Banks are increasingly tending toward being technology companies, with innovation separating the various offerings from each other.
In its bid to offer business customers a more user-friendly experience, ASB has launched a new mobile app and website that brings a few essential tools together in a single place.
The 'Plus by ASB' app, created by digital product design agency Roam, provides a single access point to online business tools, such as Xero, Vend and Shopify, offering a single view of performance across all these interfaces.
Business operators are able to complete business and administrative tasks straight from the app as it provides daily actionable insights into how their business is performing, 24 hours a day. This includes reviewing cash flow, sales or product info, and ticking off admin tasks like approving invoicing, easily from a phone, laptop, tablet or desktop computer.
David Bell, the general manager of ASB Business Ventures, says the app was specifically developed with the small- to medium-sized business owner in mind.
“Our vision was to create a business concierge mobile app that would save SMEs an hour every day, so they could get on with what they did best," Bell says.
"We first devised a prototype with one of our graduates, however, we felt we needed to leverage external resource and expertise to make the app look slicker and perform even better.
"We went to Roam with our concept and were pretty blown away by what they came back within a really short time frame. We were also impressed with their ‘can do’ attitude, as they really understood the brief and what we were setting out to achieve from the outset.”
Roam co-founder Ben Morreau says his in-house team worked fast, pulling together the first prototype within 10 days. Thereafter, the team continued to iterate on these foundations to deliver something that met the specifications of the brief.
"It really was all hands on deck to get our first prototype together, which ended up being quite different to their original concept, but delivered more strongly on their overall vision," Morreau says.
"As we’ve been involved from the very early stage of ideation right through to the product being in-market, the process has been made much easier in that David’s team has spent most of their time working inside our offices, meaning we could really co-create with their innovation team. Trust and transparency have been absolutely key in this open and strong partnership.”
Interestingly, the 'Plus by ASB' platform is free and available to anyone, regardless of their bank.
Before its release at the beginning of November, the app was tested by New Zealand businesses Taylor Boutique and Chaos & Harmony.
More features will be added to the app in due course.