Australia’s St George Bank to deactivate internet banking by 2015

St George Bank, the first Australian bank to launch internet banking in 1995, has announced plans to deactivate the service and become a “mobile only” bank by 2015.

St George Bank, the first Australian bank to launch internet banking in 1995, has announced plans to deactivate the service and become a "mobile only" bank by 2015.

The financial institution stated its intention to deactivate its internet banking service to instead integrate its mobile platform across all channels.

Dhiren Kulkarni, the bank’s CIO, said: "Currently, people have online teams, their mobile team, an Android mobile team, and an Apple mobile team, but I think the industry is changing so fast and so quick you just want to be in a position to cope and continue.

"So we have to change our strategy where we will be mobile only."

The plans should see a first implementation for tablet in October 2014, a second mobile implementation in March 2015 and a desktop one later in 2015, "so we’ll have it as one system altogether", added Kulkarni.

St George Bank also announced a trial of iBeacon – Apple’s contactless technology that uses Bluetooth to interact with nearby devices – in order to automatically send welcome messages and tailored information to customers each time they enter a branch.

Kulkarni precised that customers will have the option to respond to the message or cancel the interaction.

The technology will be tested in three Sydney branches over the next two months and the bank will gather customers’ feedback. It then hopes to roll it out to 63 branches nationally.

St George Bank also announced in April its first smartwatch banking app for Android devices and that it was getting ready to receive the Google Glass innovation when officially launched to the public.

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