Standard Bank is set to discontinue its Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) cellphone banking service from 8 July 2013.
The bank notes that this service makes up only a fraction of its total mobile banking registered customer base, saying further that its app service has achieved 170,000 unique registered users since it launched a year ago.
As at 31 December 2012, the bank claimed to have 11 million retail and business customers in South Africa.
Over its entire portfolio in 18 countries on the African continent, it had 13.5 million retail customers, 49,017 employees, 1,249 branches and 8,464 ATMs.
The bank says its WAP-based service was introduced in 2003.
“However, with the evolution of technology that customers have at their disposal, Standard Bank found that the customers using WAP based banking now make up only 0.59% of our total Mobile Banking registered customer base.”
“A decision was therefore made to discontinue this service, and customers were notified accordingly,” it said.
Standard Bank stressed that customers still have two options available to do banking on their mobile device, both of which provide all the same functionality available through WAP based banking.
The group said that its mobile banking app is available to customers using smartphones, and is available on the Blackberry, Android, iPhone platforms.
Standard Bank said it has seen great take-up of this channel of banking since it was introduced a year ago.
Standard Bank pointed out that in addition to its large footprint of branches and ATMs, self-service channels available to customers include telephone banking, Internet banking, cellphone banking (USSD and WAP) and its mobile banking app.
It said that customers can transact using cellphone banking through a USSD string, which is available on any mobile phone.
“This service is also free of subscription costs, and again all the same transactions that can be performed on the WAP platform can be performed through the USSD string.”