Banking app delivers business boost

09/08/2013 - 15:06

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Trisha Burgess’s small business has achieved a major sales boost this past year without any changes to her product range. All the gains, she says, are due to a banking app.

APPROPRIATE: The banking app has helped Trisha Burgess lift sales at product displays and cooking classes. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Trisha Burgess’s small business has achieved a major sales boost this past year without any changes to her product range. All the gains, she says, are due to a banking app.

Ms Burgess is a sales consultant and group leader for Thermomix, the German device credited with changing the way many people cook.

As part of her job, she runs cooking classes and generates a lot of her cash flow from sales of cookbooks.

In past years, Ms Burgess says, she would sell about $200 worth of cookbooks at each class.

Many people wanted to buy more but there was always a problem.

“People never have much cash on them,” Ms Burgess told Business News.

She investigated options like hand-held eftpos devices or PayPal, but none of them suited her small business.

They usually involved high fees, or required a special account, or a large sum to be retained in her account.

The breakthrough for Ms Burgess was the FastPay app.

A remarkably simple product, she said, the app allowed her to process credit card payments through her iPad.

“It has changed my business massively,” Ms Burgess said.

Now she sells about $1,500 worth of cookbooks at each class.

The extra cash flow makes it easier for Ms Burgess to purchase more stock, which in turn helps with book sales when she is on the road.

“My customers like it because they used to order online and then had to wait for delivery; now they just buy the books they want after the class,” she said.

Ms Burgess said the functionality included automatic payment confirmation, a running tally of payments, and an email receipt to customers confirming their purchase.

ANZ Bank managing director Australia retail distribution Mark Hand said digital technology was changing everything.

“Our industry is changing forever and for the better,” Mr Hand told Business News.

He said branch transactions were down by 5 per cent a year as customers opted for ANZ’s mobile banking apps such as FastPay and goMoney, which had more than 1 million users log on every day and was becoming more popular than internet banking.

ATMs were also gaining more use, including from businesses that utilised their increased functionality for cash and cheque deposits.

“It’s our customers telling us they are finding other ways of doing things,” he said.

Despite these trends, Mr Hand said branches had an important role to play, especially for customers wanting a face-to-face meeting to discuss loans or investment advice.

“We see a good future for our branch network because these are high value transactions.”

Mr Hand acknowledged other banks had developed apps with more functionality but said his bank’s digital products were more intuitive and easier to use.

Among the major banks, ANZ is a relatively small player in business banking.

It has 84 business bankers in WA, according to Business News Book of Lists, compared to Bankwest with 500 business bankers and Westpac with 476.

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