By Aimee Chanthadavong

Banking is one retail sector that is ahead of the game when it comes to mobile interaction, with ING Direct experiencing a staggering 280 per cent increase in mobile transactions in 2012.

In response to this growth, the online bank has launched a mobile banking application for iPhone and Android. Developed and designed by the company’s own digital team with Oakton and Deloitte Digital, the app allows customers to view their balance across all their products and transfer money to anyone in Australia via email or SMS notification.

Lisa Claes, ING Direct executive director distribution, told RetailBiz the spike is proof of ever-growing consumer demand comfort of banking on the go and focus for the app was about providing a better, faster and more intuitive experience for customers that responded to their functional preferences.

"All the data we’ve seen and according to our own research, the rate at which customers are interacting with each other and with brands via mobile is growing exponentially. Mobile is the next evolution of the internet and the momentum with which all traditional consumer interactions such as shop, buy and use across all industries is migrating to mobile is unprecedented," she said.

Deloitte research released this month shows that 30 per cent of Australian across all ages (14-75) use their mobile for banking at least weekly – double last year’s usage.

"We understand that banking isn’t the type of activity customers want to do in their spare time, it’s part of their personal admin. Something they want to do quickly and easily when they’re on the go so they can get to do what they really want to do," Claes said.

Customers were invited to test the app throughout the design and development phase. "If customers are able to access their account at the touch of a button it makes for a better overall experience with us as a bank and that’s something we strive for. In fact, we asked our customers what they wanted from our new app and used their feedback to improve (or in some cases remove) its features," Claes said.