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Inside CommBank's mobile revamp: photos

The Commonwealth Bank today released an updated suite of mobile banking apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone 7. The bank also hinted at what customers were likely to see in coming months, including near-field communication, person-to-person payments and even Facebook-based transactions.
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By Luke Hopewell, Journalist on
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(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

CommBank's new NetBank app running on the Honeycomb-powered Motorola Xoom tablet. CommBank's new mobile apps are pitched at all platforms except for the BlackBerry and Symbian Series 60.

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(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

Andy Lark, chief marketing officer for CommBank, said that the bank doesn't believe it should be forcing its customers to use native apps all of the time as it may restrict the way customers use its services.

"We don't think it's going to be a 'one-size-fits-all' approach [to apps]. A lot of our competitors are running around saying that it's got to be native to live in the mobile space, but we don't think that's the case. We think different types of applications and different types of data would be presented in a wide range of ways, and when we talk to our customers and listen to them, families in particular have a broad spectrum of devices.

"Our intent is to build platforms that are as available across the way they live their lives, not develop a one-size-fits-all approach," Lark said.

Lark also reported that since 2010, CommBank has seen a 347 per cent increase in the amount of traffic hitting its website via a mobile device since September 2010. At the time, CommBank reported 749,000 mobile site visits in September 2010, a figure that has rocketed up to 3.3 million hits last month.

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(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

"Some of the features that we're looking at already are some more tools and calculators for the app, personalisation to cater for what people use on the app the most and most excitingly is transactional capabilities for the app, particularly around foreign exchange. That'll be enabling people to do international money transfers and top up their travel money card while they're overseas," Andrew Murrell, GM of channel marketing, said.

Murell and Lark told ZDNet Australia that the bank would look into a global roaming relationship with carriers to potentially lower cost of data used overseas when transacting with CommBank.

Murell added that CommBank customers can also expect to see new product offerings that allow person-to-person payments, as well as a feature that allows people to pay each other over Facebook — a first in Australia.

"The current capability of phones ... allows us to take this strategy forward ... and make the phone an extension of your wallet. You can expect to hear more from us very soon on our application, which will allow you to pay for goods and services, pay your friends and family, engage in social commerce by being able to pay your friends on Facebook or email," Murell said.

A source within CommBank today revealed that the new apps support near-field communication (NFC) payments, and added that NFC should be available for CommBank customers within the next three months.

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(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

CommBank's new app running natively on the new, dual-core Samsung Galaxy S II. The app automatically shows customers where the nearest ATM and branch is in the yellow top bar, based on a user's GPS position.

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(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

CommBank has also built a NetBank app for Windows Phone 7 users. Here you can see it running on the HTC HD7.

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(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

The BlackBerry operating system misses out on a CommBank specific app, as does the Symbian Series 60 platform. Here the NetBank app is running through the HTML5 web-based platform built by CommBank so as not to leave anyone behind.

The National Australia Bank told ZDNet Australia at this year's CeBIT conference that it's working on native apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, making it the only bank to give the platform some love.

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(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

BlackBerry PlayBook using the web version of NetBank, next to the iPad 2's native app.

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(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

The front page of the app as it appears on Android.

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