Nedbank promises rapid-fire offering of apps

Nedbank may be slow out of the blocks with its application offering for clients, but the bank is now promising a multitude of new offerings this year, rolling them out one after the other on what it calls its new secure digital “highway.”

CIO Fred Swanepoel gave the media a sneak preview of the application suite that is currently already available to Nedbank staff and will be released shortly.

Swanepoel did not want to give a date, but hinted that CEO Mike Brown may have more news on the matter at the bank’s results presentation on August 1.

Swanepoel told Moneyweb that Nedbank will roll out all applications to staff first for testing and also to get staff members excited and clued up on what the bank will offer its clients.

Competitor FNB has had its application in the market for about a year now, Standard Bank’s app silently appeared in app stores this month, while Absa is yet to bring something to market.

Once Nedbank gets started, however, it plans to fire new apps to clients in rapid succession. In this way it plans to, in “certain instances,” even leapfrog the competition, says Swanepoel.

One thing Nedbank is promising its clients is increased security.

Fred Swanepoel
Fred Swanepoel

At the briefing to select media, Swanepoel highlighted Nedbank’s Approve-IT technology, developed for the bank in partnership with Stellenbosch-based mobile technology company, Entersekt.

The technology ensures true out-of-band authentication which limits the access fraudsters can get to accounts through phishing attempts.

Swanepoel said that the technology was launched already in March; since then more than 6m transactions have gone through the system with not one single successful phishing attack.

Entersekt’s Chief Tech Officer Christiaan Brand said the encryption used satisfies Gartner’s recommendations for out-of-band internet authentication.

Swanepoel told Moneyweb that when the app suite is launched retail clients will have the following applications available to them: a banking app, an online share trading app where clients can view their portfolio and place buy and sell share orders from their mobile or tablet (which Nedbank claims is a  first in South Africa) and other standard offerings like branch locators, calculators etc. Business client will also have access to a business banking app which will allow them, says Swanepoel, to do things like “authorise payments just before you tee off on the golf course.”

Already this week, Nedbank is planning to launch another offering that will then be available to clients as part of the suite – a financial planning application called My Financial Life. Later in the year an e-billing platform will be rolled out.

“This is just the start,” says Swanepoel.

The application suite will work on smartphones, but also on all feature phones. Authentication will happen not just through a password, but through the new system with a password and e-Certificate, making it more secure.

He said Nedbank is in the final stages of getting Apple accreditation for the app suite.

Entersekt’s technology is not exclusively available to Nedbank and Swanepoel believes that eventually all banks will probably go the route of true out-of-band authentication, but he doesn’t think it will happen quickly – giving Nedbank a competitive edge.

Brown said that Nedbank won’t be able to play catch-up with the other banks that might have a larger physical footprint, but that the bank can play in the mobile space and use this as a strategic driver.

Source: Moneyweb

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Nedbank promises rapid-fire offering of apps