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Barclays working on Windows Phone app, due out by 2014

Barclays

UK bank Barclays has confirmed on Twitter that a Windows Phone app is currently in development. The only issue is that they have the end of the year as the deadline, which makes us assume they're very early in the development stage, aren't pouring much time and effort into it, or aren't making any promises (likely number 3). At least the bank has looked at Windows Phone as a viable platform to support.

Barclays will join the Royal Bank of Scotland (as well as Natwest) who also supports Windows Phone. We'd like to see the remaining establishments to also show signs of an app in development, but this is a strong signal that the platform is starting to be viewed by large brands as one with enough users to warrant an app to be developed.

Source: Twitter, via: WMPU

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Reader comments

Barclays working on Windows Phone app, due out by 2014

53 Comments

Its very good news, I'll remain a customer as long as they deliver on this.
As for the dates, you can either view them pessimistically, as in they have only just started.
Or you can be optimistic and make the assumption that the software manager is being realistic and giving his team plenty of time to develop and debug the app before release (I can imagine they must have pretty rigorous testing to do for anything that can involve shifting money around!).
If so then the app might be ready well before the end of the year, how much testing it will need will have to be seen, but if I was that manager I'd not be commiting to a tight deadline and creating needless stress in the development team trying to release it.
The other interpretation is that the person has tweeted just knows it will be released this year and no more.
 
Either way its great news, looking forward to getting the functionality back with my bank account I last had with WAP - I actually missed that when it was discontinued!

Probably why it's going to take them a year
 
Seriously a year - you'd hope their making it for the suite of Win8 (phone/RT/Pro)

The two major banks in the UK that I'm not with have shown interest in WP8.

I may just have to switch...

2014? Haha fucking jokers. If this was the iphone it would be out within 3 months.

By the time 2014 comes around quite a few people would have left the os due to lack of apps.

I think they've been spurred on by Rbs/Natwest and their app. All of a sudden they look like they are behind their peers and they had to respond. Ultimately its now not worth them losing clients because they haven't spent a comparatively small amount on an app.

Hopefully its out soon.

If JPMorganChase is onboard as far as I am concerned it makes all this slow making apps or refusing to make apps seem ridicules!

Wow, this is going to be the best app WP has seen!! Either that or they've got the worlds slowest devs working on it. :D

That's almost as long as it took to build the Barclays center in Brooklyn, I suppose building a banking app is almost as hard as building a basketball stadium/concert venue.

^This.  One of their tweets state that they are monitoring the Windows Phone performs on the market; but states that a Windows app is slated for later this year.
 
I think they are making an app for Windows (8) not WP8 since they are still monitoring WP.

I somehow doubt it, why would anyone need a application to use Barclays on a PC when all the functionality can be had via a web browser?  It seems pointless.

Because Metro Apps are beautiful? We have most "apps" on browsers on phones and tablets, yet we need apps. Twitter is limited to 140 characters so they just call it an app?

that would be such a waste of time, money and resources to make an app for Windows 8, just like 4od app on Windows 8, what a dumb idea and a waste!

Closed my account with them 2 weeks ago reason told to them was no windows phone app, said i would open an account with natwest as they had a windows phone app...

You really closed your account and moved to another for the sole reason they didn't have a WP app? I find that hard to believe...

In a highly competitive market where it's no big deal who has your money, it makes perfect sense to switch to whoever gives you that one little feature you're after. I'd do the same here in Spain but sadly there are no WP apps for any bank!

of course I did. whats so hard to believe? I wanted an app for my Windows Phone to do things on the move, NatWest provided this feature, they can take my business, Barclays lose my business. you are the reason why companies don't change anything, because you bow down to them.

Maybe I'm just ignorant about such things, though I've been in IT all my adult life, but I just cannot accept that it takes much more than a month for an experienced developer to create a smartphone Bank App.
Also, it seems to me that Microsoft could have easily alleviated the scarcity of bank apps by creating an App Shell and making that shell available to all interested banks. Since all bank apps basically have the same functions and transactions, an App Shell should save on bank development time. All each bank would need is to brand the app with their logo/colors, hide/unhide buttons and menu items, and hook the various application calls to their backend systems. And of course QA.

