National Australia Bank establishes a new A$50m innovation fund

The bank has launched a new A$50m (£23.4m) fund that will invest in payments and mobile banking start-ups, as it seeks to increase its focus on ‘customer-led innovation’.

NAB said the new venture fund will ‘enable NAB to access leading ideas and capabilities from around the world through entering into partnerships, alliances and making investments in innovative companies’.

“This is an investment in our business designed to improve customer experience through innovative solutions, making banking easier, better and simpler. Banking globally is undergoing a digital transformation and NAB Ventures will ensure NAB is able to embrace these changes to deliver innovative solutions for our customers,” said NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn.

The bank will invest the $50m over the period of three years in both Australia and overseas.

The fund has two key objectives: the first is to accelerate the rate at which bank gets access to new capabilities ‘technology, intellectual property, and businesses that could be deployed into NAB and its customer offering’.

The second objective is for NAB to become more familiar and forge a connection with emerging businesses and technologies. The bank says the important areas of focus will include ‘mobile platforms, payments and data and analytics’.

NAB has also introduced a Digital Acceleration Program to enable digital innovation to be developed and put in the hands of customers and bankers quickly.

“It’s critical that we are able to act quickly and be nimble in bringing digital innovation to market,” Mr Thorburn said.

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