Is This The Most Innovative Digital Bank in North America?

The importance of providing digital-first convenience to banking customers is a goal for most financial institutions. CIBC is delivering on their digital promise by allowing customers to open accounts on their phone, use voice commands for basic transactions as well as digitizing the mortgage application process.

One of the most common questions I get asked at events is, “What banks are truly innovating where the customer experience is improved?” I may give the names of a couple perennial winners of fintech awards, but often I am stymied. I have a new favorite. CIBC.

As with every bank, increasing numbers of customers are connecting with CIBC through digital channels such as online banking, mobile banking and ATMs. In fact, many of the youngest demographic segments have never walked into a branch office since they opened their first account.

According to CIBC, customers who engage with the bank using a digital channel have twice as deep of a relationship than those who don’t. In an interview with the Financial Post, an executive from CIBC said, “The number of people using mobile banking is growing 30% year-over-over, with digital sales keeping this pace as well. In addition, the vast majority of clients start their search for new products online, and three-fourths of bills are being paid digitally.”

This level of increased digital engagement requires continued innovation, which is not new for CIBC. CIBC was the first Canadian bank to introduce a 24-hour cash dispenser, automated telephone banking, a mobile banking app for iPhone, a mobile payment app, and the first among the Big Five banks to offer eDeposits.

Today, CIBC does much of its development and testing in an innovation lab in Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District, just blocks from the city’s Financial District. As their dedicated Live Lab web site indicates, this is where the bank’s Apple Watch wearable banking app originated as well as their digital account opening and voice banking applications.

The efforts have not gone unnoticed. CIBC earned the highest overall score in the Forrester Research 2016 Canadian Mobile Functionality Benchmark. According to the report, CIBC stands out by supporting a wide range of mobile touch points and excelling at marketing and sales with features like pre-approved offers and pre-filled applications within the mobile app.

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“We believe the recognition from Forrester Research is another indication of our commitment to being a leader in client-focused innovation,” says David Williamson, Senior Executive Vice President and Group Head, Retail and Business Banking, CIBC. “CIBC is at the forefront of delivering products and services that meet the growing digital expectations of mobile-first or mobile-only clients. Our mobile solutions meet the everyday banking needs of our clients to bank anywhere, anytime, and create opportunities for us to build and deepen client relationships.”

Some of the other digital innovations coming from Live Labs, CIBC’s technology & innovation hub at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto include:

Secure Authentication

The CIBC SecureKey Concierge service is delivered through a secure cloud service that grants users access to critical online services via their familiar online banking sign-in process, rather than having to create yet another user ID and password to manage. Through SecureKey Concierge, CIBC members and clients will be able to securely access online services from subscriber organizations in the public and private sector, including the Government of Canada, using their existing CIBC online banking login IDs and passwords.

Hello Home™ Mortgage Application Mobile App

CIBC introduced one of the first stand-alone apps that allows a consumer to apply for, negotiate and receive approval for a mortgage with just a few taps of a smartphone – all with the dedicated support of a Mortgage Specialist via in-app messaging. Users can track the status of their mortgage every step of the way right from within the app.

Key features of CIBC Hello Home™ include:

  • Document digitization: Securely upload photos of required documents protected by secure file sharing technology.
  • In-app messaging: A dedicated Mortgage Specialist is available to answer any questions through secure in-app messaging.
  • Save and resume: The application can be saved and resumed at any time. Clients can review and agree to terms and conditions and submit with a tap on their smart phone.
  • Joint application: A maximum of two borrowers can use the app, and applicants can either use the same smartphone or use separate phones to complete their application.
  • Special rates: Clients benefit from special in-app mortgage rates and have access to mortgage calculators to determine how much they can afford.

“With CIBC Hello Home and our expanded CIBC Mobile Banking App we are introducing the next generation of smartphone apps, adding features that go beyond basic customer service to create a mobile banking experience that delivers new levels of simplicity and convenience for our clients,” says Aayaz Pira, Senior Vice President, CIBC Digital Retail & Business Banking.

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Digital Cart

As referenced in the 63-page Digital Banking Report, “Inside the Digital Customer Journey,” there are only a few organizations worldwide that have a seamless digital account opening process. A mobile-first add-on to the CIBC banking app, Digital Cart allows consumers to research, open a new deposit account, apply for overdraft protection, and secure a credit card all in one digital experience within CIBC’s mobile app — without having to visit a bank branch.

For clients who prefer to speak to an advisor, Digital Cart’s ‘Save and Resume’ functionality allows them to book an appointment on their mobile device, and continue and complete their application where they left off at any CIBC banking center. With eDeposit and eSignature capabilities, clients can open and obtain products instantly.

Voice Navigation

Voice is becoming the go-to communication preference for a variety of mobile applications. CIBC is prepared, with the introduction of in-app voice commands that allow clients to quickly access a variety of banking tasks and explore products or services with a simple voice prompt.

“We understand our clients’ unique needs, including those digital first clients who prefer to bank on their mobile device,” says Pira. “By adding voice commands, we’re deepening the mobile experience and laying the foundation to build a unique, personalized in-app search engine that will allow clients to verbally call up any past banking transaction on their mobile device.”

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Available on iOS and Android, CIBC clients use the dictation feature on their device to easily search and access banking tasks, through hands-free keyword search voice prompts. In a safe and secure mobile environment, the app will search for suggestions on various banking tasks. For example if a customer says “send money” a list of options like e-Transfer and Global Money Transfer is presented.

“If You Build It, Will They Come?”

Many financial services organizations introduce new digital banking innovations in a stealth mode, hoping that, “If we build it, they will come.” CIBC realizes that, to maximize the impact of innovations and to support organizational sales objectives, the public needs to know and understand the benefits of new innovations.

To emphasizing its focus on being the modern, innovative bank for clients, CIBC is using an advertising campaign that highlights a number of banking-firsts it has delivered to help create a modern banking experience for Canadians. The campaign includes television, video, print, social media and digital.

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