Suncorp customers became the first to have internet banking access via their mobile phones using browser enabled technology, with the bank launching the facility this week.
Browser enabled technology means the customer does not have to download any programs onto their phone for the service to work - they simply log onto the Internet via the web browser on their mobile phone.
Customers will be able to access account balance information, transaction history, pay bills and transfer funds between Suncorp and external bank accounts via the web browser on their mobile phones.
Suncorp's Executive General Manager of Deposits and Payments, Terry Wasmund, said the new service provides Suncorp customers with another way to access banking services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"The results of our customer research showed a desire, particularly from families and small business owners, for a way to access their banking services when they are away from their computer or landline," Mr Wasmund said.
"Both families and small business owners expressed the need for assurance in "real time" that money was available in their account when they were away from their computer," he said. "Another finding was that typically both partners access funds from the same account and are sometimes not aware when funds have been withdrawn. Mobile phone banking allows joint account holders to monitor the account usage anytime, anywhere."
Unlike other mobile banking services which require customers to download software, the Suncorp service is accessed via the mobile phone's internet browser making it more efficient and easy to use.
Suncorp's mobile phone banking service works from any mobile that can access the Internet and has an SSL capable "cookie" enabled browser, including PDAs and Blackberry devices. This simple browser-based technology is present in most mobile phones manufactured in the last few years.
"Suncorp offers a safe and secure service through a mobile phone's web browser," Mr Wasmund said. "The service is free for customers - it's no different from accessing your internet banking through your desktop or laptop," he said.
Eftpos outsourcing deal
Separately, Suncorp has outsourced the ongoing management of its EFTPOS fleet to leading global provider of electronic payment solutions, Hypercom Corporation, in a move that will see an upgrade of its terminals for existing merchant customers.
Suncorp general manager of payment solutions, Terry Wasmund said under the agreement, Hypercom would assume ownership of all of Suncorp's existing EFTPOS terminals and manage the network and deployment of new terminals going forward.
Mr Wasmund said Suncorp merchants would have a new generation of EFTPOS terminals installed within six months, as well as access to an expanded range of payment solutions.
"This partnership with a global leader in the field of complete electronic payment solutions will allow Suncorp to provide its merchants with upgraded solutions at a lower cost. "This is a win for Suncorp's merchant customers. The agreement has provided us with the opportunity to refresh and upgrade our fleet of Suncorp EFTPOS terminals with, importantly, no increase in costs for our customers.
"Going forward, Hypercom will manage the installation and maintenance of Suncorp EFTPOS terminals. For Suncorp, access to the resources of this global provider will mean lower operational costs, which we will be able to pass on to our merchants."
Mr Wasmund said Hypercom would also enhance the Suncorp merchant product portfolio with a new range of integrated payment solutions over the next six months.
"Product enhancement will include expanded EFTPOS terminal functionality, such as the ability to do mobile phone top ups and pre-paid tickets, as well as providing Suncorp merchants with access to a mobile EFTPOS facility," he said.
Managing Director of Hypercom Asia-Pacific, TK Cheung said "This is an excellent opportunity for Hypercom to deliver the latest generation of products supported by its capability to supply software development, financing, logistics, call centre and field service support and repair services."
"The opportunity to work in a partnership with Suncorp demonstrates that, in order to be successful in the Australian market, it's necessary to be more than just a hardware manufacturer."