Review of CIBC SmartBanking for Business

WARNING - This is a long technical review (6,000+ words). Here are the top five takeaways:

  1. Direct feeds are solid - If you’re frustrated with the current Yodlee feeds between CIBC and Xero, it’s a no-brainer to sign-up for this service and connect the direct feeds for $5/month with your Canadian accounting system (Xero or QBO). Your accountant will thank you. [2020 Update: The feeds went down a few times over 2019 and 2020 which is quite disheartening]
  2. No direct credit card feeds - As of this writing, you can only connect credit card feeds to Xero using a regular CIBC business login and Yodlee (not a direct SmartBanking for Business login).
  3. No email money transfers - You’ll need to use your regular business account to send these.
  4. Setup process is half there - The setup process, although somewhat self-service and electronic, is driven by humans in the background and requires more manual manipulation that you’d expect throughout the process. Be prepared for some head scratching moments and a bit of frustration.  
  5. No bi-directional connection - If you’re hoping for a 2-way, fully integrated solution that will allow you to pay and receive funds from Xero invoices and bills via CIBC, you’ll be disappointed. But there is hope, and that’s why I thought it was important to write this article

Why write this article?

  • To present a real-world account of the setup process, common issues, and limitations of the platform so potential users know what to expect and CIBC has access to honest customer feedback.
  • Knowledge base articles don’t tell the whole story and I couldn’t find an honest or thorough article written about the process that told me what to expect.
  • LiveCA primarily uses Xero and I couldn’t find a resource that dove deep into the details that mattered most to us.
  • This article will not explore in-depth details of Ceridian or Quickbooks Online.

What is CIBC SmartBanking for Business?

  • CIBC SmartBanking for Business is a new platform released by CIBC on May 13, 2019 that connects banking, accounting and payroll data to one centralized CIBC dashboard.
  • The official press release can be viewed here.
  • It launched with three partners: Xero Canada, Intuit Canada and Ceridian.
  • The purpose of this platform claims to provide business owners with more information in one place. While that’s true, accounting data in most companies is not typically kept up to date on a daily basis and if the information in the dashboard is used for anything important (paying bills or calling vendors for outstanding payments), you may find yourself as a business owner working off of incomplete data.
  • The real benefit to accountants is that there is now a direct, reliable feed into Xero and Intuit Quickbooks Online Canada which never existed before. This tool should encourage more small businesses to enter the cash management realm and allow them to have access to features currently only available to those willing to pay for access to the previous Cash Management Online (CMO) platform.
  • Existing CMO users should be migrated to the new platform by the end of 2019 (according to call centre reps and details confirmed with CIBC management)

How much does it cost?

  • This is a free platform upgrade that can be added in addition to your existing small business banking CIBC login.
  • There are additional connection and usage fees, but there are no setup costs for non-advanced functions and no ongoing monthly fees
  • Be prepared to pay at least $5/month to connect to your accounting system (Xero or QBO). Compared to the alternative of using Yodlee, this is a price we’re happy to pay until the market catches up and access to our own data is the commonplace.  
  • If you don’t currently have a CIBC business banking relationship, you’ll need to set one up. Make sure to ask for the right plan and avoid overpaying for the wrong bank account.
  • Notable fees include:
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What happens to my existing CIBC regular business banking login?

  • Nothing, it stays active and you don’t lose it.  
  • This is important because the new platform doesn’t allow you to send or receive email money transfers or connect your corporate CIBC credit card (so you have to use these original account credentials within Xero/QBO to keep the feeds active).  

Why consider signing up to CIBC SmartBanking for Business?

