Westpac has launched an in-app shortcut for transferring funds to friends via iMessage. The move comes six months after Apple demanded that Westpac disable a feature from Israeli startup PayKey that added optional banking icons to the bottom of the screen during text conversations.
An extension of the Westpac Mobile Banking App, the new capability offers customers a shortcut to access banking services while texting with contacts on their iPhone.
By clicking on a Westpac icon in their text conversation window, users can make payments, generate a Cardless Cash code and share their BSB and account details without leaving their text message.
The move marks an about-turn in Westpac's relationship with the consumer electronics giant. Westpac was one of a group of banks in Australia who last year dragged Apple through a long-winded, and increasingly acrimonious battle with competition regulators over access to the iPhone's NFC chip. The relationship was further soured when Apple demanded that Westpac switch off the PayKey keyboard on iPhones just three months after launch.
Westpac chief executive, consumer bank, George Frazis says: “We are keen to give our customers a broad range of choice when it comes to banking and we know digital developments like Westpac for iMessage will be welcome news.”
The iMessage application comes just a day after Westpac joined with Amazon to enable customers to access their account balance, recent spending history, and reward points status with voice commerce assistant Alexa.