Things that go Bump in the night: TSB puts the power in customers’ hands with new bank-building app

TSB has a stellar record when it comes to customer service and customer satisfaction, and it is, as its advertising says, New Zealand’s most recommended bank. And its latest innovation aims to enhance the banking experience even further with an impressive—and significant—new mobile banking app called {my}bank that was more than one year in the planning, comes complete with Bump technology and employed the branding and design services of Special Group. 

Youtube VideoThe secure iPhone app (have a gander and download it here) allows all the regular online banking functionality, but it also allows users to, among other things, join up, open, close and name their own accounts, and transfer money with the bump of an iPhone.

“The bank already offers a full-service HomeBank banking solution, but with [my]bank we’ve gone one better,” says TSB Bank’s technology services manager Marie Collins. “Backed up by our existing infrastructure, [my]bank is truly customer driven as it puts the customer in charge and lets them choose how the service evolves.[my]bank is capable of all the normal banking functionality found on internet banking sites, plus a whole lot more.”

Users can also craft a personal banking experience through a unique customisable interface, with the option to choose from a selection of widgets (they vary from a simple foreign exchange calculator to social media tools), upload pictures and generally organise [my]bank to suit their needs.

One of the most interesting developments is the addition of Bump technology, which allows users to make payments by bumping their iPhone onto someone else’s, as long as they’ve been set up as a payment in [my]bank (both parties need to have the Bump app, but only the person sending the money has to be a TSB customer).

Another unique aspect of the service is the introduction of [[my]]bank labs, where users will be encouraged to vote on current projects and submit ideas that will help shape the future of [my]bank.

“At its core, [[my]]bank is customer-led,” says Collins. “mybank customers will be encouraged to provide feedback on ways to improve the experience and to suggest features. We hope to make the banking process as transparent as possible, and will continue to evolve and innovate alongside our customers.”

Of all the big banks, ASB has led the way when it comes to using social media as a customer service tool, and it launched its Facebook branch a few years ago. And TSB is acknowledging the importance of online comms tools as well, with mybank Guru service, where users can communicate with the bank via secure messaging, FaceTime, Twitter, 0508 MYBANK and Skype.

The app itself was created in-house and it stemmed from an internal competition to get a broad cross-section of bank-employees, from tellers to technology support staff, to come up with ideas for the bank. The competition generated over 40 ideas, but it was the then 23-year-old marketing consultant Michael Patterson’s idea that resounded with the bank’s executive management team.

“I interviewed a group of friends about their banking needs and discovered that many of them were dividing their finances amongst several banks to create the perfect combination of accounts and services. It made me question why we couldn’t create a solution that would mix and match banking services to suit individual requirements.”

After making a business case and investigating the resources it would take to make the concept a reality, the project got the green-light in May 2011 and was handed to Collins and her team. But Paterson was kept closely involved at all stages of development, from feature building to design, right through to the launch campaign around one year later.

Youtube VideoSpecial Group was also involved from the beginning and worked on the identity and name of [my]bank. A TVC starring TSB’s ‘New to Earth‘ ambassadors was launched on Monday and, given the target audience, the campaign will be heavily focused on digital, with 15 second videos explaining the service on pre-roll and in banners, more standard flash banners on other websites and a homepage takeover of Stuff.

Elsewhere in mobile land, BNZ has also recently released a new and more simplified version of its mobile banking app, with the newly available Mobile NetGuard replacing the NetGuard cards previously used to provide two factor authentication.

Since the release of the iPhone app in June 2011 and New Zealand’s first Android banking app in August, BNZ has seen monthly logins jump from 60,000 to 180,000. In just nine months some  $250,000,000 worth of transactions have been made using BNZ’s mobile offerings.

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