ABC to explain chronic service disruptions

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Before making another triumphant presentation to institutional investors about the Commonwealth Bank’s so-called “digital experiments”, Managing Director Matt Comyn should be asked to explain why his online platforms are more prone to crashes than other Australian banks.

CBA’s internet and mobile banking systems have limped from one outage to the next this year, leaving the bank’s 16 million customers without the means to make and accept payments for at least 15 days.

Despite chronic digital service disruptions since February, the bank has yet to educate account holders about the causes of the service outages and why they seem so difficult to fix.

Customers are bewildered and frustrated by the bank‘s reluctance to explain the issues. After the last outage on Tuesday morning, customer requests on social media for information on the causes of the failing service levels went unanswered.

“Three times in three weeks is worrying,” a customer at the bank said on Twitter.

“Are you any closer to getting to the root cause of the problem?”

“Are you able to provide some comfort to customers that this will not happen again in the near future?” “

Comyn and his senior executives should address these concerns directly, but they seem more comfortable with keeping customers in the dark or clinging to the great illusion that the digital experience at CBA has to offer. is sort of the best in its class.

Since the beginning of April, the CBA has issued more than 60 press releases and none of them addresses the issue that most concerns customers and regulators: the unreliable nature of the bank’s online systems.

Instead, numerous press releases actually tout the CBA’s stated leadership in digital banking, including one published on May 27 under the headline: “CBA Reinvents Banking For The Digital Economy”.

This press release includes notable comments from Comyn on how digital banking has apparently gone beyond traditional customer service metrics.

“We aim to be the most reliable partner at the center of our clients’ financial lives by saving them money, giving them more control over their finances, and simplifying and facilitating banking operations,” said Comyn in the press release.

“We are integrating new services into our platform to personalize and personalize the digital experience in ways that increase engagement and deliver greater value to our customers.

“It’s about going beyond customer service and delivering more enriching experiences and better results that will build a deeper and more reliable relationship with our customers. “

Comyn also said in the May press release that “CBA technology is redefining what customers expect from a bank.”

There is some truth to this claim as the bank’s failing systems are reshaping customers’ perceptions of the CBA brand.

Comyn need only look at the thousands of customer posts posted on CBA’s Twitter and Facebook pages over the past three months to understand how its digital platforms are decisively failing to generate trust and rewarding experiences.

While the increased frequency of outages seems to drive deeper customer engagement, it’s for all the wrong reasons.

IT experts say Comyn is wrong to suggest that digital banking has gone beyond the basics of customer service.

“I think they are losing customer confidence in the reliability of their systems,” says Glenn Stafford, senior consultant at PerformPlus, an IT consulting firm in Sydney.

“The problem is, they want to talk about the customer experience on a multi-layered level when the real customer experience is really about people who want unfettered access to their money at all times through different channels.

“The outages in recent months have meant that CBA customers have lost this unhindered access. “

Stafford suspects that the accelerated rollout of several new digital services through CBA’s digital channels could contribute to the higher incidence of outages this year.

Adding new front-end services could push the operating limits of the bank’s main banking platform.

CBA spent over A $ 1.8 billion to modernize its core technology system between 2008 and 2013.

These massive capital expenditures appear to generate reduced returns in 2021, as Comyn faces potentially larger expenses to correct the operational mess its clients are currently experiencing.

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