  • Direct bank feeds into Xero (and Quickbooks Online) that do not rely on third party providers. This is the single largest benefit from an accounting perspective given the historical issues CIBC (and other banks) have experienced via the existing third party provider, Yodlee. Account holders with all banks experience issues with Yodlee (it’s not just CIBC), so having this direct relationship should create a better experience for everyone. Having a direct feed removes a huge hurdle businesses and accountants face these days - working off of the wrong (or non-current) data.
  • Apple + Chrome Friendly: You can now access the CIBC cash management platform on an Apple computer WITHOUT USING INTERNET EXPLORER! For over a decade, Apple users have had to find workarounds in order to access CIBC Cash Management Online. Some companies (ahem...ADP) still restrict access to some reports using only Internet Explorer (using a driver from 1997) and it’s rather embarrassing. It’s nice to see CIBC starting to distance themselves from dated technology.
  • Ability to send instant domestic and international wires. If you send a wire instruction by 4:30pm EST, it will usually arrive by the next morning (if not same day) for most countries. Having this option is a great timing benefit over third party Canadian payment competitors (ie. Plooto, WayPay, Payment Rails, Veem, Remitr, Ablii, etc) and is a nice option to have available in a pinch. While the current cost of $20/wire with CIBC is more than some other financial institutions (RBC is $15 under $2,500) and third party providers (Plooto is $10 USD) it can be better than taking the time to walk to a branch.  
  • Send ACH payments to the USA from Canada. If submitted on Monday by 11:59pm EST it’ll have a value date of Thursday. This will use the automated clearing house (ACH) network in the USA to deliver funds directly into USA based bank accounts.
  • Send EFT’s (Canadian bank-to-bank transfers). If submitted by Monday at 7pm EST the funds should be in the other Canadian financial institution by Wednesday morning (2 business days).
  • Multi-user environment with permissions. Need to have an accountant or advisor have access to your account? Now it’s not going to be a problem (minus the complicated user set up experience). To set up a new user, you’ll need to contact your relationship manager, business advisor or send in a signed letter of instruction (in whatever letter format you wish) to
  • Software tokens are available now, no mandatory physical RSA SecurID hardware tokens are necessary like in the previous CMO platform. Although you can get a physical token if you wish, it’s not mandatory.
  • An iPad app exists (but not for Android tablets) that provides access to a few CIBC Cash Management features such as sending wires, EFT’s and stopping payments on cheques. Keep in mind this is not available in any other platform right now or for a mobile phone (iOS or Android). No thorough testing has taken place for this iPad app.

What is the current setup process?


  • Prepare the following information before reaching out to CIBC:
  • Add-ons: Which add-ons will you enable (Xero/Quickbooks Online/Ceridian)?
  • Wires/EFT: Will you need wires and EFT capability turned on?
  • Users: Have the full name, email, phone number and phone type (Apple/Android/Blackberry/Windows) of each user.
  • Payment Approval: If one user needs the ability to initiate and release payment, be prepared to sign up for issuer and approver status so they can set up a 2nd user account for one person to accomplish this (more on this quirk later on)
  • Tokens: Decide if you’d like a software (free) or physical ($30) security token


  • The enrolment process now starts with a digital front-end (vs manual back and forth with a person, although this is still an option if you call in or are introduced after setting up a new account). When the system launched in May 2019, the process was incredibly manual and required you to contact your business advisor or call into the call center to start the process. This initial article included a detailed description of this process, however the new digital onboarding system was released on August 2, 2019. There’s plenty of work to do on the digital onboarding process to make it more complete, but at least it exists (this is a very polite way of saying you will be frustrated and wonder why so many things are manual).
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  • During one of the account creations, the digital onboarding application asked us to clear all cookies and cached files in order to proceed. This is the equivalent of saying, “we made something that doesn’t work and we need you to fix it.” Applications that ask customers to do this don’t sit well with me. At the very least, they could have instructions on how to clear the cache and cookies for this particular domain only so it doesn’t affect your entire computer and interrupt the conveniences you experience by having cookies and cache saved.
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  • I've also ran into other quirky error messages like the one below:
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  • A “Senior Business Banking Solution Specialist” from the CIBC head office in Toronto may be in touch to discuss your application and clarify any outstanding requirements. They explain the platform in more detail and set the stage for the main contact to review and sign legal documents at a future date.
  • They will typically only speak to the main applicant, however that main applicant can send instructions to speak to a third party. This may delay the process 1-2 business days but is helpful in case the account holder wants to delegate this to someone else (an accountant, manager, CFO, family member, etc).
  • You may want to double check on this call that all of the settings you want are enabled (pre-authorized debit, wires, EFT, users, admin status, etc). Ask the rep to confirm with you all of the settings that are being left off so that you can have a conversation about them and avoid issues down the road.


  • The CIBC rep sends out a summary email with two legal docs to sign.
  • These must be signed in ink (no digital signatures allowed)


  • Client submits signed documents (via email) to the CIBC rep.


  • Confirmation email is sent by the rep noting a 7-10 business day set up period.
  • This time period is not what we experienced (our first one initially took 30 days back in May/June, with later accounts being set up on average in 10-15 days).


  • The rep may come back with user questions via email if original instructions are not complete or the back office team has questions.
  • This happened to us when we did a manual application and they forgot which phones we had (even though it was in the original email correspondence). This could be due to the quality of the representative, but glad this is sorted now with the new digital onboarding process.


