South African bank introduces mobile phone banking

Standard Bank says that it has introduced Internet banking on the cell phone designed to take advantage of the latest developments in modern cell phones and their ability to access the Internet.

"We have basically designed the latest cell phone banking offering to have the same 'look and feel' as our ATM machines, which new developments in cell phones such as phone browsers, GPRS and 3G allow us to do," says Anthony Abbot, head of cell phone banking at Standard Bank.

"This facilitates an easy transition and incentive for clients who wanted to bank by phone previously, but were limited by the technology and the high airtime costs of previous offerings," he adds.

The cell phone Internet-based connectivity is not 'dial-up' but is a direct Internet connection, offering ultra low usage cost and ease of use, he continues.

"Customers will be billed for what they use, not how long they use it for. As a result, even complex transactions on our new system will cost a few cents at most on the cell phone bill," Abbot says.

"The new system truly is mini Internet, unlike old WAP technology that was only superficially similar," he adds.

Abbot believes that enhancements in cell phone functionality as well as customer confidence and familiarity in these personal instruments are incentives for more and more customers to bank by phone.

"The cell phone has become the ubiquitous personal lifestyle and communication device in SA," Abbot says.

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Computing SA staff

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