Westpac dips toes in Windows Phone OS

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Westpac dips toes in Windows Phone OS

Native app in the works.

Westpac is building a mobile banking app for Windows Phone users as the operating system gains traction among Australian consumers.

Harry Wendt, Westpac's online and mobile general manager, told iTnews this week that the bank had a native Windows app "in the pipeline", to address customer demand.

Westpac offered a mobile banking website, optimised for Windows Phone users, in the interim. The site was launched on Saturday.

Westpac currently provides a mobile banking app for Android and Apple devices in addition to its mobile website.

Its Android and Apple apps offer additional features including an ATM, branch or banker locator, an inbuilt calculator and enhanced security via Security Guarantee3, Westpac Protect SMS code and SecurID tokens.

Wendt said that a calculator tool would be added to Windows Phone "soon".

"A Windows app is in the pipeline but we wanted to give our Windows mobile customers access to mobile banking as soon as we could," he told iTnews.

"Our Windows mobile customers have been asking for mobile support and we have seen this request more often of late.

"We wanted to respond to our Windows mobile customers and provide them with the mobile experience our iPhone, Android and BlackBerry customers are already used to."

According to analyst firm IDC, Windows Phone and Windows Mobile devices accounted for 3.5 percent of smartphones last quarter, up from 2.3 percent the previous year.

Android devices commanded 68.1 percent market share, Apple's iOS 16.9 percent, and Blackberry 4.8 percent -- the latter down from 11.5 percent in 2011.

Wendt said Westpac had seen "significant growth" in mobile banking, which had 1.4 million users.

The bank said it had reached 1 million active mobile banking customers in just 30 months, compared to 80 months for online banking.

It has previously credited an in-house team of 50 developers and an agile, ‘incubator’-style application development process for improving Westpac’s speed to market with mobile offerings.

Last month, National Australia Bank (NAB) announced its own mobile banking app for Windows Phone devices. The Commonwealth Bank has offered a Windows Phone banking app since January.

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