The launch has come just as the bank as come under fire by watchdog AUSTRAC, which is seeking civil penalties against Westpac for 23 million contraventions of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF).

The failures were linked to transactions to child sex traffickers.

Westpac said the Data Driven Experience Platform (DDEP), which has been built with co-investment and engineering resources form both companies, will prepare it for open banking when it rolls out next year.

The DDEP will act as the foundation for real-time analytics across the bank, and increasingly use machine learning and other Azure cognitive services to support decision-making and enhance customer interactions with the goal of delivering more personalised services based on greater understanding of customer behaviour and preference.

According to Westpac Group chief investment officer Craig Bright, customers will start to experience the platform with the rollout of the bank’s new mobile app next year.

“The Data Driven Experience Platform give us access to an incredibly rich set of capabilities that enable us to engage digitally in real-time with our customers in a way that’s personalised, intelligent and autonomous,” Mr Bright said.

Westpac’s DDEP utilises Azure DevOps and is continually monitored with Azure Sentinel and Security Centre.

Azure Sentinel has been designed to use artificial intelligence to protect sensitive data and has the proven ability to tackle the analytics required to secure the bank’s data.

Westpac said the platform will support its compliance with open banking requirements.

In addition to Azure, Microsoft and Westpac have been working together to access the capabilities of Microsoft 365 E5, Dynamics 365, Power BI and Windows Modern Management to enable the bank’s employees.

Steve Worrall, managing director at Microsoft Australia said the technology giant is excited to be working closely with the bank on its deployment of cloud and digital platform.

“Azure, Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 are resilient and high-performing digital foundations for modern workplaces like Westpac,” Mr Worrall said.

“Atop that our engineering teams are working together using an agile approach, establishing the right tooling and the integrated controls to ensure proper systems governance and the creation of platforms that are compliant by design.

“This helps build the tech intensity that Microsoft considers essential to successful digital transformation and enduring impact.”

New tech for Westpac workforce

Westpac reported its move to Microsoft 365 is a key component of its WorkSMARTER program, which is aiming to increase productivity, collaboration and enable users to provide a better experience to their customers.

The bank has rolled out common desktop and cloud-based collaboration to 55 per cent of its employees, saying it is on track to complete the process next year.

Westpac’s workforce will also soon see the rollout of Azure-based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that is using Citrix Cloud and Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD).The new VDI platform allows Westpac to quickly adapt to the workforce change in each of its locations and arbitrate the launch of both onsite and public cloud based on workloads, the bank said.

The Microsoft 365 E5 suite of products is said to provide an integrated set of security solutions that will help Westpac reduce complexity and lower cost while providing enhanced security augmented with AI.