Bank CEOs get behind COVIDSafe app

by Madison Utley28 Apr 2020

The chief executives of Australia’s banks have made a show of support for the COVIDSafe app just launched by the federal government.

The app is intended to help trace the movement of COVID-19 within the country, speeding up the current manual process of finding people who have been in close contact with someone with the virus through automation. 

According to Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh, the app is an important part of the government’s plan to relax restrictions on community movement and reopen the economy.

“Today [27 April] the CEOs of Australian banks will download the COVIDSafe app and, to protect staff and customers, encourage their staff to do the same,” she said.

“It’s important the community embraces this app as a way of improving the ability of our front line health workers to trace contacts of those who have tested positive to COVID-19.

“Australia’s banks are right behind efforts to open up the economy in the coming weeks, when healthcare authorities say it’s safe to do so," said Bligh. 

NAB also made a public show of support for the app.

“It’s been heartening to see that Australia is flattening the curve and if the COVIDSafe app can play its role in improving community safety, helping reopen businesses and regain some of our normal lives, then that’s a good thing for all Australians,” said the major bank’s CEO Ross McEwan.

“There’s clearly still a long way to go but improvements in contact tracing methods, further development of this app, and more testing of those with symptoms will be important to providing the confidence to slowly loosen restrictions while preserving progress on the health front.”

McEwan plans to not only download the app himself, but to send a note to the bank’s 34,000 employees informing them of its release and encouraging them to do the same.

This in-house correspondence complements the bank’s continued communication with its customers, including the more than nine million emails and 200,000 text messages which have been distributed regarding its COVID-19 support measures thus far.