Standard Bank tries to make their clients #appy

Despite what that other banks would have you think, not everyone abandoned Steve. Standard Bank recently launched a new app specifically for tablets. While there were a few rumblings that this was the bank “playing catch up”, I’m pretty sure for many Standard Bank clients it was a welcome addition to their money management arsenal.

I heard murmurings that the app was really easy to use and I was excited to try it out. I’m not completely tech challenged but I have no interest in spending time trying to figure out the whats, hows and whys. All I want to know is whether a banking app will make it easy for me to check my balance so I know where I can afford the new pair of shoes I have my eyes on.

Magnus Taljaard, Standard Bank’s chief information officer, says ease of use was key for them when they developed the app. It was created to be intuitive and to cater to their customers. Double tap on the app and it opens up, tap and hold on a tile and you are able to edit it. Voila! Taljaard says, “The app places your entire financial world at your fingertips.”

Magnus Taljaard, Standard Bank's Chief Information Officer.
Magnus Taljaard, Standard Bank’s Chief Information Officer.

The app is pretty (I thought about using aesthetically pleasing here but really – who says that?). Standard Bank focused on making it as personal as possible for every user. With this in mind they created a dashboard, which is a great tool as you can see all your information at a glance. The brilliance of the dashboard is that you can customise it. You can arrange what they call the smart tiles in a way that makes sense to you. In addition to this you can also choose a ‘hero product’ that will be a bigger tile with extended information. The hero product for me would be my ‘handbag and shoe fund’ – I always need to know how much is in there! That brings me to another great feature. You can name your accounts whatever you want. High five Standard Bank. One hundred points for personalisation.

Your personal and customised profile.
Your personal and customised profile.

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I generally hate it when people ask for my banking details. While I’m not adverse to people depositing money into my account, I hate having to look my details up. No worries, now there’s an app for that. There is a ‘share’ option in the app that allows you to share your details by pressing one button. Quick and simple. Love it.

You can also combine your joint accounts or any other accounts such as small business accounts to your app. With an easy swipe of a finger, dashboards can be swapped out. No need to log in with another ID etc. Again, no fuss.

Standard Bank also gives you the option to draw money without your bankcard, you can do it with the app. It allows you to generate cash vouchers for yourself or anyone else who you wish to send a little cash to and it gets done via cell-number. But, don’t fret. If you realise that you sent it to the wrong number, you can delete it. A voucher code gets produced and even tells you where your nearest Standard Bank ATM is to redeem it. If you don’t want to schlep to an ATM, you can also cash it in when you buy your week’s stash of chocolate at your local Spar.

A sweet deal for Standard Bank customers?
A sweet deal for Standard Bank customers?

I can’t wait for the app to come to Smartphones in the next 90 days. Being the ditzy blonde I am at times, I sometimes leave my wallet at home. Purely because I change handbags often and in a hurry I forget things. With this app, I’d still be able to draw money and not bother my friends to settle my bill or pay my parking fee.

Did I not mention that it’s only available for tablets right now? I asked Edrich Eachus, a mobile analyst at Standard Bank involved in the app’s development, why they decided to roll it out on tablets first and not Smartphones and his answer made a lot of sense: “Standard Bank already has a phone app which does all the basics, but we didn’t have anything for tablets yet. The idea was to create an app for that market first and then replicate it for the phone later on.”

I’ve played on the tablet app for all of 10 minutes and I can use it, which means standing in a bank queue could be a painful distant memory sooner rather than later. Standard Bank is also attempting to be a bit more “social” by using the digital space to answer questions posed to them on social media:

Standard Bank seems to have got the hint from clients – we want banking to be easier and less admin. It’s clear there has been a change of direction as Standard Bank tries to make their clients #appy. We need the Smartphone version of this app ASAP.

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