SOURCE: Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

January 19, 2016 03:10 ET

Commonwealth Bank Creates Global Innovation Network

HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Jan 19, 2016) - Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Commonwealth Bank) has today launched an Innovation Lab in Hong Kong and announced plans to launch an Innovation Lab in London later this year. This innovation network is a natural extension of the Bank's successful Innovation Lab in Sydney and creates a global approach to innovation that connects customers, employees and start-up communities to the latest FinTech developments.

Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, Group Executive, Institutional Banking and Markets, Commonwealth Bank said, "Hong Kong's highly developed financial sector, strong entrepreneurial culture and proximity to China makes it the optimal location for us to establish an innovation presence in Asia. The Hong Kong Lab will allow us to partner with the brightest minds across the city's accelerator, government, university, start-up and FinTech communities to further develop creative and innovative solutions for our clients."

The Hong Kong Lab's three main zones encourage collaboration and drive experimentation.

  • The incubation garage space helps cross-functional project teams work together on bringing ideas to life.
  • The collaboration hub encourages co-creation with clients to find bespoke solutions, deep dive into specific challenges and test prototypes.
  • The usability room provides clients with a live testing facility and the latest eye-tracking technology to improve their digital platforms.

"The strong interest in our Sydney Innovation Lab demonstrates the emphasis business and government place on innovation as an integral part to a successful future. In just one year, the Sydney Innovation Lab hosted over 40,000 guests, successfully built a live blockchain and collaborated with major Australian corporates, government organisations and universities to experiment with future technology. This innovation space has strengthened our culture of innovation and we look forward to continuing this success on a global scale," Ms Bayer Rosmarin said.

Paul Tighe, Australian Consul-General to Hong Kong said, "By launching the billion dollar National Innovation and Science Agenda last December, the Australian Government indicated that it's ready to encourage an ideas boom. We welcome the launch of the Commonwealth Bank Innovation Lab in Hong Kong, which is a demonstration that business and individuals are ready and keen to play their part in facing the challenges of the future."

For more information on the Innovation Lab visit

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About Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Commonwealth Bank is Australia's leading provider of integrated financial services, including retail, premium, business and institutional banking, funds management, superannuation, insurance, investment and share-broking products and services.

Commonwealth Bank's Institutional Banking & Markets (IB&M) division has a strong presence in Hong Kong and Asia more broadly. IB&M has core capabilities across transactional and working capital banking, debt financing solutions, financial markets and risk management products. The business is responsible for developing and providing products to major corporate and government clients active in our specialist sectors of transport, utilities, natural resources and financial institutions. IB&M also service Australian and New Zealand clients active in cross border trades and investments. Institutional Banking & Markets' global reach extends through offices in Auckland, Beijing, Hong Kong, Houston, London, New York, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and throughout Australia.

Commonwealth Bank's International Financial Services division is also based out of Hong Kong and manages the retail and SME business in emerging markets and has operations in Indonesia, China, Vietnam, India and South Africa.

First State Investments ('FSI'), known as CFSGAM in Australia, is the investment management business of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta, Tokyo, New York, Louisville and Dubai. FSI provides a range of product solutions to institutional investors, pension funds, wholesale distributors, investment platforms, financial advisers and their clients globally across a diverse range of asset classes.


Commonwealth Bank's Recent Innovation Highlights

"I admire them [Commonwealth Bank] because they are really ahead of the rest of the world in banks in stepping into the future. There are a couple of banks similar in the US, but mostly around the world, the banks are not very progressive and are not seeing the change in people's lives brought by mobile internet. Everything is becoming closer to us and so simple. Credit cards are worldwide standards, but we don't have that yet for mobile payment systems....This bank is a leader in thinking about this." Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder (Australian Financial Review, December 2014)

Hong Kong Innovation Lab design

Every aspect of the Innovation Lab has been designed to spark curiosity, invite fresh viewpoints, provide hands-on immersion. The Lab has three zones: incubation garage spaces, collaboration hub and usability room.

Incubation Garage Space

  • The Garage Space will be used to identify, develop and test early stage ideas, focussing on establishing customer need, and exploring viability and feasibility through a series of experiments to prove up the concepts.
  • External parties (tech innovators and clients) are invited into this space to co-develop with Commonwealth Bank project teams and provide the resources needed to test, foster and grow ideas. Guests to the Lab are able to view the Garage in action through glass walls.

Collaboration Hub

  • The Collaboration Hub is designed for clients to brainstorm bespoke solutions, deep dive into specific challenges, workshop future opportunities and designs, test prototypes and engage relevant stakeholders from across the organisation. The hub is equipped with interactive whiteboards allowing all participants to contribute content for dynamic, bespoke storytelling and insights.

Usability Room

  • The Usability Room is a live testing facility where clients can use the latest eye-tracking technology with customer focus groups to improve their digital platforms. Testing usability and gaining real customer insights is part of our customer-centred design philosophy.

Other features & experiences:

  • Products of Innovation feature allows visitors to interact with Commonwealth Bank's latest products both for our consumer and corporate clients. Using Leap technology, the feature senses a visitor and their interest based on proximity to the item.
  • The Data Analytics wall enables visitors to drill down into Commonwealth Bank's payments data to understand how strategic decisions are supported and easier to make when big data provides real insight and leads to big answers. This interactive screen demonstrates aggregated consumer spending habits, demographic and geographic trends.
  • The Future of Interactive is a virtual reality experience that uses gamification to demonstrate how technology and innovation will change the transport and logistics, real estate and natural resources industries as well as what the future of education and work might look like.
  • Blockchain interactive facilitates experiments with a variety of use cases across the bank and is also used to understand the opportunities and test the short comings of the technology.
  • Oculus Rift experience uses virtual reality technology to engage our people and clients.

Sydney Innovation Lab

During 2015, the Sydney Innovation Lab:

  • Ran 812 Tours;
  • Hosted 40,000+ visitors from more than 400 companies;
  • Ran 28 garage projects;
  • Engaged with 12 universities across Australia; and
  • Hosted 86 key events, including hackathons, media launches, innovation training, and TEDX live streaming.

Our commitment to co-creating with our clients in the Lab has untapped new opportunities for our clients.

  • Global shopping centre group, Westfield. Our ongoing partnership with Westfield has resulted in many ideas being brought to the market including a customised loyalty and offers app using big data to customise the retail experience.
  • A Next Generation Housing consortium to look at solving affordable housing for Australia - a significant collaborative project across a number of corporate clients from insurers, property developers, superannuation companies and charities.
  • A major Australian retailer in redefining their customer's experience for their new concept store
  • Government on enhancing online customer experiences when accessing public services and education
  • A significant dotcom Australian company on prototyping and experimenting new online research and purchasing scenarios
  • A global furniture retailer to help reimagine the future of their omni channel customer experience.

The Lab has inspired future thinking in payments through the operation of our own blockchain network which is sparking interesting ideas around potential use cases.

Contact Information

  • Media contact:
    Fiona Bednarz
    Mobile: +61 455 074 389
    Media hotline: 02 9118 6919
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