  • CIBC rep confirms the account is set up via email; they provide your USER ID in an attached PDF. This letter will exist for every user in the system (so if you are an issuer and an approver, you’ll get two of these). Here’s what that letter looks like.
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  • CIBC implementation team sends you the token activation code email that will allow you to set up your SecureID RSA Software Token.


  • Your account is now ready to use and can be connected to your third party services (QBO/Xero/Ceridian).


  • You’re now able to login to your accounting system and replace the Yodlee feed with this direct one. Here are the steps to do this:
  • Deactivate current CIBC Feed
  • Click Manage Account and then Edit Account Details
  • Change the name to CIBC SmartBanking for Business
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  • Click Get Bank Feeds
  • Click Login and Connect Accounts
  • Sign On to CIBC SmartBanking for Business
  • Select the accounts to share with Xero and Save and Close
  • Select the bank account and connect that to a GL account and update the import dates; click Connect. You can import up to 13 months of CIBC data.

What are the limitations of the SBB platform?

Initial Account Setup

  • Not user friendly - The entire process has a long way to go to be considered user friendly and enjoyable. Manually signing documents, calls with reps, multiple users just to release a payment, no administration settings by default (to unlock a user) and a lengthy set up process are all things that don’t feel great.
  • Times out quickly - Session times when you first set up the account time out too quickly and it’s not clear how to proceed if you’ve already created your PIN and are halfway through the initial setup when it times out. As I was documenting this process, it ended up timing out after the first account PIN was created. As I continued to activate my token, it would tell me the User ID and token activation code were incorrect. If it would have told me to skip this activation stage and create a new PIN from the main page (because in the background the token was activated), that would have saved me an hour on the phone waiting for a rep to tell me to use the Create new PIN option on the homepage.
  • Locked out process is not fun - you get locked out very easily (after 3 attempts) and getting unlocked typically requires a call into CIBC
  • User administration is frustrating - User administration is turned off by default so you can’t add new users or unlock a PIN until 1 of 2 things happen: 1 - You ask your business banking relationship manager or advisor to initiate user administration rights (they will then work with the team in Toronto to initiate the change). You may encounter pushback from CIBC like we did, but it should be possible to add user admin rights.   2 - You send in a signed letter of direction stating that you’d like a particular named person to have user admin rights. An important point to note is that under CIBC current limitations, existing users cannot have admin rights added to their existing user. They must set up a completely new user with admin rights. This is baffling, but it is what it is for now. I haven’t set up a user with issuer and approver rights and then requested admin rights, so hopefully they can append those credentials to the approver user. If you see that this works, please let us know. Even if you have admin rights, you can’t add new users in the platform. This has to be done via a letter of instruction so that the team at CIBC can validate legal names and perform other backend security tasks (presumably), according to a Senior Business Support rep I spoke to at the call centre.  

Xero Tiles

  • Limited to one user - Xero data presented on the dashboard in CIBC SmartBanking for Business has to be set up for each user. This means that if User 1 sets up a Xero connection in their dashboard, when User 2 logs in, they’ll have to set up their own Xero connection as well. While this shouldn’t pose a problem, please be aware that any new users you set up on the account will also need to set up the Xero connection on their own if they find that valuable.  If they’re not a Xero user or don’t have access to an active Xero username and password, this portion of the dashboard won’t work for them. Either through an administrator account or by contacting CIBC with an instruction, that Xero tile can be hidden if necessary.
  • Limited to one Xero account - Only one Xero account can show on the dashboard at a time, in case you have a USER ID that is tied to multiple CIBC entities from a Cash Management perspective.

Accounts Payable

  • Limited info showing - The dashboard presents limited information only. This means there is no sorting, full lists or additional reporting.
  • No link to Xero invoices - You can not release a payment in CIBC SmartBanking for Business using Xero invoices as the source. Right now you'd have to use an outside payment platform (CIBC Cash Management, your regular account for email money transfers, a cheque or any other third party system) and then update that in Xero vs having it integrated into this new CIBC platform.
  • Can't see individual payables - You’ll notice below you can’t see a list of individual payables in CIBC. You’re required to click on the Payables menu item to go to Xero to see those.  
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Accounts Receivable

