Nominee profile: Commonwealth Bank of Australia (SME Banking Awards 2023)

SME Banking
01/05/2023 Article

Commonwealth Bank is Australia’s leading business bank, supporting Australians to start, run and grow their business for over a century. With more than one million small, medium and commercial businesses across the country, Commonwealth Bank brings together the leading technology, products and lending solutions to meet the needs of today’s businesses.

How would you describe your bank's role in SMEs business journey considering their importance in the economy? 

There has never been a greater need to support SMEs on their business journey. SMEs are Australia‘s largest employer, contributing more than half the national GDP and representing 99.8% of all Australian businesses. They are Australia‘s manufacturers, food producers, hospitality and healthcare providers.

Spanning diverse industry sectors, SMEs play a crucial role in stimulating the Australian economy as they convert entrepreneurial ideas into thriving businesses. 

Today, Australia’s SMEs face multiple business pressures in the form of supply chain constraints, labour shortages and the growing cost of inputs – all coming in the wake of major economic and social disruptions (bushfires, COVID-19, floods). 

CommBank supports the key role that SMEs play in the economy through new digital services and tailored banking solutions. CommBank is there at every stage to help SMEs start, run and grow their businesses. 

CommBank helps SMEs to start by providing a digital business transaction account with a $0 monthly fee. CommBank also sets up SMEs to accept and make fast, secure payments and get finance. 

The CommBank app helps SMEs run their business on the go, stay on top of cash flow and access actionable data insights through the Daily IQ dashboard. 

When SMEs are ready to grow, CommBank provides a range of digital tools including DailyIQ to equip SMEs to identify expansion opportunities. And finance solutions including BizExpress which can provide real-time decisions to turn initiative into action. 

CommBank tailors its services to suit specific SME industries such as hospitality and healthcare, providing specialised knowledge and financial packages to help businesses meet unique challenges. Targeted digital solutions are helping SMEs in these sectors to streamline payments, reduce admin costs and access business insights. 

CommBank is at the forefront of how Australian SMEs pay and get paid as Australia’s largest payment and merchant provider. CommBank‘s recent launch of instant payments – the first major bank to do so – has made payments significantly more efficient and cost effective for SMEs. And in turn, for their customers. 

When Australian SMEs use CommBank‘s digital initiatives, they can be more productive which improves the wider community and helps fuel Australia’s economic growth. 

CommBank protects its SME customers with 24/7 monitoring of accounts for suspicious activity, employing the latest AI technology trained to detect scams before they can have an impact. Two-way push notifications through the CommBank app alert SMEs about irregular transactions. 

Why do you think your bank deserves to be awarded the SME Bank of the Year? 

CommBank is the complete business partner for SMEs, offering a range of banking tools designed to support them across payments, business planning and capital raising. 

Driving real-time payments through PayTo to deliver fast and safe digital payment experiences for our SME customers is a key focus for CommBank. 

In September 2022, CommBank became the first major Australian bank to enable real-time payments for SME customers, demonstrating innovation leadership across Australia’s payment system. CommBank processes more outbound and inbound New Payments Platform (NPP) payments than any other Australian bank, moving money faster for the SME community. 

Getting timely and useful data-driven business insights is also vital for SMEs so they can manage cash flow, take advantage of growth opportunities and spot potential risks. That’s why CommBank 

has invested significantly in supplying these insights to the SMEs’ mobile devices on the go via the CommBank app. 

At a time when SMEs are feeling the pressure of rising costs and the impact of natural disasters, the CommBank free Benefits finder tool is helping them get the support they need via grants, rebates and concessions. Since CommBank made the Benefits finder available to business customers in 2021, more than 24,000 Australian businesses have used the tool to initiate 35,000 claims. 

Any business, large or small, can be the target of cyber attacks. That’s why CommBank partnered with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) to develop the Small Business Cyber Security Guide to help SMEs better understand the threats and how to guard against them. CommBank protects its SME customers with 24/7 monitoring of accounts for suspicious activity, employing the latest AI technology trained to detect scams before they can have an impact. Two-way push notifications through the CommBank app alert SMEs about irregular transactions. 

CommBank is helping SMEs with a range of digital working capital tools making it easier for them to access funding when they need it. Enhancements to the Stream Working Capital and BizExpress high-speed lending solution demonstrate how integrating these tools into a digital environment can support SMEs in their business plans. 

CommBank’s innovation leadership is one reason why Australian SMEs rate CommBank Business Banking as Australia’s #1 Main Financial Institution of choice. What’s more, Australian SMEs are increasingly doing more business with CommBank, placing CommBank #1 in business deposits, #2 in business lending and #1 in merchant acquirer transactions in the Australian market. 

Briefly describe, what are top 3 projects/achievements delivered by your bank in the last 18 months for SME customers? 

1. PayTo – making it easy to pay and get paid 


The Direct Entry (DE) system, typically used for bank payments, is slow and inefficient. It can take hours or days for a payment to be processed. Payment information is limited to 18 characters and the payer has to know the BSB and account number of the recipient. 

This makes getting paid from a customer bank account an uncertain and drawn-out process. And reconciling bank payments to sales can be difficult for SMEs due to time delays and insufficient information, requiring manual effort. 


