Westpac in New Zealand is overhauling its IT infrastructure as it tries to become the No. 1 digital bank in that southwestern Pacific nation.
"If you want a digital capability that's like a 200-ton locomotive going at 150 miles per hour, you don't want that running on bamboo railroad tracks," said Jason Millett, the chief information officer of the bank, which is a unit of Australia-based Westpac Group. "The digital train has to run at 400 miles an hour — otherwise you'll miss a lot of opportunities." It's a challenge many U.S. banks share — the need to offer new, high-performance mobile banking features when the underlying core system and IT infrastructure are, in some cases, decades old.