Sunday, 27 February 2011 15:24

CommBank brings NetBank to Android flank


Australia's 'which bank' is bringing its mobile NetBank service to Android OS smartphones from Monday the 28th of Feb, two years after the iPhone NetBank service first launched.

If you're a 'which bank?' customer using an Android OS powered smartphone, the Commonwealth Bank's iPhone support definitely wasn't the droid you were looking for.

However, after two years of iPhone support, the Android OS has finally stopped being on the CommBank's wish list and is supported too, at last. 

CommBank says that a 'customised NetBank mobile banking app from the Android Market' is finally going to be made available, designed to deliver an enhanced 'mobile banking experience with customised screen sizes and resolution' and 'faster processing times', along with a 'Remember Client' feature that is included to 'speed up the logon process for NetBank Mobile customers.'

The CommBank's 'Executive General Manager for Direct Channels', Quentin Boyes, went in to bat for the bank's iPhone support, noting NetBank's 'tremendous growth in popularity' since the iPhone version launched.

Mr Boyes said that 'Approximately 20 per cent of total daily NetBank logons are initiated through mobile devices with iPhone holding pole position to date. However, we have seen the popularity of Android phones double in the past three months, hence this launch.

'Our primary goal is to monitor how our customers are interacting with NetBank and stay one step ahead to deliver the best online customer experience. We have a number of exciting new developments coming down the line over the coming months to further help our customers manage their finances on the go, anytime, anywhere', concluded Mr Boyes.

Hopefully CommBank will make Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry, WebOS and Samsung Bada versions of its NetBank app far faster than the literally hundreds of days it took to get from an iPhone app to an Android app - after all, just as the iPhone does not interest all users, neither does Android, although they are certainly the top two smartphone operating systems of the moment.

Other banks should also likewise hurry up - there's a lot of Android users out there, and no doubt they want their Android OS banking apps too.

So, what will the new app let you do, and is the app available today rather than having to wait until tomorrow? Please read on to page two!

In case you're wondering what a bank's banking app will or won't do, CommBank has provided a quick list of NetBank's mobile banking functions.

Netbank allows you to check account balances in real time, to track recent transaction history, to transfer funds, to pay bills using BPAY, the view current applications from the Commonwealth Bank, to review future transactions and to be advised about any outages in advance.

Although the media release notes that the launch happens tomorrow, CommBank's media release also notes that 'NetBank mobile for Android devices is available for download from the Android Market'.

So, I had a look at the Android Market, and lo and behold, there it is. As I type, it has had less than 50 downloads and 26 reviews.

There's also an 'unofficial' NetBank app, a pro version for AUD $2, and a lite version that's free, but given the official CommBank app is free, the unofficial app is in for some stiff competition.

If you access the mobile banking site from an Android phone, you were previously sent to the iPhone mobile site, but Android users with those iPhone-site bookmarks will not find themselves redirected to an Android optimised site, and those with other smartphones can go to a generic NetBank mobile site.

To get mobile NetBank access you'll need to have registered for 'NetBank with NetCode SMS' or to have registered for 'NetCode Token security' using your 'existing client number and password', and if you're not registered you can visit the standard NetBank site to register or you can call 13 2221.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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