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CIBC applies digitization to ‘simplify’ banking

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has been an early adopter of digital technologies and the bank has been able to be a leader in North America:CIBC applies digitization to ‘simplify’ banking

North American financial services institution Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), has taken up digitization as an ongoing process to gain an edge over competition and has been using AI, Big Data, Cloud, Blockchain and other cutting-edge technologies in its transformation journey that began some 10 years ago. In 2021, it had a budget of $861 million for its IT transformation spending and the spending has been more focused on getting newer software and hardware and the migration of its critical infrastructure to the cloud.

SIMPLIFYING BANKING

The bank that provides personal, small business and commercial and corporate banking solutions to its customers has been stressing on simplifying banking through the use of technology, especially building and improving digital channels. Some of the key initiatives in this regard are remote cheque deposit for mobile devices, leveraging AI for customer interactions and adopting cloud to accelerate the delivery of new products and services.

The Toronto, Ontario based bank has 4 strategic business units – Canadian Personal and Business Banking, Canadian Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, U.S. Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets. It has international operations in the United States, the Caribbean, Asia and the United Kingdom. Its customer base is 11 million globally and has over 45,000 employees.

DIGITAL IS PRIMARY NOW

The bank had long time ago, taken a conscious decision to transform itself from a traditional bank into a digital entity. At that time, its sales through digital channels constituted just 2% of the revenues and these channels were merely an additional facility for the customers to carry out day-to-day banking. But, today these channels are primary for the customers and not mere methods for day-to-day banking services.

The bank had in 2016 set up its CIBC Live Labs, which was a digital innovation hub to function as department to pivot innovations. Through the years, it has developed a range of digital products and services that have become commercial successes within the bank. One of the key projects initiated by Live Labs is a tool that eliminates the need for those applying for mortgages to visit the bank branches for paper work. An app instead does this using chat features. Similarly, it has Digital Card, which allows customers to open a deposit account just by using a mobile phone.

One of the key changes the bank adopted in this technology transformation is to have its legacy systems migrate to a service-oriented architecture that used APIs to deliver IT functions.

The bank has an award-winning mobile banking app, CIBC Mobile Banking App, which is the main app for the mobile banking function. It has other standalone apps too that allow customers to apply for, negotiate and receive approval for a mortgage. For example. using the Hello Home app, a customer can securely upload photos of required documentation, benefit from special in-app mortgage rates and access mortgage calculators to determine how much they can afford. There is also a mortgage specialist assigned to the customer concerned via in-app messaging.

CLOUD IS CRUCIAL

Migrating most of its tech infrastructure to the cloud has indeed helped the bank to become more efficient, accelerate innovation and respond faster while building in deep layers of security, compliance and resilience. It has also helped the bank to develop new capabilities to serve its clients and identify collaboration opportunities with partners – both within and outside of its ecosystem. The bank has said it intends to bring everything together in a single pane of glass, so that it can move towards unified visibility and control.

TI-UP WITH MICROSOFT AZURE

In 2021, the bank had entered into a multi-year agreement with Microsoft Azure making the latter as the bank’s primary cloud platform. Microsoft Azure will help the bank to make faster, real-time, data-driven decisions, to quickly launch and scale new innovations. In addition to its SaaS and private cloud strategies, the bank’s investment in market-leading public cloud technology is also expected to have a strong emphasis on data protection and security.

In short, the partnership with Microsoft Azure will help the bank to accelerating the migration of hundreds of applications to the cloud, in addition to the many Capital Markets systems already on the cloud; provide scalable computing power for the bank’s enterprise data lake and AI/ML platform to help run smart, innovative client solutions; in addition, it will have a secure and resilient foundation for customer service.

CIBC INSIGHTS

The bank has launched CIBC Insights, a new AI-powered spending insights tool that helps customers to budget and save based on personalized recommendations. CIBC Insights alerts clients to savings opportunities and unusual transactions while also identifying spending trends to help them better manage their money. The tool delivers personalized prompts regarding changes in spending or available savings, among other things.

The bank has received the highest rank in overall customer satisfaction for online banking among Canada’s ‘Big Five’ banks, according to the J.D. Power 2022 Canada online banking satisfaction study.
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This article has been compiled based on publicly available information on the web, particularly the bank’s own website.

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