Standard Bank skips along beaten digital path

 ·28 Oct 2012

Standard Bank says its mobile banking application has achieved 160,000 downloads since its launch four months ago.

This activity, the bank says, translates into R1.3 billion transactions through this channel since it launched on 27 June 2012.

It also announced that its banking app, which is available on iOSAndroid, and BlackBerry, would also be the first SA banking app in the Windows 8 app store.

Last week, however, First National Bank (FNB) celebrated its 300,000th banking app client having launched in July 2011. The bank says its adding more than 30,000 new customers to the channel per month.

And in September, FNB CEO Michael Jordaan hailed a 27% rise in the group’s online banking customers to 1.3 million. And a year following the launch, he pointed to R4 billion in transaction value through the app channel.

The bank’s success did not go unnoticed and last month it was named as the most innovative bank of the year at the Financial Global Banking Innovation Awards held in Washington DC.

Rival banking group, Nedbank, said last week that in excess of 50,000 consumers had registered for the Nedbank App Suite, which it launched in a testing phase at the back end of June.

Absa meanwhile, is expecting to launch its banking app in 2013.

Banks and devices

On Thursday (25 October), Standard Bank announced its intention to offer devices to its customers following a partnership with Microsoft and Samsung, announced at the South African Windows 8 launch in Johannesburg.

The bank said that cheque or credit card holders would be able to buy the Samsung Ativ tablet PC at a discounted price before it officially launches into the South African market.

FNB however, is celebrating a year since it began offering smartphones and tablets to clients.

“The inclusion of the smart device as part of the personal cheque account was a crucial part of FNB’s broader strategy to drive customers towards cashless payments and digital banking” said Irlon Terblanche, CEO of core banking solutions.

To date, FNB said it had sold more than 100,000 devices.

FNB’s range originally started with the Apple iPad, a BlackBerry Smartphone and HTC devices.  It has since added Samsung Galaxy Tabs; the Samsung SIII and Samsung Note 10.1; Apple Macs; Acer Windows Laptops; the new Apple iPad and the iPhone 4S.

Related services and value-ads, including SIMs, data, insurance, gift apps and electronic magazine subscriptions, were added to enrich the offer.

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