ANZ sneaks out iPhone banking app

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ANZ sneaks out iPhone banking app

Sends money via mobile phone numbers.

ANZ has released an iPhone application that allows customers to send money to anyone with an Australian bank account using only their mobile phone number as an identifier.

It is the first application launched by a major Australian bank that offers a "pay by mobile" function, which allows users to pay a third party without knowing the recipient's bank account number. 

Users of the application, called goMoney, simply enter the mobile number of the person they wish to pay, and the amount.

For existing goMoney customers registered for the service, payment is enabled automatically.

Payment recipients who aren't customers of ANZ receive a text message with a website to visit to finalise the payment into an account of their choice.

After almost 12 months in development, the bank quietly launched the application into the iTunes store yesterday.

The application is currently the number one free app in the finance category on iTunes and is moving up the list of all free applications, sitting at 27.

The native iPhone application is separate to the bank's optimised mobile banking service, and replaces traditional account numbers and passwords with a four digit PIN.

The service is being offered with no fees, but excludes BPAY payments, and will not work on iPhones that have been jailbroken.

To address security concerns, ANZ is extending its Internet banking guarantee to the service, promising to reimburse customers for any unauthorised transactions in cases where the customer doesn't contribute to the loss and notifies ANZ promptly.

Timely market entrance

A mobile commerce survey conducted by vendor Sybase 365 earlier this year found the most popular service phone users seek from their bank is alerts about potentially fraudulent transactions on their accounts.

The survey, which included opinions on mobile commerce by consumers in sixteen countries, including Australia, found 30 percent of mobile users have used their handset to conduct mobile banking. It found 13 percent of Australians use mobile banking at least once a week. Nearly 50 percent in the Asia Pacific region are interested in paying for things such as tickets, using their mobile device

The release comes on the back of ANZ's trial of a service that allows retailers to take credit card payments via a mobile device.

ANZ said in April it hoped the ePos Mobile application would be made available in iTunes by June, but the deployment appears to have been delayed.

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