BA to offer SmartBanking

Bank Austria (BA) bosses have revealed plans to introduce a service based on the functions of mobile phones of the latest generation.BA private customer’s head of agendas Rainer Hauser said today (Tues) customers will be able to use the programme called SmartBanking with their smartphones over the internet, but also via post and fax.The model – an expanded version of BA’s current online banking platform – should especially attract the bank’s young customers, Hauser told the Kurier newspaper. He explained the service, which is currently being developed, will give clients the chance to communicate with their advisors at BA via a secured channel.Hauser said: “We aim at getting 250,000 of our customers to use the upcoming service. We consider it as the answer to demands in today’s world.”The BA official pointed out that the financial institute had no plans to close branches at the same time.BA is one of Austria’s leading banks alongside Erste Bank and Raiffeisen. BA, which has approximately 60,000 employees, manages the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) operations of UniCredit. The Italian institute has a major interest in BA.Meanwhile, Raiffeisen became the first Austrian bank to open a branch on Saturdays.Raiffeisen Lower Austria and Vienna deputy chief Georg Kraft-Kinz explained that the branch at the Riverside shopping centre in Vienna-Liesing was doing business six days a week instead of five since the start of this month. The pilot project will run until July when the bank’s board will review whether it was well received by clients.