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    May 23, 2012

    ABSA rolls out new Internet Banking revision – dubbed “ABSA Online”

    Absa yesterday unveiled a beta version of its new banking platform to its 1.25 million online banking customers, ushering in a new era in online banking, with unprecedented levels of control and ease-of-use for individuals and small business customers alike.

    The radical overhaul that has been in development for two years represents a distinct step-change from what was a purely transactional online service to a comprehensive suite of transactional and non-transactional services, as well as tools to better manage one‘s monthly spend and assist with financial planning.

    “œAbsa Online, and Absa Online for Business, as the services are known, are designed to offer customers a single view of their financial affairs ““ a portal to one‘s entire financial world,“ explains Arrie Rautenbach, Head of Retail Markets at Absa.

    The platform‘s graphical interfaces present a snapshot view of one‘s day-to-day banking, investments, other assets, and liabilities ““ allowing customers to better plan their financial affairs. BandwidthBlog has not been able to see this yet – despite many logins, the financial management tools do not load yet – but the service is still in beta.

    Rautenbach adds: “œBy providing this consolidated, dashboard view, we are putting the customer in control and empowering them to make the right financial decisions, budget more effectively, and unlock new opportunities for growth. Absa‘s online banking customers hold investments and assets totalling trillions of rands.“

    The new, intuitive, navigational structure allows customers to easily flow between various aspects of the service; making payments has been simplified; the design has been modernised; and new features have been introduced such as a secure, text-based messaging channel between the customer and the bank.

    Rautenbach says that this week‘s launch is merely the first phase of Absa Online. “œWe have built a flexible and scalable platform that will allow us to develop new services over the coming months and years, and provide customers with a comprehensive personal financial management platform.“

    “œThere are a number of innovations planned for later in 2012 designed to further refine the personal financial management capabilities and give customers an even richer banking experience.“

    The service has also been designed specifically with Apple and Samsung tablet devices in mind ““ meaning it will render and function intuitively with these touch-technology devices. In our testing we found that the site functioned well on our iPads, and functions like reordering accounts by dragging them, worked well. We also appreciate that it renders perfectly in WebKit based browsers like Chrome and Safari, which has not always been the case with the previous internet banking site.

    ABSA hopes that Absa Online will stimulate a renewed increase in online banking registrations and activity levels as customers gain familiarity with the new functionality and the ease-of-use.

    This launch follows a successful trial with the bank‘s 36 000 employees over the past few months. The trial allowed the project team to identify and solve any defects and gauge the response from users, via over 1300 feedback emails received from employees.

    Absa Online processes an amazing one-trillion rand in transaction values in a single year. Its foundation is built to easily cater for increased volumes in the future ““ as more and more South Africans use the internet as their primary banking channel.

    “œThe development of Absa Online saw up to 140 individuals, working across three continents, putting in an astonishing 450 000 man-hours of development work. Four million lines of code were written in this, a “˜first-of-its-kind‘ technology deployment in South Africa,“ notes Rautenbach.


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    • An ABSA customer

      Wow, at a (conservative, I think!) average hourly rate of R 350 / hour, this project would have cost them over R 157m. I certainly hope there is a lot more under the covers than the visual refresh I’ve noticed on my online banking login

    • Andrew

      Typical of a corporate dinosaur to be boasting about how long it took them and how many lines of code they had to write. 

      No one cares about that. Tell me if it works properly, what the features are, why it would be worth switching banks for this…

    • Andrew

      “Measuring software productivity by lines of code is like measuring progress on an airplane by how much it weighs.”- Bill Gates.

    • ex ABSA client

      Apart from visual changes and improved payment option I don’t see any changes that will provide much value. This should have been done 5 years ago in any event. I think absa is losing clients faster than they care to acknowledge

    • Christiaan Basson

      Ai Ai Ai This makes my stomach turn, to think of all those man hours paid for by their own customers to give their own customers a terrible experience. This bank has the worst leadership in the entire SA banking industry. The executives should simply  retrench them selves and sell out at 1c per share to someone who still cares.

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