Launched in September 2022, PayTo allows SMEs to collect payments in real time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is because customers can digitally authorise one-off or recurring payments (such as for a subscription) from their bank accounts. CommBank is the first major bank to go live with this innovation. What’s more, both the customer and the SME get the payment confirmation in real time. And because real-time payments can be made in the CommBank app, SMEs can pay and get paid on the go from the palm of their hand. When an SME needs to make a payment, they can confirm they have enough funds in their business transaction account in real time, reducing the number of failed payments. And with greater control and transparency, PayTo has the potential to reduce fraud by authorising digital payment agreements through secure banking platforms like our CommBank App and NetBank. PayTo is also a cost-effective alternative to cards infrastructure and provides a platform for future innovation. 


By delivering faster, data-rich and more secure payments, PayTo has helped Australian SMEs and their customers to thrive in the digital economy. 

2. Business insights on the go in the CommBank App 


It can be challenging for SMEs to monitor risks and opportunities in their business. They generally don’t have tailored, easy-to-use data insights capabilities in-house and they are often time poor, making it harder to track performance indicators. This means many SMEs are not well-equipped to handle unexpected downturns or grow their business due to the lack of easily accessible information and support. 


CommBank provides SMEs with key business insights on the go via the CommBank app. CommBank gives SMEs access to business insights they can view via CommBank’s banking interfaces, Netbank and CommBiz, such as the Daily IQ business insights dashboard that integrates business metrics, data on the demographics of their customers, spend behaviours and local economic indicators. Daily IQ in the CommBank app is an aggregated view of all the balances in all of a customer’s business accounts. Now CommBank is making business insights available on the CommBank app so SMEs can quickly gain access to key performance indicators on their mobiles whenever it suits them. Business owners can view trends and content related to their cash flow, and pathways to lending solutions. Customer insights will be added to the app in 2023, enabling SMEs to get monthly updates on customer demographics. 


Daily IQ data insights are used by 6,000 SMEs each month. By adding business insights to the CommBank app, CommBank is empowering SMEs to make data-driven decisions to better optimise their cash flow, enhance business performance and grow their customer base. Almost half (42%) [1]  of Australian business owners say cash flow is their biggest concern. Cash-flow problems arise when there’s not enough cash to cover costs – as the business waits to be paid by its customers. To cover the gap, business owners may dip into their personal savings or take out additional finance, often at high interest rates. What’s more, cash-flow anxiety can distract the business from valuable strategic activities like planning, innovation and business development. 


Launched in March 2022, CommBank Business Cash Flow View is a dashboard in the CommBank app that allows selected SMEs to see monthly incoming and outgoing cash flow for their business accounts. The dashboard provides SMEs with a quick and clear view of their business cash-flow health. SMEs can tailor the dashboard to only show the transactions they want included in their cash-flow view. And because the dashboard is in the CommBank app, it’s easy for SMEs to quickly check and manage their cash flow on the go. 

Business Cash Flow View also recommends actions to improve cash flow. And if an SME needs short-term funds, they can access business lending from the palm of their hand. SMEs can also book a call with a Business Lending Specialist without leaving the CommBank app. 


Over 20,000 customers use the Business Cash Flow View dashboard each month. SME customers report that it’s now easier to stay on top of monthly cash flow. SMEs can now quickly identify risks and opportunities to work their cash harder. 

[1]CommBank Stream Research September 2021

3. Energy Efficient Equipment finance – helping SMEs go green 


SMEs can benefit from investing in more energy-efficient equipment to meet their sustainability goals and reduce energy costs. Recent surveys show that most businesses want to be offered discounts to upgrade to energy-efficient assets and take advantage of the growth in electric vehicles and equipment. 


CommBank’s Energy Efficient Equipment finance package helps SMEs invest in energy-efficient assets such as electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles and supporting infrastructure. The packages cover 100% of the purchase price and offer a range of discounts on ‘green’ vehicles and equipment. 


The importance of SMEs to the Australian economy means that any increase in energy efficiency through asset investments will help increase productivity, reduce energy costs and contribute to Australia meeting its emissions reduction targets. 

Check out our website dedicated to small businesses

Learn more about CommBank business banking

Related news & insights

SME Banking
05/06/2023 Article

Financial services for the gig economy: Catering to the unique needs of independent workers

A recent Qorus report discusses the rise of the gig economy and its impact on the future of work and...

Digital Reinvention
31/05/2023 Interview

Fibabanka reinvents consumer finance by taking the bank where the customers are

In Turkey, Fibabanka created a stir with the launch of its BNPL Alışgidiş solution and the merchant ecosystem that accompanies...

Digital Reinvention
29/05/2023 News

CBA announces new reimagined banking services

Commonwealth Bank has announced a series of innovations and technological advances designed to strengthen and deepen the customer experience as...

SME Banking
28/05/2023 News

CaixaBank launched a contactless payments app

CaixaBank has created an app that enables contactless payments of any amount to be managed quickly and easily from Android...

Open Finance
28/05/2023 News

Airwallex and TrueLayer partner to enhance payments infrastructure

Airwallex, the leading global payments and financial platform for modern businesses, announced its partnership with TrueLayer, the payments network powered...

SME Banking
26/05/2023 News

ASB offers discounted lending to support businesses’ social and environmental sustainability efforts

ASB is helping businesses on their sustainability journey with its new Business Sustainability Loan, aimed at supporting positive social and...

SME Banking
24/05/2023 News

ADIB becomes the first UAE bank to provide instant and secure account opening for SMEs via deploying Emirates Face Recognition (EFR) technology

ADIB becomes the first UAE bank to provide instant and secure account opening for SMEs via deploying Emirates Face Recognition...

SME Banking
22/05/2023 Article

The best of SME banking in Milan at the Reinvent Forum

This year the event is getting bigger with the SME Banking awards and the SME Banking Community open meetup.