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Commonwealth Bank Believes The Best Idea for the Future of Banking Will Come from You

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) team including the media release on the bank’s new innovation platform, IdeaBank.  In mid November, I flagged CBA’s application for a dedicated trade mark: I invite you to read my post and watch my interview with Andy Lark – Chief Marketing and Online Officer.

A few days before its official launch, that is on December 8th, IdeaBank now has a dedicated page on CBA’s website and the bank invites you to talk about its innovative initiative on twitter via the hashtag #CBAIdeaBank.

Please find below the media release.  I’ve uploaded the pdf version here.
CBA-Innovation-MediaRelease
You can register your interest today and be the first to try the platform later this week, simply by sharing your name and email address with CBA.Please note that the bank invites you to promote this initiative and invite your friends and followers to join too.Andy Lark on IdeaBank:
“We’re incredibly excited to bring this pioneering platform to life and looking forward to a future that includes greater collaboration with customers to turn mutually beneficial ideas into reality. Never beforehave our customers been so empowered to both contribute and vote for innovation and improvement. I’m delighted that we’re able to pioneer in this space and harness the collective power of our 10 million plus customers, and work together to build a Bank that’s always one step ahead.”“Technology has played a critical role in our past 100 years of Banking, helping us grow and continually improve, therefore it’s only natural that we continue to invest in this channel to both differentiate our brand and offer stand out customer service, experience and now contribution.”

CBA’s IdeaBank Video
I invite you to watch the short youtube video on Ideabank published by CBA a few days ago.
My Take
This media release doesn’t provide much information on the platform itself, the level of profiling of the contributors, gamification, or its integration to social media channels like facebook, twitter or youtube.  Nevertheless, it illustrates CBA’s vision and it demonstrates the bank’s long-term commitment to transparency and customer engagement.

And this vision relies heavily on crowdsourcing.  And those conversations will take place on CBA’s own turf.  And even though IdeaBank will be a fantastic experiment, from the start CBA makes it clear that it is not a campaign, and the bank will increase the scope of the platform in 2012.

Under Andy’s leadership, this initiative has a good shot at changing the banking industry’s perception towards social media and transparency, and urging financial institutions all over the world to launch more engaging initiatives and better engage with their customers.

I very much look forward to testing the platform and finding out more on IdeaBank’s social media integration, contributors (profiling, employees or just clients), gamification, voting mechanism…

The media release also tells us that once more CBA believes that providing a financial reward will help drive the level of contribution and involvement…  Check out my recent post ‘Commonwealth Bank of Australia Celebrates its Centenary by Giving Away $20,000 to its Facebook Fans‘.

The next few months will tell us if it really is the best way to drive adoption and generate a high level of activity and (good) ideas.  IdeaBank will also help us validate the importance for banks to launch their own innovation platform ‘a la first direct’s Lab‘ versus interacting where their market already is ‘a la Danske Bank’s Idebank‘ on facebook.

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