ME Bank tech spec ahead of the pack

MeBank is set to become Australia's most technology advanced bank and expects to have completed its three year technology overhaul by mid 2014.

After the overhaul, customers will be able to apply for and activate a transaction account in a matter of minutes rather than the cumbersome three to five day identification process currently in use.

ME Banks's chief Information officer Kathryn Hawkins says the bank is "leapfrogging from a manual state to an automatic state" and has ambitious growth plans to take the bank to the bleeding edge of technological development. In conjunction with the applications process overhaul, the bank will update its digital media content and apps for smartphone and tablet for most of its products.

The bank is implementing a new business process management platform, a new reporting platform and a new core banking system, a $60 million project that will make ME bank one of the most technologically innovative banks in Australia.

The latest milestone involved the successful implementation of the Pegasystem management platform that will allow customers to open their own transaction account online within minutes.

The 'straight through' transaction process verifies an applicants identity online and at the end of the application provides an account number, BSB, internet banking login and dispatches a transaction card to arrive within days. ME Bank is one of only a few banks in Australia to offer this service.

ME Bank plan to shift their deposit products onto the Pega platform in early 2014 and follow with its loan products later in 2014. The second and third stages will also see ME Bank's deposit and loan products moved onto a new T24 core banking system. A new reporting platform, Insight, will also go live in the second stage.

ME Banks overhaul is a perfect example of small challenger banks using their scale to respond to change at a pace that's impossible for larger players.

As Jamie McPhee, ME Bank CEO, said "one of the benefits of being a young challenger bank is we're not encumbered by a host of legacy systems that can have a major impact on project scope, time, and cost."

"We'll have the ability to bring new products and services to market faster, critical in an increasingly digitised market where customers' expectations for what banks can and should deliver is expanding and accelerating."

"We'll also have an enhanced capacity to handle very high customer numbers without impacting service levels and operating costs, also critical for a young and growing bank that's hungry to challenge the dominance of the big four."

With ME banks top notch result in the People's Choice Awards and rapid technological overhaul, the mid-tier bank will continue to bring healthy competition to the market as it strives to double its customer base over the next three years.