Those of you in Australia, particularly Melbourne and Sydney, will know the hype and subsequent sales of iPhones at Optus, Vodafone and Telstra stores over the weekend was hard to ignore. The launch of the 3G phone had much lead up coverage and consumer excitement, to the point where I personally witnessed the queue outside Melbourne’s T-Life store in the Bourke St Mall. When I asked if I could just go in the store for a look (not at the iPhone) I was told to join the queue by the security people on the front door – I was waiting for some line like ‘not in those shoes’, as if it was some desirable night club … not sure if Telstra will ever reach those heights.
And so the conversations and work begins on iphone ready internet banking (and other related functions).
ANZ have already launched something capable of working with the iPhone (has their java app failed then?) – this from their press release: “The initial functionality available to iPhone users visiting anz.com will include the tailor-made webpage and the choice of functions including Contact us, Locate us, and View Regular anz.com, as well as the ability to use the normal ANZ internet banking service. Over the coming weeks and months the purpose built iPhone banking service will be expanded to include View account balances, View your transaction history, Transfer between your accounts and Pay anyone.” Baby steps for ANZ, but platform and compatability/rendering issues will be the first hurdle.
Commsec are allowing trades using the iPhone – “CommSec clients with iPhones can login anywhere, keep up to date with market news and prices, research companies and their performance, monitor their stock portfolio, and buy and sell shares.” Interesting point made in the press release – “Rather than just accessing a website through the iPhone, the new purpose-built CommSec iPhone Edition enables customers to make the most of iPhone touch-screen functionality.” This is an important distinction to make, to ensure we know they’ve taken the unique user experience of the iPhone into account, not just the fact that its a mobile. There’s a demo you can watch here.
Jim at Netbanker gives us a good overview here on Kiwibanks iPhone offering, and also reveals the initial customer reaction of the BofA solution (and some background on BofA and Paypal apps). Again, an interesting point – “Their main complaint: it’s not really a native app, just a front door to the bank’s existing mobile site.” This again emphasises the importance of the context and environment of the experience is as important as the task and functionality on offer – they must be aligned.
How important is this speed to market for the bank brands, to be associated with one of the most anticipated products in years… to finally get their IB platforms to meet REAL mobile phone standards??