With the launch of Standard Bank’s smartphone app and Nedbank’s mobile banking app going into beta among employees, Absa is the last of the big four banks to sit without a smartphone app.
First National Bank (FNB) was first to market with an app in South Africa when it launched about a year ago (20 July 2011), and claims that the application has over 200,000 transacting users who have made over two million transactions.
Other banks have been slow to respond, with only Standard Bank launching an app available to the public.
Absa’s head of digital banking, Christo Vrey, previously told BusinessTech that its app was delayed due to problems with its back-end system, pushing back its originally intended launch of Q4 2011 to sometime in 2012.
Even in light of the launch of Standard Bank’s app and the announcement Nedbank’s app entering beta, Absa didn’t divulge more detail when asked for an update about their app plans.
The bank reiterated that it created the technical framework in its Absa Online platform that will provide a services layer for other channels, including apps. The new Absa Online platform recently entered public beta and is available to all 1.25 million of Absa’s online banking customers, the bank said.
Absa also said that the interface for Absa Online has been optimised for use on Apple and Samsung tablet devices. “This tablet-optimised Absa Online thus encompasses a depth of functionality not currently available in any of the local tablet and smartphone banking apps,” Absa said.
Though Absa isn’t committing to platforms and launch dates, it is worth pointing out that Nedbank’s app is still in closed beta, meaning the race for second last to launch is still on.