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CommBank gearing up for future with new AI partnership

Keeli Cambourne
09 November 2021 2 minute readShare
CommBank gearing up for future with new AI partnership

Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced on Monday that it had formed an exclusive partnership and taken a minority stake in H2O.ai, a global-leader in artificial intelligence (AI).

H2O.ai is located in Silicon Valley and operates the cloud-based machine learning platform, H2O AI Cloud, and employs a significant number of the world’s top data scientists1.

“The partnership will further differentiate and extend our artificial intelligence capability to better anticipate customer needs, and reimagine products and digital experiences to meet those needs,” Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn said. “This partnership will accelerate our ability to deliver a broader customer proposition through more personalised experiences, which delivers greater value for our customers.”

As part of the partnership agreement, Commonwealth Bank will provide H2O.ai’s state-of-the-art AI Cloud to its entire organisation, including data scientists, data engineers and business users.

The bank will gain a dedicated H2O.ai team of experts, including industry-renowned ‘Kaggle Grandmasters’, machine learning engineers and product specialists, to work full-time on developing new AI solutions within the bank.

“We are building an AI-powered organisation for the benefit of our customers,” Dr Andrew McMullan, CBA’s chief data and analytics officer, said.

“Through this partnership, we will be able to better help customers find personalised and relevant offers to save money while they shop across platforms like Little Birdie, Karta, CommBank Rewards, and Klarna, while at the same time driving sales for merchants. We intend to be one of the highest quality, lowest cost sources of leads to our business customers.

“H2O.ai will also help us to better predict bills and forecast cash flows for both retail and business customers so they can plan ahead. Customers want to be in control, and through the combination of our award winning app, powered by artificial intelligence, we can deliver products and services in the moment to manage unexpected expenses or irregular incomes.

“We are not just helping customers make better decisions about their finances, but also about how they can reduce and offset their energy usage and carbon emissions. We will be using our AI models to orchestrate a range of services available across the CBA ecosystem for customers, including through our own products like the Green Loan to help homeowners finance solar or a battery, or through recently announced partnerships such as Amber Energy and CoGo.”

H2O.ai founder and CEO Sri Ambati said the strategic partnership between the leading global AI Cloud movement and Australia’s largest bank will unleash the juggernaut of co-innovation in AI for Payments and further democratise AI with trust and freedom.

Mr Comyn said the bank sees a broad application for AI and machine learning technology right across our business – in operational processes, protecting customers from fraud, lending decisions, and risk management.

 “We aspire to be the trusted partner at the centre of our customers’ financial lives. To do this in an increasingly digital world, artificial intelligence is playing an even more important role in delivering personalised and relevant experiences. When these experiences drive demonstrably better outcomes for customers, this builds trust, confidence, and ultimately engagement – and the more our customers engage with us, the better we are able to anticipate their needs,” he said.

CommBank gearing up for future with new AI partnership
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Keeli Cambourne

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