Standard Bank app lands on Windows Phone

Cape Town - Standard Bank has made its application available for the Windows Phone operating system, the company announced.

Standard Bank announced on Monday that it app, built in-house, is available for Nokia Lumia devices which run the Windows Phone operating system.

Banking applications have become a growing channel for customers to increase mobile financial functionality.

Standard Bank said that the challenges of poor network signal were taken into account in the design of the app.

"The application has the inherent ability to function in both online and offline modes. In the event of poor network connectivity, the app is completely functional and data is automatically transmitted as soon as network connectivity is restored," Peter Vickery, Standard Bank's Head of Sales and Service Personal and Business Banking Africa told News24.

Fingerprint technology

With the release of the iPhone 5s featuring fingerprint technology, developers of the app might look to exploit the technology in future versions of the application.

"The app has the ability to interface with various technologies in order to remain at the forefront of mobile advancements in line with some of the latest smartphone and tablet features available," said Vickery.

Some of the future technology might include biometric security and facial recognition as mobile smart devices increase in functionality.

In Japan, for example, technologies like NFC (Near Field Communication) are already widely used in the mobile payments ecosystem.

The Standard Bank app is location-aware and users can access distance to the nearest ATM or branch without having to login to the platform.

These features have seen increasing adoption of banking apps on smartphones in SA, but the cost of the devices is still a limiting factor.

Mobile wallets

Some of the features that consumers are beginning to expect in financial applications include the ability to operate a mobile wallet, but banks are cautious about such functionality as it may be maliciously exploited to compromise a user's account.

Users of the app are able to send money to a Standard Bank customer's cellphone, but the app follows the route of having to load a beneficiary for payments to non-customers.

While several mobile wallets are in operation in Africa, it is not possible to send money from one platform to another, which limits the appeal of the technology.

Africa presents unique challenges for the financial sector and Vickery hinted that because the app was designed in-house, it could respond quickly to financial needs on the continent.

"The Standard Bank Sales Application has been designed in-house and tailored to meet the requirements of the Standard Bank network across the entire African continent."

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