It seems like your Android smartphone can do a thousand things. Every day there are more apps to choose from to make your life easier and more exciting. Banking is no exception and whether you are just a banking customer or have your own business, you can do almost all your banking securely with a mobile app on your smartphone.
Most banks offer their specific versions of a mobile banking app. ANZ has three mobile apps written for Android to address their customers’ needs from daily banking to unlocking extra security for internet banking. Westpac also has a range of apps. There’s mobile banking for a business, a corporate, for investors and for travellers. (Home finders will have to wait for an Android version to become available.) Commonwealth Bank has a range that can be downloaded on Android, Apple or Windows phones. Their mobile app features banking, finding the nearest branch or ATM and foreign exchange tools. ING Direct customers especially like the fingerprint ID capability on their mobile app.
Banks leverage the mobile platform as a competitive edge to draw new clients. That means there are not many “generic” mobile banking apps that you can use even if your bank does not offer one. Small businesses wanting an app to accept payments have more choices. One example of such a generic banking app is MYOB PayDirect, which enables you to take credit card payments on your smartphone.
The big four
Forrester did a study in 2014 of the mobile banking apps of the “big four” major banks – ANZ, CommonWealth Bank, NAB and Westpac. Some of the findings were that mobile banking services in Australia are improving and catching up with others worldwide. Secondly, the trend seems to be re-use of a bank’s web applications, rather than building app components specifically for deployment on a mobile phone. Thirdly, more and more self-service features are being included in banking apps. Banks seem to shy away from this due to security constraints and some strange, costly need to have a conversation with a customer. One can only assume they like the opportunity to double-check their customer’s status and details.
The mobile banking platform has a promising future. Australia’s banks have built strong foundations for mobile banking. They already offer a variety of account information and transactional features and there surely are more to come. Banks will increasingly leverage context and analytics to gain a deeper understanding of their customers. They should also use mobile devices to offer smart services such as using GPS to guide a customer to the nearest branch or ATM.
No more branching
The day will come when you’ll never have to walk into your bank’s branch again. We all welcome the prospect of not having to stand in that queue ever again. Buying a car, getting a home loan, buying forex for that Thailand holiday, investing your money, planning your retirement, building up savings – all these from the comfort of your home, or from the beach. That’s the way banking is supposed to work.