St.George lite-ly banks on popularity of Windows Phone 7

30 Mar

St.George bank, owned by Westpac, has launched an “Australian-first app” feature “Mobile Banking Lite” letting customers “conveniently check their account balance and transaction history” – but why is it only “Lite” and not the full mobile banking deal?

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform has a new native app to celebrate today, adding to the 10,000+ apps already available for the Redmondian phone platform.

St George says it was the first in the industry to release a smartphone banking app for the iPhone (and now available for Android and iPad too), although it’s clear St George aren’t exactly technologists – they keep on referring in their press release to “Windows Mobile 7 smartphones” and “Windows 7 smartphones” – neither of which actually exist.

That’s right – it’s called Windows Phone 7, and you’d think a bank, which is supposed to get facts and figures right a trillion times a day as its customers transact – and it has a name for a reason. It’d be nice if St George used it.

That flippant niggle aside, St.George is to be celebrated for releasing its Windows Phone 7 app, which is the first local banking app for the platform in Australia.

Using a “simpler log-in process”, the app features “Mobile Banking Lite” which lets customers “convenient check their account balance and transaction history”.

Clearly, if you want to use your smartphone to transfer funds or do more than “conveniently check your account balance and transaction history”, you’ll have to wait for St. George to release a “Mobile Banking Full” app for Windows Phone 7.

St.George Bank’s CEO, Rob Chapman, who presumably laughs and expresses a range of other emotions at different times all the way to the bank on a daily basis, said that “This is a very exciting new app designed to make banking even easier for our customers. St.George Mobile Banking Lite has been designed for customers who just need to check their account balance when they’re out and about, without having to complete the full mobile banking log-in process.

“It’s easy to use. Once a customer downloads the App from the Windows Market Place on their mobile phone, they enter all of their log-in details, including their Customer Number, Security Number and Password. From then on, subsequent logons only require customers to enter their Internet Password”, Mr Chapman added.

St.George Bank’s CIO, Dhiren Kulkharni said: “The app allows customers to securely view their account balance and transaction history quickly and conveniently, and is a first from an Australian bank. It’s the latest development in St.George’s continued roll-out of innovative mobile banking solutions based on feedback from our customers.”

Finally, at the end of the media release, we discover that the “Mobile Banking Lite” app actually DOES have more features than balance and transaction history details. It also include a “Branch and ATM locator”, presumably so you can find a branch fast when you need to perform banking actions your Windows Phone 7 app can’t do.

In April, St.George’s existing Mobile Banking Apps for iPhones and Androids will get the “Lite” features in April. Funny – I’d have imagined St.George’s Mobile Banking App for iPhone and Android already allowed users to check balances and transaction history.

If that’s the case, St.George needs a better press release writer. Call me up guys, I’m already a customer of yours and writing is a skill I possess.

St.George ends it release by noting a stack of awards it has won, including 2010 Banking Website of the Year from Money Magazine.

So, if you’ve got an Windows Phone 7 smartphone and are a St.George Bank customer, St.George has turned on the lites!


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Posted by on March 30, 2011 in Android, iPad, iPhone, Smartphone


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