By Gugu Lourie
Absa, a subsidiary of the Barclays Africa group, is the first bank in South Africa to launch what it calls in its tagline ‘The Smallest Thing In Banking”, which is its new app for the Apple Watch owners.
“To celebrate the smallest thing in banking, we asked acclaimed artist, Lorraine Loots, to paint us a small painting… a really small painting for a really small announcement,” said the bank, without providing details on how the app would work.
Instead it said “banking shouldn’t disrupt your life – our app allows you to bank at your convenience.”
Standard Bank app to be available by end-September
Absa’s rivals are also working on their own app for the Apple Watch. Standard Bank announced in June that it was busy working on its own app.
An Apple Watch app is currently being tested with pilot users and will be available to customers by the end of September 2015. This follows Standard Bank’s recent launch of SA’s first biometric-enabled banking app by giving users access to smartphone banking using Apple’s Touch ID technology.
The first version of the Standard Bank’s Apple Watch app will contain a Balance Peek feature – allowing users to check their latest account balances without having to log into internet banking or their smartphone app.
Already on the agenda are smart watch services that allow share trading clients to track indices and shares, see the biggest market movers and track changes in their share portfolios.
Standard Bank added that the Apple Watch app will be followed by similar rollouts for Android Wear-enabled watches towards the latter part of 2015.