Standard Bank quietly releases mobile banking app
A year after FNB shook up the banking market with their first mobile banking app, Standard Bank has quietly released its own version. LIRON SEGEV assesses the new app.
A full 12 month after a mobile banking app was launched by First National Bank, Standard Bank has finally launched its own mobile app. Welcome to the party.
There is no indication of why the app was launched so quietly, as it is available across three of the popular South Africa device platforms, namely:
- iOS – Operating System version 4.3 or higher
- Blackberry – Operating System version 6 or higher
- Andoid – Operating System version 2.2
The app is simple to use, is quick and responsive. After the initial 4-step registration, which can all be done on the phone, you are able to log into your banking profile as it is on the Internet.
I am pretty impressed with the functionality built into the app. When you are on the road, there are certain task that you want from a banking app – and this app delivers on these. My main tasks are to view all my accounts, see the transactions, view statement for the past 30, 60, 90 days and make payment to beneficiaries from any of my accounts (very important). And I can transfer money from account to account.
There is other cool stuff like purchasing prepaid airtime and sending money to another Standard Bank customer.
The interface is simple, clean and has taken into consideration “fat fingers”, so everything is clickable without making mistakes. The statements and transactions are well laid out so that you can easily tell what you are looking at, as the page is divided into dates and information is neatly displayed. This is particularly handy when trying to read a screen that has lots of numbers on it.
I would add TWO items to the app:
1. Help icon on each screen – there are items that require a little explanation, e.g. When sending money to someone you can either enter their account number or their cell phone with the comment “Recipients can only be registered Standard Bank cell phone banking customers” – what does that mean? How do I know, if I am sending someone money, that they are or are not “registered” ?
2. Timer icon – you know the “hourglass” icon would be nice when doing a search. It tells the user if the search failed or still under way. Currently the page just goes blank.
It is important to mention that, without logging into the app, you can still use it to:
- Locate your nearest Standard Bank ATM, branch on a map so you know how to get there.
- View financial indicators for commodities, foreign exchange rates and shares. Not sure why this is always included in these apps, as people who really care usually have Trading apps.
- Calculators are cool to calculate vehicle repayments, home loan repayments and home loan affordability. Nice.
- Contact the Bank – Important numbers such as reporting lost or stolen cards are available to make contact without looking up numbers.
You obviously need to be a Standard Bank customers to use the app and there is no subscription for use of this app.
According to Standard Bank :”There are transaction fees on certain transactions.” However, they don’t define which transactions and what the fee is. Maybe it's hidden in the Terms and Conditions, or it applies to normal transaction fees.
The obvious comment that is being thrown around is that Standard Bank is not innovating but simply copying what FNB did.
But whether they are or not, is not the question. Standard Bank, like every other bank, has no choice but to be in the App game. Fish where the fish are – bank where the customer wants to be. In this case, the customers want to be mobile and still have access to their bank.
Once the app is in the market, it's far simpler to add new functions onto it and keep pushing features out as the customers demand them.
I'm still confused about why the front page of the Standard Bank website doesn’t mention this app. None of the Standard Bank customers I spoke to have any idea that the app is available.
Its a great app and I look forward to seeing how it will develop over time.
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