Webank’s Crowdsourced iPad Application Launches on the Apple Store

Yesterday, I noticed an update from Webank’s facebook page informing their fans of the availability of their new iPad application on the Apple store.

Home pageThe application, designed to manage your Webank account easily on the move, provides a mix of standard and innovative features as well as two levels of access and content:

* ‘Consultare’ profile – content accessible without a second level password
– Available balance with details about your operations
– Account balance and movements about your saving deposit
– Periodic transfers list

* ‘Consultare e disporre’ profile – content accessible by entering a second level password and your birthday
– Bank transfers and mobile charges (by accessing to your payees list, previously defined on your Webank account)
– Fast transfers from account to saving deposit (and on the contrary)
– Prepaid recharges, payment slips, bank giro and charges for pay-DTT.

All those features are fairly basic and provided by most decent banking iPad applications.

7 Innovative Crowdsourced Features from the Wepad Project
From this version, the application extends its functionality by integrating progressively into the public side (and therefore open to all) some recommendations from Webank’s successful WePad Project, acrowdsourcing initiative which ended about 6 months ago.

In addition to managing your Webank account, all the users can:

* Organize your commitments (“Calendar”)
Calendar (1)Calendar 2

* Keep track of your activities (“To Do List”)
To do list_1To do list 2
* Aggregate your blogs/websites RSS feeds (“RSS Reader”)
Rss reader
* Follow Twitter updates by Webank and contact TwitterTeamWebank operators (“Tweet Webank”)
TwitterTwitter team
* See Webank audio/video productions (“Radio Webank / WebankTV”)
* Stay always up-to-date about economic/financial news through YouTube channels and podcasts selected for you by Webank (“Podcasts / Channels recommended for you”)
My Take
The Wepad project was truly innovative when it launched back in February, and ‘on paper’ a great way to build a better banking ipad application.

But six months after the project ended, the results of this crowdsourced initiative were still nowhere to be seen.  So it is a pleasure to see the end product.

Webank’s approach on the ipad is faithful to their corporate values and their aim to not only be innovative but also be different and engage in meaningful conversations over and beyond financial services topics (in that respect, it is very similar to UK’s first direct and their content strategy on facebook…).

Your Customized ‘Information Diet’
So, unsurprisingly, most of those innovative features are available to anybody, customers and non-customers, and not focused on financial products.  Instead, they are aimed to be useful and help italians better organize themselves and get access to relevant information in a customized way.

It is important to note that most of the content comes from Webank’s other social media assets like their radio or their youtube channel.  I love that Webank has integrated its social media content into the ipad application. Users can personalise their own “information diet” (ad una sostanziale personalizzazione della propria dieta informativa).
It is a clever way to give more exposure to their content, further maximize their investment in time and resources, and demonstrate how active, different and ‘cool’ they are.

But even though I understand the overall concept which is meant to appeal to the masses and reinforces Webank’s unique position in the conservative italian banking industry, I still can’t help but wonder why a ‘non-customer’ web user would choose to use Webank’s RSS feed reader over his own reader provided by the likes of google or yahoo!… Any thoughts?

And it looks like the Youtube channels will be selected by Webank to ‘match your needs’.  I’m keen to find out how that works and how relevant the channel selection is.  In my opinion, it’d be an excellent idea to urge the ipad users to recommend their own favourite channels and tag them by topic of interest.

Providing a calendar and a to-do feature sounds like a good idea, but again why would someone used to another software use Webank’s app instead?  It’d be interesting to pre-populate the calendar with webank related events (such as webinars, new product launches, new social media announcements, CSR, sponsoring activities…) or suggested events linked to the user interests.  And if the app could leverage geolocalisation…  Of course, nobody wants the number of suggested events to be overwhelming.

Good Integration – Customer Care on Twitter
Like the native ipad app recently launched by Citibank in the US, my favourite feature is the integration with Webank’s twitter support team.  It looks like Webank’s integration is far sleeker than Citi’s.  Thumbs up!
I also salute Webank’s perseverence: the structure of the support team with four accounts and the low volume of requests in Italy makes the amount of visibility on their facebook page, and now on their ipad application, evenbraver.  Well done.

Impact on the Business
Finally, how many prospects would decide to open an account with Webank thanks to the level of convenience provided by this one-stop-shop ipad application?  I’m eager to follow the app’s performance and the impact it will have on Webank’s visibility and its bottom line.

Webank-interviewIn the meantime, I invite you to find out more information about this ipad app and Webank’s social media strategy by watching my interview withCarlo Panella – Head of Sales at Webank.

The video is packed with key insights on Webank’s social media strategy and vision. This is not a tactic. Carlo confirmed how important it is for Webank to be where its customers are, and to provide them with excellent online relationships, equivalent to the face-to-face relationships you could find in a branch.

Working Together
We at Visible Banking would be delighted to help you and your team better UNDERSTAND and LEVERAGE social media in a strategic yet pragmatic way. So please don’t hesitate to call me, send me an email or DM me (@Visible_Banking) to book a meeting and talk about twitterfacebook,crowdsourcingcustomer reviews, social media & social commerce in banking, financial services and insurance.

What do you think?

Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London for almost a decade, Christophe is an entertaining fintech marketing keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of digital marketing, innovation and B2B social media.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is advising a number of fintech startups on marketing and growth hacking and he is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Fintech Power 50, an exclusive annual programme helping fintech scale-ups to accelerate their growth globally.

Christophe's views on are his own.

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