  • Limited info showing - The dashboard presents limited information only. This means there is no sorting, full lists or additional reporting.
  • No link to Xero invoices - You can not send a payment request or receive funds directly from a customer using a Xero invoice in CIBC SmartBanking for Business. This means payments must be received outside of the system (using Xero, cheques, incoming wires, EFT, Stripe, etc).
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  • No email money transfers - No ability to send or receive Canadian email money transfers (EMTs) via Interac
  • Two users required for payment release - No single user can initiate and send payments. The workaround is to create a 2nd user under your name, with a separate login and token with approval privileges. This feels so unnecessary and is a major issue that you should be aware of. I get where they’re coming from, a narrative along the lines of, “we’ll limit our risk of exposure to fraud by creating this control”, however that could also be obtained by letting an administrator toggle on and off the approver permission. This is the first time I’ve seen this in an app and I don’t like it.
  • Dollar values missing - There is a menu item called Paid and Received Invoices that lists all of the paid Xero bills and received Xero invoices. This is a little odd because it’s limited to bills (outgoing) and invoices (incoming) items only. That means incoming transfers, spend money or receive money transactions don’t show up here. If the goal of the screen is to give business owners a window into what is coming in and out of the account, it also feels weird that no dollar values are shown. There is one positive here - it does break out items individually that have historically been batch deposited/paid and described in Xero as “Payment: multiple items.” In Xero you usually had to click into the "Payment: multiple items" line on the Account Transactions page to see what they were.
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RSA Software Tokens

  • Can be confusing - Setting these up for the first time can be difficult for an average user. Issues arose when it came to validating the link from a welcome email (some people forgot their iTunes password for their phone to install the app, others weren’t sure which RSA app to download, others had broken links in the welcome email because they chose the wrong mobile device type so manual intervention was needed and the language around DeviceID and Serial Number were confusing for some).
  • Expiration too short - The soft token activation email has a 7 day limit on the activation code. This ideally should be ~21 days. People go on vacation, they get busy and life gets in the way. I can’t imagine the number of new emails that have to be generated because of the 7 day limit (it’s already happened to one of our customers). Keep in mind the help desk is only open on weekdays and they close at 8pm EST. Physical tokens have a 30 day window for activation.
  • One platform only - Tokens can only be installed on one mobile phone and set to one platform (Android/iOS/Blackberry/Windows) at the time of set up. This means that if you select the wrong platform, you'll get the wrong welcome email (links are different for each platform) and it may be a little frustrating.
  • Help is hard to find - Finding assistance can be tough online before you have a CIBC SmartBanking for Business login. Using the main help page, searching for assistance using the term “RSA Software Token” didn’t result in any usable pages (see below). All of the help materials for CIBC SmartBanking for Business is located in the app once you have a login.
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  • Finding support within CMO isn’t easy when you’re in the Cash Management Services menu. Here is a screenshot of the main page with no links to a help page, knowledge centre or support system. Within the payments and transfers section there isn’t a link to help documents either.  
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  • While this page exists, try typing in “EFT cut-off times” or “ACH instructions” and be prepared to be disappointed. Here’s a screenshot if you search for “Xero”.
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  • The proper place to get help is back on the front page of CIBC SmartBanking for Business after you’ve logged in on the main left menu. Oh, and don't even try to use the main website chat - the rep I received couldn't answer basic questions about ACH and required me to call in.
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What are the limitations of the Xero platform?

Statement Balances

  • The statement balance of the CIBC bank account in Xero is not sourced directly from CIBC.
  • Instead, it is calculated like any other non-direct feed, using a running balance of the imported bank transactions. This isn’t a significant issue, but it is something to note.
  • This can be particularly misleading to people who trust that the direct feed will automatically fix and keep the balance up to date automatically.
  • What’s the fix? Make sure your Xero bank balance is correct before and after you set up the direct feed for CIBC SmartBanking for Business.
  • In the example below, the Xero Statement Balance should end in “...,345.36” not “...,484.45”. That difference is due to a duplicate transaction imported to the bank for $139.09 after the direct feed started.
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  • XERO:
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  • CIBC:

Source Type Name

  • If you already have a CIBC bank account and are adding CIBC SmartBanking for Business, the notations on the bank import source stay the same. This makes it tough to see when the direct feed starts and the Yodlee feed ends. There may be some manual adjustments required to true up the balance if there is a duplicate item imported.
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  • A fix would be to change the name of the source type to ‘Direct Bank Feed’

Bank Feed Presentation

  • The direct feed from CIBC tends to have more information imported into Xero than Yodlee (which is great), however the presentation in Xero could be improved. With all of that whitespace (greyspace?) available, why not open it up to show more feed information? Right now, you’d have to click on ‘More details’ in order to see all of the transaction attributes.
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Delayed Posting Into Xero

  • Timing of the imported transactions into Xero isn’t always the next day. More on this below in the recommendations section, but if transactions occur late at night, they’ll usually take an extra business day to show up in the feed (2 business days later).
  • In random testing with a Quickbooks Online account, the feed tended to work quicker with no 2 day delay.

