Macquarie Accelerates Digital Push With Fast Bank Accounts

The Macquarie Group is trying to ramp up its efforts in personal banking with a new service it says can deliver savings accounts to customers in a minute, following an overhaul of its technology systems.

As Macquarie targets a greater share of the lucrative retail banking market, dominated by the Big Four banks, a recent upgrade to its technology has reduced the time it takes for the bank to set up transaction accounts and fully operational savings.

Macquarie is using a recent tech upgrade to target growing deposits.Credit:AFR

The lender says that as a result of these changes, customers can now digitally apply for a transaction account, have their identity verified and be able to receive funds and make purchases through a “digital wallet” in just a minute.

The move shows how pressured traditional banks are to speed up their processes by a wave of fintech competitors and technological change. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services, including Afterpay, have stolen market share from banks through rapid enrollment processes, while the National Australia Bank-owned neobank 86,400, for example, claims that it takes two minutes to open an account.

“We set out to provide the types of experiences you might expect from a fintech, but with the security of a bank.”

Digital Director of Macquarie Bank, Luis Uguina

Olivia McArdle, head of deposits and payments at Macquarie Bank, said the process of opening an account includes all the security and anti-money laundering checks that banks are required to do.

“You still have a lot of banks asking you to go to a branch and identify yourself. We are looking for someone who is happy to go digital, ”Ms. McArdle said.

Retail banking is a relatively small part of Macquarie, and it receives far less attention from analysts than its much larger asset management and investment banking business. Despite this, it has seen aggressive growth in home loans and retail deposits in recent years, targeting online-only customers.

In its latest results, Macquarie’s home loans had risen 14 percent in the six months ending September, while deposits were up 9 percent.

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