Internet banking has been around for a long while, but due to security requirements, don't exactly work well in some browsers and well most mobile browsers. But having the ability to access your bank account while not around your computer via your phone makes absolute perfect sense to me. So when DBS launched an iPhone app version for mobile banking, I cheered. The app's pretty basic though, but functional.
Stanchart's Breeze app though, takes this even further, and provides an excellent experience on what mobile banking should be. Having played around with the app via a borrowed set with an actual bank account (though my attempts at transferring cash to my account failed since the owner had already emptied the account *shake fist*), there seems to be quite a lot going for it. You can customize the app's look, add payees and send e-Cheques (though right now only SCB supports e-Cheques). The calendar feature is also pretty nifty, letting you view all the transactions made on a day. The ATM locate feature is nice to have, as Stanchart isn't like DBS/POSB when it comes to ATM coverage.
Sadly, I'm not a Stanchart user (I'm with UOB at the moment), but the app is definitely tempting enough to make me switch. Upcoming features may include multi-tasking support, though this may be limited to a time period of 1 to 2 minutes to allow users to switch out to the SMS app to copy down the authentication code from what I understand. They may also be Retina Display support for iPhone 4 users, and we understand that an iPad version may be in the works, though I got the vibe they aren't releasing it as a rehash of the iPhone app and intend to do more with the iPad. They could take a leaf from OCBC's impressive iPad app, but I'm sure they will come up with something equally cool.
As for the other platforms, Stanchart is working on an HTML version for mobile users, which means Android and Blackberry users don't have to wait for an equivalent app. This approach makes a lot of sense, as they don't have to waste developer time working on three different separate versions. Mad props to Stanchart for thinking ahead and grabbing this pie of the market, here's to hoping that they succeed and that other banks won't be too far behind in catching up.
That means you, UOB.
Aloysius Low / Former Tech Writer
Tech writer, gadget nerd, cat owner and social media junkie, Aloysius loves exploring the wacky side of tech, while tackling his notebook reviews.