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.