How does CIBC SmartBanking for Business manage multiple entities?

  • One CIBC login can control access to multiple entities (that’s great)
  • You’ll need a CMO Third Party Authorization Form signed which comes from a CIBC representative.
  • This is particularly convenient when you already have one CIBC SmartBanking for Business USER ID and want to add other entities.
  • Keep in mind if you use that login, you’ll only be able to see one Xero account on your dashboard, not all of the linked accounts.
  • A reminder this form has to be signed in INK and sent back to the rep in order to have it executed.

How can CIBC improve?

A better onboarding process

  • Avoid all of the manual paperwork that causes so many issues and delays.
  • Remove all humans from the enrolment process
  • Remove the rep call to explain that legal documents are coming, that you have things set up properly, etc. It feels like this adds unnecessary time and friction.
  • No need to have a specific rep in one department be the gatekeeper to status updates (this should be self-serve via an application portal or available by calling into the main business support line)
  • Use digital signatures built into the onboarding process. If CIBC is encouraging digital business, encourage digital business and help remove those friction points.  

Faster data into Xero

  • Reduce the time it takes between posting a transaction in CIBC and having it appear in Xero. Right now the average posting date seems to be 1 business day, however transactions occurring later in the day, tend to take 2 business days. This is quite possibly the most frustrating part of the CIBC platform, not because it’s unreliable, but because both Xero and CIBC are using terms like “ solution gives business owners a comprehensive view of their company's finances”, “...and optimize their cash flow” and “...provides financial insights to help make real-time business decisions” in press releases and on websites. When the underlying data in Xero isn’t updated for 1-2 days, that’s hardly real-time and impossible to live up to.1
  • Using Yodlee, the average posting date was 0-1 business day.
  • Here’s a screenshot of the transaction dates on the left and the CIBC direct feed import date on the right under the new direct feeds:
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Pay Xero invoices

  • Pay vendor invoices using Xero data in CIBC SmartBanking for Business and send back payment information to Xero (all without leaving the platform).
  • A few third party apps do this now (Plooto, WayPay, PaymentRails, etc) but with a direct connection and instant payments, CIBC would have a leg up on speed and reliability.
  • Right now, it’s too painful and doesn’t facilitate a flow of information that feels like you’re working smart.

Receive payment from a Xero invoice

  • Request funds for customer invoice payments via CIBC SmartBanking for Business.
  • One way for this to work would be to send send an email from the platform, there could then be multiple payment methods available on a specific landing page that the recipient sees (pay via CIBC SmartBanking for Business, EMT, PAD, credit card, etc). This would all be integrated into the Cash Management portion of the platform, almost like a self-serve withdrawal/payment instruction. This payment would then mark the item as paid in Xero automatically which works great for companies like Freshbooks, Wave, Xero and some of their ancillary add-ons like uCollect and Plooto.

Show a real-time bank balance

  • Have the CIBC direct feed bank account balance be visible (or be able to toggle on/off in Xero) and compare against the Xero balance.
  • I can’t stress how nice this would be to see what CIBC says and what Xero says in real-time and get on with the work. So much time is spent by accountants, bookkeepers, business owners and employees checking this information manually.

Start with admin privileges

  • Enable administrative permissions from the beginning for the first user because having to send in a letter (or having the account manager do it) feels like unnecessary work and will reduce the number of calls into the help centre (reducing wait times for everyone else with more important issues).

Allow one user to initiate and release a payment

  • Allow one USER ID to be able to initiate and release payments. Under the current two USER ID method, it seems unnecessary and one way to bloat user numbers for investor calls. I wouldn’t dare say that’s why it’s set up like this, but technology or security restrictions aside, it feels broken and full of friction.

Make it easier to make administration changes to the account

  • Provide default letters of instruction or a way to apply for changes online for common requests such as adding user admin rights, creating new users and creating a second user for releasing payments (after the initial setup if CIBC is sticking to the two user platform to send/release payments).
  • I found it confusing to have to format my own letters and worried if the content was enough to have actioned.

