CIBC increases investment in digital channels

Sign that says bank

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has become the latest bank to implement a migration strategy for digital services by investing roughly $70m a year on transforming the bank’s 1,000-plus branch network.


Digitalise the bank network

The bank said it plans to shift transactions to digital channels by leveraging digital leadership to meet day-to-day banking needs at lower cost and invest in business online platform to drive self-service and straight-through processing.

It will also invest in creating digital zones to handle routine transactions, which will allow bank staff to focus on the provision of sales and advice services.

The money saved from going digital will be reinvested in digital sales roles such as mobile banking advisors.


‘Mobile first’ approach

The bank’s main way of going digital will be by adopting a ‘mobile first’ approach that will see accelerated investment in digital sales capability and making more products available through digital channels, with no in-person interaction being required.

By 2018, the bank aims to get 15 per cent of sales from digital channels as opposed to just 4 per cent today. It also wants to drive client digital engagement to 70 per cent from 48 per cent today, and a quarter of assisted channel leads sourced from digital.

The bank emphasises that a digital transition is a necessary move because it will be the best way of satisfying the clients’ demand for real-time results as well as on-demand access across all channels.

“We have a plan to compete effectively against our incumbent banks here in our own marketplaces where we compete. We also have a plan to compete with the disruptors that will play a role in the financial ecosystem,” said Victor Dodig, president and CEO at CIBC.


Digital is the way forward

Banks, particularly North American banks, are investing more and more in digital solutions. More and more are either introducing or upgrading their mobile banking applications, whilst others are shifting significant sums of money towards digital channels. For example, last month at a market update in Sydney, Westpac’s CEO Brian Hartzer said that the Australian bank will be increasing annual investment spend by 20 per cent to around $1.3 billion, using the money to concentrate on technology and digital initiatives.

Last week Scotiabank became the first bank in Canada to offer a mobile wallet for credit and debit cards on both Android and BlackBerry devices.

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