These days it’s imperative for financial services providers to offer useful and intuitive mobile banking apps as branch footprints diminish and customers want to bank online rather than over the phone.
After I wrote about the Westpac Cash Tank App in this blog post a few months ago, a reader asked me to cover off Westpac’s other iPhone apps.
Westpac’s internet online banking platform is archaic. Having experienced the ANZ and ASB versions I find the whole thing lacks colour, life and features. Not being able to change your address or securely message the bank through online banking for example is incredibly frustrating.
In comparison Westpac’s Online Banking apps ( the iPad version in particular which is pictured below) are fantastic and it’s their simplicity which makes them a winner. While they don’t have all the functionality of online banking such as the ability to manage bill payees or pay your credit card bill, I’ve taken to using the apps rather than my laptop for my day to day banking needs such as transferring money between accounts and paying my rent.
Westpac research found that New Zealanders spend an average of $16.1 million per day on impulse purchases. Enter Impulse Saver – an app to encourage saving on impulse rather than spending.
The app features a big red button, one touch of which sends a predetermined amount (minimum $2 and maximum $50) from your Westpac transaction account into your Westpac savings account.The idea is you hit the button when you’re in the supermarket queue instead of reaching for the chocolate bar, magazine or bottle of coke.
Saving money to me means setting aside an amount each pay day before I can touch it and spending the remainder. But if you like the idea of saving on impulse download Impulse Saver.
The Budget Planner app offers pre-populated budgets for different life situations (eg. single or double income and whether you also have a family and/or pet). For each of the income and expenses questions there is a slider or you can tap and enter a figure, and select the appropriate payment frequency icon.
If your take-home pay equates to more than $3500 per week or your annual bonus more than $18200 this is not the app for you as the slider only goes to these values. On the bright site if you do earn that much chances are you don’t require a budget planning app.
This app can be used by Westpac customers and non-customers alike as there is no requirement to log in to online banking. There are negatives to this however as the app is not password protected and if you share an iPad like I do (a work one) your personal information is viewable by all users unless you delete your budget.
Allan reviewed an early version of the realestate.co.nz app (in association with Westpac) back in 2010. The map lets you spot exactly where houses near you are which is handy whether you’re looking to buy, or just want to be nosey and visit Open Homes near your home at the weekend.
Features added in the most recent update include the ability synch open homes and homes you like between realestate.co.nz and your mobile device, and an archive section to view sold or withdrawn properties for 30 days.
A Mobile Wallet and another closely guarded app will be released by Westpac in the coming months.