St George launches native app for iPad, as Bill Gates buys his first tablet

St George launches native app for iPad, as Bill Gates buys his first tablet

Australia's St.George Bank is to release a new banking app specially designed for Apple's iPad tablet, offering full online banking functionality, GPS features and access to the bank's YouTube channel.

St.George head of eDistribution, Travis Tyler, says the app has been designed from the ground up to make the most of the iPad's touch-screen interface and unique screen-size.

"With the app, customers have access to all of St.George Internet Banking's key features, such as paying bills and arranging regular transfers," says Tyler. "The spp also features a St.George Branch and ATM locator, that uses the iPad's in-built GPS to help our customers locate their closest St.George branch or ATM."

He says the app has been built around a new user interface specially designed for the iPad tablet and includes a search function with access to all of the information available on the St.George website.

Says Tyler: "Our customers continue to embrace new technology to make their banking easier. Already, more than 110,000 St.George customers use St.George Mobile Banking on their iPhone or smartphone device and those numbers continue to increase."

The free app will be available to download from Apple's iTunes store in the next week.

Spain's Banco Sabadell was the first bank to release a native iPad app in late April, weeks before the tablet went on sale in European markets.

iPad mania continues unabated with Sterne Agee analyst Vijay Rakesh reporting today that Apple has been been producing the tablet at a rate of 1 million to 1.5 million units a month - higher than most estimates - and that production could crank up to 2.5 million units a month or more in the September quarter.

In a cheeky tweet this morning Apple CEO Steve Job posted: "For the record, @BillGates bought an iPad today."

Update National Australia Bank says it will release an app for the iPad in time for Friday's launch of the device in Australia. The NAB app will offer full Internet Banking, an ATM and branch locator and currency exchange rates. The banks says it plans to expand functionality over coming months.

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