BB&T Enhances Multichannel Banking Platform with iPad App

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

You have to love the gorgeous presentation that well-crafted iPad apps can deliver. The elegance of the touch interface, the wide open spaces of screen real estate when compared to smartphone apps, and the convenience of mobility combine to create a compelling user experience. BB&T has been offering mobile banking for a few years, has iPhone and BlackBerry apps, and has just launched an iPad app that takes advantage of the tablet’s real estate. Rather than just the task specific, narrow focus of the smartphone apps, the tablet version lets users apply for (or create) new accounts, plus a range of other service options such as home equity lines and financial education services –tasks that are simply not practical via the smartphone interface.

BB&T claims that it guards clients’ accounts with 128-bit encryption technology, multiple firewalls to shield the network and logon security measures with automatic inactivity logoff.

“Most banks just took their iPhone app and ported it to the iPad, but we took advantage of the unique characteristics that the iPad has to offer,” said Sumit Deshpande, Raleigh, NC-based online channel group manager, mobile and messaging services at BB&T. “It is really about providing a means for our clients to access BB&T services wherever and whenever they want.

“With the iPad app we leverage what we have in the online world, enabling financial management, making transfers and bill payments and the ability to open new accounts using existing online process, so there is a sales aspect as well,” he said. “We make it easy to open up new accounts with us via the iPad.

“Another key piece is financial education, providing access to materials like mortgage calculators, finding the nearest branch and ATM and a self-service platform for client to manage their finances.”

Tablets consumer far more data than smartphones. This is from Cisco’s recent report:

In 2010, 3 million tablets were connected to the mobile network, and each tablet generated 5 times more traffic than the average smartphone. In 2010, mobile data traffic per tablet was 405 MB per month, compared to 79 MB per month per smartphone.

Data consumption is of little concern to the provider, in this case BB&T. But as Cisco’s report continues to say, tablets are going to have a huge impact. It should be no surprise that the carriers are starting to throttle the consumption of the heaviest users. Cisco’s forecast:

Mobile-connected tablets will generate as much traffic in 2015 as the entire global mobile network in 2010. The amount of mobile data traffic generated by tablets in 2015 (248 petabytes per month) will be approximately equal to the total amount of global mobile data traffic in 2010 (242 petabytes per month).

Wi-Fi hotspots could start to look good to consumers again, in which case security concerns will become more important. Conducting banking activity over an open Wi-Fi connection is fraught with issues. I’m only comfortable doing that from home over my password-protected Wi-Fi link.

Read more of the Mobile Commerce Daily story here:

Read more from Cisco’s report:

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