 'N Pay payments.
Making mobile banking apps actually useful is a difficult challenge for many banks. Westpac sub-brands St George, BankSA and Bank Of Melbourne have added two new options -- the ability to apply for credit cards via a mobile device and new property hunting features on its iOS app -- and I'm undecided how I feel about them.
There's a scam email doing the rounds right now which invites people to take part in a Westpac competition to share your best saving tips. While Westpac is running such a competition, the email has nothing to do with it: it's just another classic scam mail which links to a dodgy site entirely unconnected to Westpac.