• Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites


  • Renai's other site: Sci-fi + fantasy book news and reviews
  • RSS Renai LeMay

  • Blog, Enterprise IT, Featured - Written by on Friday, August 16, 2013 17:38 - 6 Comments

    CommBank’s Kaching app:
    A perfect IT/business alignment case study

    kaching

    blog When the Commmonwealth Bank of Australia first launched its ‘Kaching mobile, social and NFC payments system in October 2011, the service had plenty of naysayers. Some said Australians weren’t ready for mobile payments, some said that social networks such as Facebook weren’t good platforms to integrate banks with, while others mocked the bulky case which added NFC capabilities to the iPhone. Boy, how all those people must be grimacing now as they’re forced to eat their words. The bank revealed yesterday (see this article from ZDNet for the details) that a collossal amount of transactions had passed through Kaching since its inception:

    “Its Kaching app/iPhone case/Facebook application has seen more than 1 million downloads across the Android and iOS platforms on which it is offered, and has handled over AU$9 billion in transactions.”

    To my mind, what Kaching represents is the perfect example of what happens when technologists inside a business can achieve a wider mandate to drive business change through the use of technology. With the success of Kaching, CommBank chief information officer Michael Harte has not just supported CommBank’s business activities — he’s opened up a massive new line of business activity, and associated revenues and profits, in a way which IT managers and chief information officers normally aren’t able to. It’s also remarkable that a business as old as CommBank, and one generally considered to be slow-moving, has been able to generate such successful innovation.

    If I was a technologist at Australia’s other banks, to say nothing of other financial institutions such as insurance firms (including medical insurance firms), superannuation companies and brokerages, I would be looking at CommBank’s success here very, very carefully. There are also lessons to be learnt for telcos, retailers, government departments and others. Suddenly, with the multi-billion-dollar success of Kaching, we’re not talking about pocket change. We’re talking about a massive new business worth $9 billion in revenue to the bank. Anyone who can replicate that success in innovating in transactions for mobile apps, even to the smallest degree, will probably find themselves on top of a very successful little venture indeed.

    Kaching’s success also speaks very strongly to the idea that Australians are very rapid and early adopters of technology — when it’s the right technology. There really aren’t many examples internationally of mobile transaction businesses taking off. And, as I mentioned, there were plenty of naysayers for Kaching. But this CommBank example proves that when Australians see a good thing in technology, they grab on to it immediately. One does wonder what potential there is for the Commonwealth Bank to launch its model internationally. Because one thing we can say for sure now, is that mobile transactions in Australia, as a trend, is now more than an experiment. It’s real, massively real, and it’s here to stay. We may soon be able to get rid of those credit cards in our wallets after all.

    Image credit: Commonwealth Bank of Australia

    Print Friendly

    6 Comments

    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. Michael B
      Posted 16/08/2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink |

      “There really aren’t many examples internationally of mobile transaction businesses taking off”

      You should look at M Pesa

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-Pesa

      Absolutely incredible mobile payments success story for developing countries. Stuff like what happened in Afghanistan with reducing payroll fraud… thats why technology exists!

      Not sure anything like that can ever get up in Australia, too much existing trust in banks etc.

    2. Thateus
      Posted 17/08/2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink |

      Interesting experience of a startup using CBA services…

      http://blog.coinjar.io/2013/08/14/your-australian-startup-should-bank-with-nab/

    3. TrevorX
      Posted 17/08/2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink |

      Even more interesting was the revelation that there is no independent or government oversight of the banking industry. The charter was written by the banks themselves and subsequently watered down, to the point that a mere 0.01% complaints are actually investigated. It is more than past time that we had proper oversight, transparency and appropriate regulation of the finance industry, as if the GFC wasn’t a glaring enough indictment against the folly of deregulation of an industry that is fundamentally predisposed to exploitation of conflicts of interest.

    4. Posted 19/08/2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink |

      I switched from ANZ to CommBank and have to say (as a technologist) I was impressed enough that I recommended the Katching app to others.

    5. What
      Posted 19/08/2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink |

      “worth $9 billion in revenue to the bank”

      Processing $9B in transactions doesn’t mean they had $9B in revenue hitting their books (i.e. their P&L). Their fees and charges would be a small percentage of that.

    6. Richard
      Posted 19/08/2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink |

      I have always read their product name in my head as an youth/edgy way to spell “caching” and it’s bothered me – I think why on earth did they let their geeks name an app after an IT term – probably an internal project name that went to far.

      And then I had a “ka-ching” moment!




  • Get our weekly newsletter

    All our stories, just one email a week.

    Email address:


    Follow us on social media






    Use your RSS reader to subscribe to our articles feed or to our comments feed.

  • Most Popular Content

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Microsoft wants to win you back with Windows 10 windows-10

      The latest version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system will begin rolling out from Wednesday (July 29). And remarkably, Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to those users who already have Windows 7 and 8.1 installed.

    • Qld Govt Depts have no disaster recovery plan brisvegas2

      Two sizable Queensland Government departments have no central disaster recovery plan, the state’s Auditor-General has found, despite the region’s ongoing struggles with extreme weather conditions that have previously knocked out telecommunications and data centre infrastructure.

    • ASD releases Windows 8 hardening guide windows-8-1

      The Australian Signals Directorate appears to have released a guide to hardening Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, three years after the software was released for use by corporate customers, and as Microsoft is slated to release its next upgrade, Windows 10.

    • ASG picks up $35m CIMIC IT services deal money

      Perth-headquartered IT services group ASG this week revealed it had picked up a deal worth at least $35 million over five years with CIMIC Group — the massive construction and contracting group previously known as Leighton Holdings.

    • Datacom completes mammoth Health ICT takeover UTP Cat5e Cable with patch panel

      New Zealand-headquartered IT services group Datacom this week announced it has successfully taken over the ICT infrastructure of the Federal Department of Health, in a long-awaited move which has seen the department remove large tranches of work from the hands of long-term outsourcer IBM.

  • News, Policy + Politics - Jul 29, 2015 15:25 - 10 Comments

    Turnbull defends Geelong MP from FTTN critics

    More In Policy + Politics


    Analysis, Enterprise IT - Jul 28, 2015 16:20 - 11 Comments

    Microsoft wants to win you back with Windows 10

    More In Enterprise IT


    Industry, News - Jul 28, 2015 12:37 - 0 Comments

    ICAC to investigate NSW TAFE ICT manager

    More In Industry


    Consumer Tech, News - Jul 29, 2015 17:14 - 1 Comment

    Telstra integrates Netflix, Stan, Presto into re-badged Roku box

    More In Consumer Tech