Absa, South Africa's largest financial services provider has announced that growth patterns in the use of its mobile website have exceeded expectations seeing over 1.3 million page views each month.
The bank has also seen year-on-year growth of 450% in mobile traffic. This is largely due to the portal's redefined user experience, optimised for mobile visitors, including a range of handy tools and features along with useful content.
"Clearly the mobile channel has reached a tipping point - with users now utilising their cellphones for far more than just simple banking transactions or SMS alerts," says Absa's Head of Retail Markets, Arrie Rautenbach.
"Smartphones and feature phones are increasingly popular in the local market; data costs are declining; and users are generally becoming more comfortable using the mobile apps," he adds.
Absa's mobi site offers a comprehensive range of services - from 'find a product' tools that serve up appropriate package offerings based on simple information, to instant credit bureau checks, ATM, branch locators and calculators.
The portal also contains a suite of information on current promotions, product offerings, and the latest news from financial markets globally. Absa.mobi is also the doorway to the secure WAP-based mobile banking platform.
Rautenbach says that the growth in the mobile portal usage mirrors the bank's strong play in other areas of the mobile channel.
"We now have over 7 million people subscribed for SMS transactional alerts via our NotifyMe service - receiving almost a billion SMSs annually. We are also seeing over 3.6 million customers registered for mobile banking."
Absa's mobile banking services are delivered across three technology bearers (USSD, WIG and WAP) to cater for a variety of handset capabilities and user requirements.
"Added to this, we are leading the way in mobile payments and mobile wallets with our launch of South Africa's first live trial of true Near-Field Communications via cellphones," says Rautenbach.
Absa's mobile portal is supported by other properties such as MegaU.mobi (student-focused content and information, as well as music downloads, games and wallpapers), and AbsaPremiership.mobi - encompassing fixtures, news, results, team profiles and supporter wallpaper downloads.
"Our strategy is to provide customers and prospective customers with an enriched mobile experience that adds value and allows people to keep control of their financial world, whenever and wherever they may be," concludes Rautenbach.