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ACS Week in Review: 1 August 2014

Friday, 01 Aug 2014

ANZ looks to life beyond the transaction – CXO Challenge

If digital disruptors think an online payments startup could rock the big four, they’ve missed the point of why people use banks, says Patrick Maes.

ANZ chief technology officer Patrick Maes is weary of the shallow applications that typify “cloud” and “big data” projects almost as much as he’s tired of the alarm bells ringing in financial services about the threat posed by startups.

After several decades working in advanced computer science across banks the world over, Maes has seen it all before.

“I’ve learned one thing - a new technology is seldom very new at all,” he told iTnews this week. “In 30 years, I’ve never seen a new technology. Every new thing is merely the next step on something that came before it.”

Westpac appoints ex-CBA exec as new CIO

Westpac has appointed the architect behind the Commonwealth Bank's core banking overhaul as its new chief information officer.

Westpac hired Dave Curran to its technology division as a consultant on a three-month contract in February this year, reporting into chief operating officer of technology Les Vance. 

Curran was hired at the time to progress two undisclosed key technology projects, understood to involve Westpac's own core banking modernisation. 

Curran had resigned from CommBank, where he worked under former CIO Michael Harte as program director for the bank's $1 billion-plus core banking overhaul, after eight years of service in mid-2013, once the project was completed.

Mobile broadband boosts Australian economy by $34bn

MOBILE broadband boosted Australia’s economic activity by $34 billion last year, with app development employing 140,000 workers as Australia recorded a surge in smartphone use.

Figures released today by the Washington based Progressive Policy Institute show that from May 2012 to May 2013, the number of Australians with a smartphone rose by 29 pc, while the number of Australians using the internet via their mobile phone rose 33pc in the 12 months to June 2013.

“It’s astonishing how fast many companies have embraced the App Economy, hiring the workers needed to develop mobile applications at a rapid rate. We are seeing the creation of new specialties and new ways to interact with customers and employees,” the PPI said of its findings.