CommBank, Telstra turn to high-speed mobiles for future banking


Nick Bendel
Mar 3, 2019( 3 min read )

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The age of the neo-bank may well be the start of the post-physical banking world, but it’s just the start, as the CBA, Telstra, and Ericsson talk up a test to see what high-speed mobile communication can do for banking.

What does the future of the bank look like? Is it a place you can physically walk in, stand in line, and do your business, or is it the sort of place you visit virtually any time you want, rather than in that little bit of off time you were saving for lunch?

That’s a question the Commonwealth Bank is looking to answer, and there’s a good chance it will edge closer to the latter, as it’s teaming up with Telstra and Ericsson to find out.

This week, this trio of companies announced that it will be collaborating for a fintech program that is the first in Australia to “bring technology providers and the financial services sector together to fully explore 5G edge computing use cases and network capabilities by testing end-to-end banking solutions over 5G”.

Currently rolling out across Australia, 5G is seen as the next stage of mobile communications technologies, delivering a faster connection to the internet that provide more bandwidth for resources and applications.

“5G has the potential to transform the financial services sector and deliver innovation in a faster and more efficient manner,” said Telstra Group Executive for Networks & IT, Nikos Katinakis.

“5G edge computing is all about bringing the network closer to the user or application. For financial institutions like Commonwealth Bank, it will help to enhance existing banking applications as well as deliver new use cases such as artificial intelligence, all supported by a range of software defined networking solutions,” he said.

Announced alongside a slew of new phones being shown at the Mobile World Congress phone expo in Spain this week, the announcement by CBA, Telstra, and Ericsson is expected to explore how 5G technology could improve and shape banking, shifting the way digital banking could work in the near future.

“We’re excited to be working with Telstra and Ericsson to test and learn on 5G and edge computing. These technologies have significant potential to enhance the availability, stability and performance of our network infrastructure and we hope they can help us provide quicker and better digital experiences for our customers,” said Pete Steel, Commonwealth Bank’s Executive General Manager of Digital and Retail Operations and Technology.

“These trials between three industry leaders mark another important milestone in the nation’s 5G technology development, ensuring Australia remains at the cutting edge of mobile technology,” said Telstra’s Mr Katinakis.

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