22 November 2012

Westpac launches next generation of tablet banking for Kiwis

Westpac has launched New Zealand’s first consumer banking application specifically designed for use on an iPad as mobile technology continues to transform the banking industry.

The ground breaking new app removes traditional web conventions and allows customers to complete transactions in the easiest ways possible using the iPad's touch capabilities.

The app utilises the interactive features of iPad with drag and drop options, a dashboard layout using tiles and the option of personalising the experience. Westpac customers can make payments to existing payees and transfers between accounts, and there is also the ability to set and track savings goals in the initial app release, with future updates planned to continue taking full advantage of the tablet’s interactive features.

Globally, tablet users are more engaged than smartphone users, and buy more on average via their device*. The recent IDC Consumerscape 360 report survey of 1,030 Kiwis shows New Zealanders are embracing tablet technology with 20 percent of Kiwi households owning a tablet - up from four percent in 2011.

Tablets are being used to consume content, not create it, and 30 percent of users noted a decline in their use of a PC after buying a tablet. And more and more, Kiwis are delaying spending on other devices in order to save and buy a tablet.**

Westpac General Manager Strategy and Customer Experience Callum Wilson says the Consumerscape 360 report shows a third of tablet users used their tablets to access online banking and the tablet will become a key channel.

“While mobility means tablets can be used on the go, they are being used most often after work and particularly after the evening meal. Their mobility means people are no longer locked to the personal computer at home and we want to provide customers with the option of doing their business at anytime, anywhere, on any device,” Mr Wilson said.

“Consumers are developing distinct patterns in their use of mobile devices. Smartphones are particularly strong for sourcing information on the go, social media and checking emails. While over 60 percent*** of tablet users shop and nearly 40 percent are doing work so it’s an obvious place for us to be.”

The iPad app is the latest in a range of apps released by Westpac over the last year or so. The highly touted Cash Tank app that provides account balances at the touch of a button has had more than 60,0000 downloads and six million balance requests so far. Westpac was the first New Zealand bank to release a budget planner app and over the last financial year Westpac had a 950 percent rise in unique ID’s and an even bigger lift in the number of transfers made via mobile.

A second release of the iPad app is planned shortly. Further updates will follow.

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*Ericsson ConsumerLab, August 2012

**IDC Consumerscape 360 report

***ABI Research July 2012