Make help materials public

  • Have help materials available in standard CIBC help pages so that prior to your account being set up, you have access to self-serve documentation or videos.
  • Currently they are only available once you're signed into your account which defeats the purpose of having them in the first place if you're stuck during the setup.

Show number of login attempts remaining

  • Show how many login attempts are remaining before locking an account. Getting the locked out message and then dreading calling in given the wait times is an unsettling feeling.

Fix email formatting & design

  • Fix the formatting for all of the emails coming from CIBC reps; having them go out in the format they are now makes it hard to follow what’s next, what’s required and buries the most important information in the middle of an email. Here’s an example of one email:
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  • As you can see, this isn’t easy to follow and is a poor reflection on the CIBC team that's working so hard to make this a good experience for everyone. Kind of reminds me of when a FedEx throws a fragile box on your steps and breaks what's inside.
  • Remove the odd spacing between modules in the app that require a user to unnecessarily scroll. As a large financial institution winning online international banking quality awards, this feels a little off. *I'll admit, this is a bit of a stretch to include*
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  • A few hours with a designer and a product manager should fix this!

Lookup Xero data in CIBC

  • Allow for searching of Xero data within CIBC SmartBanking for Business (to query the status of an invoice or bill).
  • Sort integrated Xero data better (by ascending/descending, largest/smallest). Right now, WYSIWYG, and there’s no customization. For example, the list of AP is sorted from oldest invoice and there’s no way to know what the highest value invoice is.
  • In the Receivables screen, it’s not clear if the ‘received today’ item shows data from Xero or CIBC. Given this is a Xero screen in CIBC, if a customer does pay into CIBC and the payment is not applied in Xero, that would be misleading to most users. To fix this, somehow note that this data is coming directly from Xero.
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  • With so much rhetoric about making things easier for the business owner, I'm surprised to see such little data in CIBC that is searchable and sortable.

Add email money transfers

  • Add email money transfers to this platform so that more than one user has the ability to send these (and please note the email money transfer limit before sending so it’s clear to the sender what the limits are and how much is left for that day).
  • Right now a business will need to share their regular business account login which is not allowed under their standard terms of service.

Have less issues connecting

  • Have a better solution for connecting the service when it disconnects. In one account, all Xero services work (Receivables and Payables), however Paid and Received Invoices lost its connection and has the following message. This is frustrating given the other tiles have refreshed successfully and it makes people question the reliability of the custom API.
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  • This isn’t the only example of items not connecting. Here’s one in the Paid and Received Invoices screen. There’s no “Refresh” icon in CIBC by the way, they meant your browser.
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Better education and actions for ancillary features

  • When providing Money Market Rates on the main page, think about what action you’d like a user to take. If it’s to buy a T-Bill or a Banker Acceptance draft, maybe add-on to this widget a function whereby a user can select an account, show that balance, enter an amount they’d like to convert and show the anticipated pay-off from the instrument at a future point in time with a ‘buy now’ button. This would convert more users and generally raise the financial literacy of business customers who may have never heard of these before.
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  • When presenting Lending Rates, have a call to action button for companies to contact you or start a form to initiate a transaction. There is also an opportunity for you to educate users what these items mean and how they can be used within other CIBC services.
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  • Foreign Exchange Rates could be turned into actionable FX transfers with a small widget at the bottom of the screen allowing someone to enter an amount and have the two currencies calculate a conversion.
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Increase session duration

  • Increase the time for inactivity before signing a user out. This feels too short and I find myself hitting this more than I’d like.
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  • I’ll admit, I did have high expectations for this release. After seeing early versions in June 2018, this was one innovation that had the potential to really shake up the industry and catapult CIBC ahead of the other large banks. I can only imagine all of the legal, technological and human issues they had to encounter.
  • While I can appreciate the tens of millions of dollars this takes to develop (guessing), this first phase is something that, on the surface, has simplistic features (view only, no reporting or sorting, 1-2 business day lag into Xero, no integrated payments) that are on the easier side of hard to replicate by other financial institutions.
  • Current marketing materials, verbiage used by reps at marketing events and big bold statements being made publicly do not live up the hype.
  • I worry for CIBC that this first-mover advantage will be short lived. If another bank is able to offer 25% of the recommended improvements above, especially around sending and receiving payments, it could be enough to sway people over to their platform.
  • With this technical groundwork set, I’m hopeful that the CIBC team understands the existing shortcomings and works hard to make this a platform more enjoyable, feature rich and beneficial to business owners.

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