Bank offers remote sign up

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 14:07 27/08/2012

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Consumers sitting at home in their pyjamas can sign up to a bank without having to go near a physical main street branch.

BNZ's upgraded iPhone app, launched today, allows anyone to join the bank using just an internet connection and a camera phone.

The development follows the lead of TSB Bank, which pioneered a similar sign-up system in April with its [my]bank app.

Would-be customers take a photograph of their passport or driver's licence, a recent bill or statement, and a self-portrait holding their ID.

They then draw their signature on the smartphone screen and submit the application for approval.

BNZ head of online Stephen Bowe said the new feature was intended to make banking easier.

An Android version of the upgraded app was "just days away", the bank said.

All the major banks now have smartphone apps available, and are quickly developing new functions and upgrades to tap into the burgeoning market.

BNZ described its own mobile growth as "phenomenal", with total transactions now at $700 million and mobile banking accounting for 20 per cent of all logins.

The bank has also seen a 10-15 per cent increase in unique logins each month over the last half-year.

BNZ's latest attempt to win over new customers adds to evidence that competition for market share remains fierce.

Last week, TSB Bank offered a special fixed mortgage rate available exclusively to customers switching from its rivals.

Others continue to offer cash-back deals and contributions to legal fees on mortgages to try and lure customers across.

Fixed mortgage rates have also continued to move, with ASB this morning dropping its six and 18 month rates in line with its two-year rate of 5.45 per cent.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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