UK based mobile payments solutions provider Monitise has partnered with Standard Chartered Bank to develop apps for its mobile banking platform, Breeze, for the Indian market. MediaNama readers would recall that Monitise had partnered global payments company Visa (which also owns a minority stake in Monitise), last year, to provide a technology platform for financial institutions and mobile network operators in India, to offer services such as banking, bill payments, mass transit ticketing, mobile top-up and others to consumers. So this seems to be an implementation of the joint venture, with Standard Chartered Bank.
The apps support most smartphone platforms including BlackBerry, Android, and iPhone, in addition to basic feature phones. While the Android version, which is based on Adobe Air 2.5, is already available through the Android Market, the iPhone version will be launched by the end of this month. To get the app for BlackBerry and other phones, customers need to send a text message with the key word ‘BREEZE’ to 99871 23123.
It appears that the Android and iPhone apps sport a uniform look (atleast from what we see on the website). In addition to tracking bank and credit card accounts, Standard Chartered customers will be able to transfer funds, pay utility bills for 100 billers across India, locate bank branches and ATMs, top-up their mobile phones, and buy cinema tickets & air tickets through the app.
Besides the regular features, the Android app also offers a Reminders functionality to keep track of regular payments. It also offers a calendar view for transactions, in addition to the regular listing view. To make the app more aesthetically appealing, it comes with a dynamic background wallpaper, that changes depending on the time of the day. Customers can use their existing online usernames and passwords to get access. However, they need to register their mobile number through an SMS, on the first login.
Som other private banks such as ICICI Bank, also offer native smartphone apps, however, it remains to be seen if apps could act as a catalyst to mobile commerce by integrating airline and cinema tickets sales. Also, we do not know which providers have partnered the bank for the e-commerce solutions integrated inside the app, but doesn’t this amount to the bank endorsing them?