Aussie banks lag on technology

Australian consumers don't have access to many services that have been available in Asia for years due to a lack of investment in new technologies. Customers in Hong Kong can switch their mortgage between global currencies to take advantage of fluctuations or use their online bank account to trade gold, shares, currencies and mutual funds, pay tax and utility bills, buy insurance, and subscribe to initial public share offerings. In Cambodia you can buy credit for a prepaid mobile phone from an ATM, a service which is still not available in Australia. The banks say that their ATMs are capable of more complex transaction a Commonwealth Bank spokesman, Marcus Judge, said customer surveys show that reliability and accessibility is more important than additional services. ANZ chief Mike Smith, previously head of the group's Asian operations, has said that the four pillars policy had created an internal looking and somewhat parochial view but that the ANZ will be moving toward an integrated online banking model.

Source: The Australian Financial Review