Absa has finally taken the wraps off its application for smartphones and tablets, becoming the last of South Africa’s big four banks to launch a transactional banking app.
Absa’s banking application supports Apple’s iPhone and iPad as well as devices running the Android operating system. A BlackBerry version will follow “shortly”, says Absa’s managing executive for digital channels, Adrian Vermooten. It allows users to make payments, manage beneficiaries, transfer money between accounts, view account balances, buy prepaid airtime, send money using CashSend and search for ATMs and branches using GPS.
Users of the app can also view their transactional history on a graph, view foreign exchange rates, use built-in investment, savings, car and home loan calculators, and view current Absa promotions.
The app, which supports both retail consumer and business bank accounts, is available in English and Afrikaans and is available in seven African markets at launch, with more to follow in the next few months.
Vermooten says the app is optimised for portrait and landscape views on smartphones and tablets, offering a common interface across operating system platforms. “We spent an immense amount of time on usability. It’s an Internet or Wap [wireless application protocol] solution that has been re-purposed.”
Absa customers can link their accounts to multiple smartphones or tablets. Alternatively, one device, such as a tablet shared in a home, can be used to access multiple Absa accounts.
Though Absa is the last of South Africa’s big banks to bring a smartphone-based banking app to market, it has defended the move in the past by saying that smartphone apps are used only by a minority of its more than 11m customers and that the recent upgrades to its online banking service and ATMs are of benefit to more people.
The launch of the app comes more than 18 months after rival First National Bank became the first of South Africa’s retail banks to launch a transactional banking application for smartphones. Nedbank and Standard Bank followed in 2012, with Investec launching an app last week.
The Absa app is available for immediate download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play store. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media