|By Jim Bruene on May 3, 2011 5:12 AM | Comments (0)|
A little more than a year after the iPad launched, Bank of America finally made it their own with a native app. It appeared in the iTunes store around midnight last night and has already climbed to #42 on the list of most popular free apps across all categories (5 PM Pacific; see update below and notes 1, 2).
I took it for a spin a few minutes ago and it's about what you'd expect for the first version. The most important functions are all there: view recent transactions, transfer funds, pay bills, find ATM/branch locations, and contact customer service. It also includes the ability to apply for a new account within the app, something that is still relatively rare (and not included in the bank's iPhone app).
Analysis: Overall, it's a solid, if somewhat tardy, initial effort and will be adequate for most users. However, BofA has a reputation for being an online leader, and there is nothing in the app so far that supports that brand positioning. But, then again, simply having an iPad app puts it ahead of most competitors (see list of top banking apps as of last week).
A few other notable features:
- Users have the option to store their username, so subsequent logins can be accomplished by simply entering a password (screenshot 1)
- Pressing anywhere on a line item in the statement brings up a small popup with additional transaction detail (screenshot 2)
- While it won't win any design awards, the app gets a passing grade with an overall look and feel that is consistent with other iPad apps with relatively intuitive navigation. At least it's not simply an expanded version of its iPhone app (like the Chase iPad app)
It also disappoints in a few areas:
- I tried to pay my credit card bill, but the iPad app doesn't support payment via external checking account (regular online banking does)
- It times out after 10 minutes (good), but leaves your account balances visible until you dismiss the popup (screenshot 4)
- I was not able to access business credit card statement data (system unavailable) but was able to get personal card data
- The squares didn't quite fit the screen right in portrait mode (screenshot 4)
1. Initial iPad app sign in (3 May 2011)
2. Transaction details popup
3. New account app
4. Time-out warning still shows account balances
1. The app still shows up as #32 in the finance category. So clearly, the top list among all apps is refreshed more often than the individual category lists.
2. There is no mention of the app on the bank's website as of 5 PM.
3. For more info on mobile banking, see our previous Online Banking Reports.
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