National Australia Bank is set to launch a new push into digital payments through a product called NAB Flik, as competition heats up in mobile banking.
This month NAB has registered a trademark for the logo "NAB Flik" with IP Australia, including an icon that appears to have been designed for a smartphone. The bank has also registered a website under the same name.
A spokesman for the bank would not comment on the initiative when contacted by BusinessDay. But the service is tipped to be another push by a bank to win over consumers through mobile digital payments technology, which gives customers the ability to carry out a growing range of financial tasks on the go.
NAB's rival, Commonwealth Bank, claims to have had significant take-up with its Kaching application, which allows instant money transfers between customers.
Kaching had processed more than $9 billion in transactions since its launch, after being downloaded 1 million times, the Commonwealth said in a recent presentation.
NAB has made improvements in technology and a simplification of its retail products key priorities. This year it launched an overhaul of its IT systems and said it would allow customers to do more banking on a "self service" basis.
Mobile banking is growing rapidly, with the number of mobile banking customers in Australia surging to 6 million this year.
Australians have been among the most enthusiastic "early adopters" of smartphones in the world, and bankers expect customer use of smartphone and tablet applications to overtake traditional websites over the coming years.
The rapid growth in mobile banking is having significant implications for bank investment in ATMs and branches. There is tipped to be less need for ATMs and banks are already cutting back on branch sizes in response to people carrying out simple transactions digitally.