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Tablet banking a hit with customers

10 June 2013 

The trend towards tablet banking is accelerating with new figures showing that more people are making more payments over an increasingly quicker period of time.

A record $3 billion of payments have now been made through Westpac's dedicated iPad mobile application, which is transforming the way customers do their everyday banking.

Having taken nearly five months to reach the $1 billion figure after the launch of the app last July, the $2 billion mark was reached three months after that while it took just a further two months to go through the $3 billion level.

At the same time, the number of downloads of the iPad app by customers has now reached 270,000. These active customers are now conducting $25 million worth of payments a day, primarily basic transactions such as bill payments that were previously done in branches and through online banking via desktop computers.

The majority of these payments are also being done outside of what used to be normal banking hours, reinforcing initial Westpac research that shows the favourite time for tablet banking is between 6pm and 10pm at night.

The details underline Australians’ fast adoption of digital banking, this time through tablets and mirroring the speed of take-up through smartphones compared to the gradual use of desktop online banking little more than ten years ago.

“It has taken less than a year for us to have more than a quarter of million active tablet banking users and we are growing that number every day,” said Jason Yetton, Group Executive of Westpac Retail and Business Banking.

“We saw a very similar pattern when smartphones were introduced which kick-started the whole approach to mobile banking on the go. Compare that to the way online banking started in the first years of this century when it took double that amount of time – more than two years – to reach that same figure of 250,000 users.

“What’s more, that was achieved after a major marketing and advertising campaign to make people aware of online banking through their desktops.

“What has impressed me is the way our customers have driven the switch to mobile banking, first on their smartphones and now through their tablets and all of this by virtual word of mouth. This is truly banking at the speed of life and shows the power of digital in a mobile world.”

Mr Yetton said that Westpac’s experience supported independent forecasts of the growth of the tablet market in Australia.

According to technology analyst firm Telsyte, 2.4 million tablets were bought by Australians in 2012, taking the total number of people using the mobile devices to 5 million. Telsyte expects that number to rise by 50 per cent this year with one-in-two Australians set to own a tablet by 2016.

“This is very much in line with our own expectations and it’s interesting that we saw a large increase in downloads of our iPad banking app at Christmas as tablet sales were driven by the launch of the iPad mini,” added Mr Yetton.

The release of the new Westpac data comes as the bank launches the latest version of its iPad banking app, the third in just 11 months, which now allows customers to open new accounts such as eSaver, Reward Saver and Choice accounts at the push of a virtual button.

Other features of the new app include:

  • The ability to retrieve and view statements
  • Re-order account tiles
  • Instant drag of tiles to make payments.

“These new features are a direct result of what our customers have said they wanted after using the app and we are therefore pleased we can respond to their suggestions for an improved service,” said Mr Yetton.

“Our customers have consistently shown themselves to be the most engaged and satisfied among the major banks when it comes to mobile banking and their everyday banking needs.”

Note to Editors:

Westpac’s Banking for iPad app was launched in July 2012. Westpac was also the first Australian financial services company to provide a dedicated Windows 8 banking application for the Microsoft Surface tablet.

The latest version of the Banking for iPad app is now available on the iTunes store.

Tablet sales forecasts are contained in the Telsyte Australian Tablet Media Study 2013-2017 released in March this year. Further information available at www.telsyte.com.au