St George Adds Credit Card Applications, PropertyMate To Mobile Options

Making mobile banking apps actually useful is a difficult challenge for many banks. Westpac sub-brands St George, BankSA and Bank Of Melbourne have added two new options -- the ability to apply for credit cards via a mobile device and new property hunting features on its iOS app -- and I'm undecided how I feel about them.

Being able to apply for a credit-card via a mobile-optimised site could go either way. It's good to see banks working to make their mobile sites more feature-rich. That said, you shouldn't be casually applying for a credit card, and you may not have the relevant documents to hand if you're roaming around with your phone.

The PropertyMate enhancement for iOS users is a more obvious bonus (the Commonwealth's Property Guide app covers similar territory). The app lets you track properties you're looking at and record your impressions for later review.

As with previous upgrades, the new feature has been added to Westpac's subsidiary brands (St George, BankSA and Bank Of Melbourne), but not to Westpac's own apps.


    To me, an app is a useful tool I access repeatedly on my phone for convenience (exception - Prey). Why would I want to download an app to apply for a credit card, from the same bank, more than once? As the author said, there are plenty of documentation hoops to jump as well.

    Mobile browsing doesn't have to be casual.

    Applying for a credit card from a bank you have an existing relationship with, think Home Loan, may not require documentation, and could be as simple as "send me a card".

      Looking at the app (which just redirects to m site) It is geared for new customers but it pre-populates, if you're already a customer. That said, if you're applying for a credit card, new customer or not, you typically still need to supply all that info/paperwork as a credit check is needed.

    All these new features are included in the one app, meaning they're there if I need them, but not taking up space when I don't.

    The more features the better in my opinion.

    It would be nice if they added features that people might find useful, as opposed to features that encourage people to borrow more money. I'm with BankSA and I can very easily request a credit card limit increase via their web or mobile banking interface -- but if I want to decrease my limit I have to call them and get shunted around a call centre or two. From a security/approval point of view, you would think that me asking to borrow LESS money would be a safe thing to automate. But, of course, customer convenience is not really the primary aim.

    This is all very well, but why can't Bank SA ( and its partners?) put its app house in order and allow customers to initiate transfers to other accounts in Australia with immediate (in practice 24 hrs or so) effect? The best the app can offer is to start the ball rolling from the next day (meaning that the process takes 48 hrs or so),whereas going through the bank's website only takes half as long.

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