St George To Ramp Up Spending On Mobile Banking Applications

St George To Ramp Up Spending On Mobile Banking Applications

Westpac subsidiary St George says it anticipates roughly 50 per cent of all customer transactions online to be undertaken by smartphones over the next 12 to 18 months, and in response, the lender is ramping up spending on its online mobile offering by tens of millions of dollars as it seeks to cater for the burgeoning Gen Y client base.

Currently the volume of smartphone transactions have doubled over the last eight month and now equal the volume of transactions undertaken at 85 physical branches.

Ultimately St George’s goal is for its mobile banking application to act as a platform for customer acquisition, from which products such as credit cards and personal loans can be applied for.

Currently St George’s mobile banking application undertakes 500,000 financial transactions every month and the lender has revamped its applications for all platforms including iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7.

Approximately 80 per cent of the lenders mobile clients access the platform using the iPhone iOS, though 30 per cent of all downloads were Android application downloads. Windows and BlackBerry users represent less than 2 per cent each, and the lenders iPad application is undergoing a revamp is downloaded about 2,400 times a month, and across all applications 25,000 downloads a month take place for St George’s mobile banking application.

Roughly 20 per cent of the lenders online customer base use its banking services through mobile devices. Rob Chapman St George chief executive says that mobile technology is a key differentiator, and in the future would attract a new generation of customers.

“I just think it’s so powerful . . . I’m investing much more of my personal time and my team’s time and resources, people and cash to develop something special,” Mr Chapman said.

Users of St George’s mobile banking platform fall into two distinct categories, 42 per cent of all St George mobile banking app users are under 25 years of age, whilst a whopping 80 per cent are under the age of 35.

“This demographic is really, really important to us. I’m a big believer in mobile technology and where that takes us,” Mr Chapman said.

Mr Chapman said St George would lift its mobile technology spend. “I can see us over the next three years spending a lot more money, as in tens of millions of dollars on it (mobile) as opposed to probably only a couple so far,” he said. “I’m going to open up 100 new branches in the next three years at $1 million a pop, so to spend $10m on mobile banking is not inconceivable.”