|Standard Bank goes app|
Thursday, 28 June 2012 14:30
Three out of four of SA's main banks now offer mobile transaction capabilities to their customers.
SA's banks are increasing their digital presence, with this week seeing the launch of mobile transactional banking applications by both Nedbank and Standard Bank.
Following in the footsteps of fellow big four bank, First National Bank (FNB), which introduced its banking app about this time last year, Nedbank launched its app in beta on Monday, with Standard Bank following hot on its heels.
Without any prior indication or announcement, Standard Bank confirmed this morning that its app is available for download on iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices. The tablet app, says the bank, will also be released soon.
Comparable to FNB's app, Standard Bank's mobile platform is free and allows customers to carry out transactions that could up to now be done via a USSD system, or online.
“Customers will be able to pay beneficiaries, transfer funds and buy airtime. Through the app, customers can also send money to any other Standard Bank customer registered for cellphone banking, by using just their cellphone number,” says Itumeleng Monale, head of self-service channels at Standard Bank SA.
For security purposes, says Standard Bank, customers` phones will be linked to their electronic banking profile as soon as the app is downloaded, meaning their account can only be accessed from their own phone.
“The app will also allow customers to access certain services without needing to log on to their profile. These services include locating the nearest Standard Bank branch, ATM, or AccessPoint, and seeing a map of how to get there, calculating instalment payments for home or car loans, and accessing numbers to report lost or stolen cards.”
Age of the app
Standard Bank says the move comes as the digital age is evolving, in turn seeing changing customer needs, including the need for additional channels.
Monale says research indicates there are about five million smartphone users in SA, and an estimated half a million tablet users. “[And these numbers] are set to grow.”
Standard Bank has over a million customers active in online banking, and close to two million cellphone banking customers.
The bank`s app comes post the development of Standard Bank`s research app, launched in October 2011, which provides research and information services.
Banking app pioneer, FNB, released its app in July last year and has seen the value of transactions over the platform surpass R1.5 billion.
SA`s largest retail bank by customer numbers, Absa, has indicated that plans for a banking app are afoot, but no time frame has been suggested as to when SA might see it.
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