Friday 13 February 2009

Idea - Internet Banking App for the iPhone

I was kindly given an Apple iPod Touch for my birthday last week, and I have to say that the apps framework and app store have got my creative juices flowing. I have been playing around with a number of the downloadable apps and have now got my calendar, contacts, email, facebook and linkedin access through my iPod touch.

So, next I was thinking what other apps would I like? I started thinking about the tasks I carry out over the web (apart from searching tons of research papers) that I could potentially like to do through the iPod touch. My main thoughts were about my accounts access for banking, mobile phone, credit cards and other utilities.

The most popular of these I would think is internet banking. Yes I can already do this by using the inbuilt safari browser to go to the internet banking site and transact in that way. The problem is that the site is not designed for browsing it in such a way, and I repeatedly need to zoom in and out to manage the transaction which is not very suitable. So, my suggestion is that banks should produce an app for the iPhone to allow their customers to access their internet banking directly from the iPhone/iPod touch home screen.

There would be a number of benefits to this:
  • It would work well as a marketing tool to advertise the internet banking offering.
  • It provides a new channel to create business (mobile banking already exists but most mobile access is too slow to make the experience enjoyable. The wifi ability of the iPhone/iPod touch allows fast access).
  • Surely all mobile phone operators will follow the same app model to increase the attractiveness of their phones (like this Nokia rumour?).
  • It could possibly be extended to provide other services in the future.
  • The net generation would love it, it would be "cool" to them.

What would the app be like? Well it would be quite simple I imagine.... Click on the app, which would present a login page allowing you to enter you identification code and password. This would then present you account information etc. Obviously there would be some security concerns related to this, but I can't see this as being less secure than the already available web browser option.

I think that more and more companies will enter this domain, as the popularity of the iPhone increases.