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Mobile apps for all

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The app isn’t just for the large enterprise anymore, now it can provide a highly specialised and customised solution for clients of all business sizes, writes JOHN EIGELAAR of Keystone Electronics.

Until recently the mobile app has been seen as an expensive, time consuming and challenging solution to develop, something that only the large enterprise can afford or implement. This has now changed. Apps are easy to build and they allow for the small business to develop a solution that is customisable and completely structured around the business and the brand. Through an app, the small enterprise (SME) can create a native environment that captures client loyalty and keeps them engaged.

A recent study undertaken by the mobile analytics firm Mobidia [https://www.internetretailer.com/2014/01/09/exclusive-how-consumers-interact-20-top-shopping-apps] focused on the use of customised apps in the consumer space and found that an average 48% of Android users shopped online through mobile commerce apps. The same principles can be applied in the B2B space – create apps that make accessing content, capabilities and features a simple endeavour and you have a solution that keeps your customers coming back for more.  It is no longer a question of whether to build an app for the business or the products it sells, but rather what needs to be done to ensure that it is done well.

It is essential that a business app be easy to use. Complex user interfaces with steep learning curves will alienate the client and are unlikely to keep them engaged. It is also vital that an app be focused on delivering one very specific solution – it’s easy to try and cram a diverse range of capabilities into one app, but this potentially can result in a confused mess that makes little sense to anyone. Keystone Electronics recently designed an app called BlueGoo that allows for the supervision of all IP-enabled equipment on a site over LAN with SNMP. It is a targeted solution that addresses a certain need. It isn’t diluted by other products or solutions and provides clients with a reliable and easy method for configuring the Keystone RSM Blue system. The app took away the need for the client to use a laptop and working network in order to do their work, and replaced it with any Android device from anywhere.

Keystone has created other apps to work in conjunction with other products such as GLAM Bluetooth and ATC Interlock and Job Card Tracker. Each one is focused on resolving a particular problem or addressing a certain client requirement. This then leads to the next point – personalisation.

When creating an app, especially if it is being developed as part of an overall solution or implementation, adding in layers of personalised content can make all the difference. By adding in layers that are client or solution specific, the experience becomes a far more compelling one. The process also does not demand that suddenly the SME hire developers or spend terrifying quantities of cash on getting apps developed. Costs have come down and many organisations offer this service at a price point that doesn’t massively impact the bottom line over the long term, especially if an app can be used across multiple clients and installations. Ultimately, however, the real value lies in keeping clients loyal and engaged and coming back for more and it is in this arena that the app truly shines. It is a tool that can now be used by businesses of any size to boost business capabilities and enhance products and solutions.

* John Eigelaar, co-founder and director of Keystone Electronics.

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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