Despite a troublesome recent history, Belfius have made some notable innovative developments both within internet as well as mobile banking. Belfius Bank, previously known as Dexia Bank Belgium, was bailed out by the Belgian State in late 2011. By mid-2012 Dexia Bank had been rebranded as Belfius Bank. The new name, logo and colour-scheme were aimed to finally break with their turbulent past.
As readers will be aware, we have had a closer look at their new widget based secure site platform that was introduced last April, read the full article for more information. In December 2012, Belfius introduced two new mobile developments.
Firstly, a complete redesign of their mobile banking app for Android and iOS. Previously customers had to login to the mobile bank using their card reader or an SMS code. Following the footsteps of many other financial providers around the world, Belfius simplified the process by allowing customers to instead use a password to access their secure site. Once logged in they receive a neat introduction to the different functionalities of the mobile application. The new design is very sleek but most importantly easy to use. Customers can scroll through different accounts, view transactions and make payments without difficulty. As the mobile banking app is available to their young customers, restrictions on money transfers have been introduced for those aged 15 and below. The reason for this is Belgian regulations, it is illegal for children under the age of 16 to transfer money online from their savings account to their current account.
Secondly, Belfius launched a new app called ‘Belfius Free time’ which allows customers to view their balance without having to login to their mobile bank. This is a growing trend amongst overseas financial providers. It is also possible to change how the balance is displayed by changing view. Other functionalities include the option to split a bill between friends, view who owes whom and a spin the bottle feature to help decide who should pay the bill at the end of an entertaining evening amongst friends. Consequently, the app is clearly aimed at Belfius’ younger customer segments, making it easier for youngster to arrange finances amongst friends.
These mobile developments introduced by Belfius Bank are clearly grounded on customer needs. Whilst the ‘Belfius Free Time’ app focuses on the needs of their younger customer base, the redesign of the mobile banking app improves overall user experience. Both initiatives give a clear indication that Belfius Bank is following general mobile banking trends such as the ability to instantly check your balance and simplified login processes.