I don't have any contact at Microsoft and don't really know how to get recommendations like this to them. But I'm fairly confident that if I had responsibility within Microsoft for the market presence of Windows Phone I could guarantee at least 100 new bank apps on the platform within 3 months and for a fraction of what they spend to make a YouTube commercial. Think about the lift Windows Phone would get if the top 90% of banks, insurance companies and financial institutions in US/Canada/Europe had WinPhone apps that they could tout in their marketing.

Whilst it may sound a good idea, the problem (from MS history) is that when they do this kind of thing they go too far - look at some of the silverlight medical applications that flopped, at huge cost to MS, the so called shell framework becomes too heavy and highly coupled so the banks are forced to do things the MS way.  Not all banks do things the same way, and nearly all suffer from NIH (not invented here) syndrome.  Many will not allow external frameworks at all unless they go through ridiculously painful and long winded testing by which time the dev team could've written their own (and so do so).  Having worked in this arena for many years it can be frustrating, common sense can be a scarce commodity sometimes.  To answer your question about getting this to MS attention there are two ways that spring to mind, 1 they do run suggestion forums for WP, just join the developer forums. 2: Write the framework yourself and start selling it to the banks, it won't take long for MS to get interested if you have any success ;)

It may take a month to make the app but that would only be a proof of concept. Banking for one is so highly regulated the app would have to be checked from a security standpoint. I'm in the US and I know I worked on an app for a UK firm and we had to reconfigure our entire security protocol for European privacy laws. I can only imagine banking will be more of the same.
And it's your major face to a good portion of users, you're gonna have to get your support group trained and up to speed on the app so when users start calling in with questions, it's not just duh I didn't know we even had a WP8 app. Support scripts have to be created and tested, call centers trained, etc. 
Banks are also very DIY about IT, not sure anyone would base a major app on Microsoft's sample code.

Not suggesting sample code, instead an actual application framework. The code wouldn't be any less acceptable than what's included in standard class libraries. I think we agree that the app could be written in about a month. The security certification and support processes could be put in place in another couple months. That's why I suggested three. Point being, it shouldn't take any entity that's serious about the effort almost a year to crank out such an app.

The entity here isn't serious at all. They probably have one developer working part time on this app along with supporting BB10 app. We aren't significant enough to be taken seriously, not even by Microsoft. I don't blame Barclays.

"We aren't significant enough to be taken seriously, not even by Microsoft. I don't blame Barclays," well said. And that truth, that realization, is what frustrates me most about Windows Phone right now, what has caused my expectations for a good future for Windows Phone to crash horribly.

I work with a regional bank in Norway and can tell you that there is more to it than you may think. We used 10 months on our ios and android apps. Much time was used by third parties creating security components. Then you have to test and have them fix their stuff. When you finally have all parts put together q&a demand about 1 1/2 month before it's ok to go to pilot with select customers. After a month pilot you can go live, throw in a couple of app store rejects, and 10 months isn't that much time.

Finally Barclays are listening! Looks like it'll take much longer than it should but at least we're a step closer....maybe they might even do something with nfc as they are such big supporters of Contactless......

This is good news, hope it comes quickly. 
Will keep an eye on other apps including Natwest.
 
Let's not forget that mobile banking is a pain in the backside because of all the security (chip and pin access code calculators etc).  If barclays can get this right I'M IN.   I think Barclays made a lot of noise about a mobile app a while ago, it was either WP7 or more likely HTML, but lt was clunky and logging in was a nightmare.  Then they have PING but who uses it?  What they need to do is offer things that require less security such a letting you know your balance, that an automated monthly payment went through etc.  How about low value payments. 
 
Rant over. 
 
My wife just got an 820 and I'm still on a HD7, WTF?

I contacted WP Central about a similar story regarding Santander (UK), but that doesn't appear to have been picked up.

They confirmed that they have an app currently in testing, so it sounds like it's pretty far along in development.

I got a response from Santander today:
@Darknight_247 Hi Phill, I have passed your comments on to our development team. We will let you know when one has been created. ^NM
Fingers crossed then :D