Chapter 1

Scalable Solutions

We continued to focus on developing scalable technologies and processes, as well as building strong partnerships, throughout the year. Building a scalable business will help us respond to the changing preferences and expectations of our members, as well as grow our business by attracting new members.

Digital with a human touch

Following a successful trial, we rolled out our iM CUA messaging app to all members with compatible Apple and Android devices from November 2018. iM CUA is the first app in Australia that allows users to select their own personal banker, who gets to know them over time and assists with their banking and insurance needs.

By 30 June 2019, more than 16,000 members were using the app. We are working towards 50,000 members using the app by June 2020 and are training more team members to help deliver the convenience of banking, with personalised service, in the palm of our members’ hands.

The app has earned multiple accolades including ‘Most Innovative Mutual’ at the 2019 RFi Group Australian Banking Innovation Awards, and the Best Online Customer Service in the 2018 Finder Awards.

iM CUA was borne out of CUA’s international collaboration with leading banking providers including US West Coast bank Umpqua and the Netherland’s de Volksbank. To deliver the app, we partnered with US digital banking specialist Kony Inc., the provider of CUA’s Mobile Banking platform. Collaborations with other institutions provide an opportunity to access new capabilities more rapidly at a much lower cost than if we were to deliver on our own, meaning we can bring ideas to market more quickly.

Continuing our commitment to digital banking

CUA has a proud history of embracing digital innovation and delivering the benefits to our members. For example, in 2018 we were one of the earliest adopters of the New Payments Platform (NPP) and one of the first financial institutions in Australia to offer the full suite of digital wallets including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google PayTM.

Over the past year, uptake of digital wallet technology by CUA members has risen by more than 130 per cent. Currently more than 60,000 members have an active Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay wallet. Additionally, the integration of NPP fast payments into CUA’s Mobile Banking app in December 2018 resulted in a 220 per cent increase in total NPP payments made, over the previous month. By 30 June 2019, we had 25,000 members with an active PayID. Approximately 350,000 real-time transactions are being made each month via the NPP, with monthly average growth of around 14 per cent.

Refining our processes

We’ve listened to our members and made improvements over the past year to ensure we can scale our business more easily.

To make it easier for members to do their everyday banking, this year we have:

We also made changes that require members to use alphanumeric characters in their WAC, as part of our focus on ensuring members’ cyber security.

Additionally, we’ve automated or eliminated manual, repetitive processes, resulting in a two- to three-day reduction in processing times for key steps in the home loan application journey for members. Overall, these improvements have resulted in a 55 per cent reduction in the median time to review and approve an application.

Investor faith in CUA

While around 70 per cent of CUA’s funding comes from member deposits, CUA also raises funds through the wholesale market to support our lending growth.

After our successful wholesale funding deal in August 2018, investors continued to show significant confidence in CUA the following month, with a second funding deal where we raised $700 million through a securitisation (residential mortgage backed securities). Strong investor interest allowed us to upsize the deal by $200 million more than we initially planned. This was achieved against a challenging backdrop of volatility in global equity markets and falling house prices in key markets such as Sydney and Melbourne.