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Cash Tank from Westpac NZ, a Mobile No-Login Balance Display

By Jim Bruene on March 19, 2012 6:10 PM | Comments (1)

image As mobile banking approaches its fourth birthday (note 1), we are starting to see the more interesting "version 2.0" builds from the major players. Last week, we looked at Commonwealth Bank's Simple Balance, with its pull-down balance option.

Customers don't want to spend more than a few seconds retrieving their balance when on the go, so the no-login option imagesignificantly improves the mobile banking user experience.

In response to that post, several readers pointed out the recently launched app from Westpac New Zealand unit. The app, Cash Tank, is an elegant solution to the same need. It's a full standalone app that does just one thing, shows the balance in the selected account on a "fuel gauge" (see first screenshot below). 

Users set their own high and low settings so the gauge could show empty when there is still a cash cushion remaining. And users have the option of showing the actual dollar amount available or simply relying on the gauge reading for more privacy. The Cash Tank can show the balance from just one account.  

Under the gauge is a link to the bank's mobile website where users must log in to conduct transaction. The bank does not currently offer a full-featured mobile app in New Zealand (note 2).

The app is available for iPhone and Android. 

Update Mar 20: We are awarding Westpac an OBR Best of the Web for its Cash Tank and Impulse Saver apps (Mar 21 post).

Update Mar 21: I neglected to mention that Southern Bancorp launched a no-login savings balance app a year ago called "Shake to Bank."

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Cash Tank from Westpac NZ is a standalone mobile gauge to your account balance (link)

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Cash Tank is featured on the Westpac NZ homepage (21 Mar 2012)

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Notes:
1. The dawn of the industry, at least in the United States, was in July 2008 when Apple opened the iPhone to third-party apps. There were huge strides made around the globe, e.g. M-Pesa, much earlier. But we're referring here to the modern smartphone-based services.
2. A full-featured mobile banking app has been available to Westpac Australia customers since Dec 2008. But it does not offer the read-only Cash Tank option. 

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This could be a subset of a feature that could be useful for regular online banking in addition to mobile banking. That's a feature to allow quick read-only access with less security. This would allow balances to be checked and some other limited account viewing. However, a full login would be required for any other account actions.

I know ING Direct has a read-only-access code that can be used by Mint.com and similar services. Allowing that same feature to be used for mobile banking would be a good idea.

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