ME’s tech revamp to make competitors ‘envious’

ME has announced the completion of a five-year rebuild of its technology systems, which it says will allow it to deliver faster and more accurate customer service.

The industry super fund-owned bank’s CEO, Jamie McPhee, said ME had invested almost $90 million over five years, employing 25 vendors and more than 700 personnel to write more than a million lines of code.

“We’ve built and integrated seven new software systems and moved 320,000 customers onto these systems, all with minimal disruptions,” Mr McPhee said.

He said the new systems are state-of-the-art and would keep ME competitive well into the future.

“When we planned [the] transformation, we had the option to renovate the house or build a new one. While more challenging, we chose the latter.

“The result is a brand-new piece of banking architecture that’s been built to be updated, future-proofing the bank. That’s a structural advantage other organisations would be envious of.”

One of the most important outcomes of the upgrade, according to Mr McPhee, is the ability to offer new competitive variable home loans.

“Our old technology restricted us to one variable home loan product,” he said. “Transformation means we can offer new variable-rate home loans priced competitively.

“We’ve just launched a basic home loan with a variable rate of 4.29 per cent per annum for the first time, and with 10 per cent of the market purchasing this product we expect it to boost lending growth.”

Mr McPhee said ME has built eight new banking products on its new systems, but for the first time will maintain just one centralised record for each customer.

“When a customer calls now we have all their details at our fingertips, which means quicker, more accurate customer service,” he said, adding that the bank has already seen big productivity and customer experience improvements from the new business process automation system, Pega.

“We can process more applications for the same effort and easily absorb higher volumes as we grow. It also translates into a better customer experience,” Mr McPhee said.

“The time it now takes to open a deposit or transaction account has been cut from five days to five minutes; the time to get conditional approval on a home loan from three days to three minutes.”

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