Absa launches online money tool

2012-05-23 10:36
Cape Town - Absa bank has rolled out an upgrade to its online banking platform that seeks to provide customers with more information to manage their money.

The ageing internet banking platform was in need of an upgrade and Absa has rebuilt the platform so that it is more user friendly, the bank has said.

"Our internet banking was a platform that was built seven to 10 years ago; technology and architecture have moved on a lot since then and secondly, the extent to which business units in the bank need to be represented on the internet banking site has resulted in that it became a very cluttered space," Absa head of internet and mobile banking Adrian Vermooten told News24.

The new platform is designed with widgets that make the experience easier and more interactive for the user, Vermooten said. Widgets can also be customised to user preferences.

"You can go into your accounts or your payments page and you can grab a widget and you can move it a bit further down. So you can change the order, for example, or your accounts."

Secure

Recently, 22seven launched a platform that allows internet bank account holders to manage their finances with an online tool, but Vermooten said the Absa platform was a result of their own plans.

"Unfortunately 22seven were out there first and this might look slightly responsive, but this has been a journey that has been ongoing for more than two years."

He said that users of the Absa online banking service can feel more secure about the platform as opposed to a third party service like 22seven.

"The big advantage is that you don't have to give a third party your login details to because it's in there already," Vermooten said.

Users of the platform can customise their banking experience and it also allows Absa to add further functionality without bloating the service.

"We now have this big chassis and you can keep on adding widgets without adding complexity, or without cluttering. We allow the customer to customise the page to an extent," said Vermooten.

He hinted that the platform was ideal to rollout on tablets and smartphones. Currently, First National Bank is the only South African financial institution to have apps for all the major operating systems.

"Taking those services and displaying them in the future on a tablet or a smartphone app just becomes so much easier because I don't need to go and rebuild the service, I just need to build a front-end presentation layer and pull the widget into that front-end layer."

The Absa platform was built over two years by a team consisting of about 140 people and Vermooten said that it was mainly a South African effort.

"The majority of the work has been done here in South Africa."


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