Forsyth Barr working on iPad, Android apps

The stock market is not a lumbering beast. It’s fast-moving and things can change very quickly, and many people may not want to wait for the morning paper to come out to see how their investments are faring.

Investment firm Forsyth Barr set out to keep people informed throughout the day, and has been doing so through its iPhone app since December last year. Now, however, the company is getting set to release more versions of its app – one optimised for iPad, and one for Android devices.

The Forsyth Barr app allows investors to keep track of shares throughout the day, and also to access advice and analysis as issues come up.

While head of product development and marketing Trish Oakley can’t yet gives dates, the iPad version should be available by the end of the year, and the Android version sometime after that.

Oakley says that the app is important because sharemarket investors include a broad range of demographics, and “we all seek information in a variety of different ways”. 

“If you think about Mighty River Power this year, in the marketplace I guess what our app does is provide a mechanism for investors to keep in touch with the share price of that,” she says.

Mighty River Power was listed on the NZX in May, but share prices fell soon after more than 113,000 Kiwis invested in it. The company regained some ground in August.

Forsyth Barr partnered with digital agency Springload to create the app. Springload has also worked on Kiwibank’s app and business banking website, and the New Zealand Red Cross website.

“I think we knew clearly what it was that we were seeking to achieve, I think that we worked with a great partner,” says Oakley.

“They helped translate what it is that we were seeking to achieve.”

Forsyth Barr chose to launch the app on iPhone first for several reasons.

“We looked at the data that we had around our website and its users and where we saw the platform that would effectively present the information that we wanted,” she says.

“There are a variety of apps in the marketplace for financial services but we found an opportunity to combine those.”

While Oakley won’t not say how many times the app has been downloaded, she says it has “exceeded expectations”.

“I think the feedback has been really positive from both our advisor and client network,” she says.

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