ANZ has announced plans of
investing up to $1.5bn for a tech investment programme to
“overhaul” its branch-based and digital distribution channels, in
an attempt to
“simplify products and services”.

The investment sum will be directed to the
‘Banking on Australia’ programme over the next five years.

The initiative involves refurbishment of ANZ’s
branches with 46 expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
According to ANZ, the overhaul
will include the roll-out of in-branch videoconferencing

within 43 remote branches, giving regional customers greater access
to specialist advice.

The overhaul plan have been boosted by an
ANZ-commissioned survey into Australian consumer banking
preferences, which found that more than three-quarters of the
population were more likely to use digital technology over a bank
branch for day-to-day banking transactions.

More than twice as many Australians said they
would prefer to apply for a loan (62%) or get mortgage advice (64%)
in a bank branch than by using digital technology.

ANZ also plans to invest in 800
‘next-generation’ ATMs, allowing 24-hour access to many traditional
teller services including immediate credit when depositing notes,
coins and cheques.

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CEO of ANZ Australia, Philip Chronican, said:
“The upgrade also means that we will be more readily able to
introduce cutting edge technology that makes banking easier such as
contactless or cardless transactions.

“We have engaged leading Australian interior
designers, Geyer, to help us design our branches in a way that
facilitates better conversations by removing some of the physical
barriers that currently exist.”

The overhaul includes a new mobile banking platform as well as
payments services.
ANZ plans to launch a banking app that
will process same day credit and debit card transactions using an
iPhone or iPad and a mobile cash management platform for corporate
approval of large payments on-the-move.

ANZ aims to commence tests of NFC-based mobile wallet technology
on Android devices as well.

“A trial of an ANZ mobile wallet will kick off today. This will
see 25 of our staff, including me, live testing our solution with
the aim to make this available to our customers in mid-2013,” added