Tesco Bank launches mobile app enhancement

Tesco Bank has set its sights on growing its current account business with its latest mobile software upgrade

Tesco Bank has set its sights on growing its current account business, with its latest mobile software upgrade demonstrating its ambition in a market heavily influenced by digital technology.

The bank launched a current account in June 2014, four years after implementing its core banking platform, and CEO Benny Higgins recently said growth of current accounts was planned.

Tesco Bank set up its own core banking system in November 2009, when it selected an off-the-shelf system from Fiserv and moved towards becoming a full-service retail bank. It went live with the system in October 2010. 

It had previously used Royal Bank of Scotland systems, as part of a joint-venture with the bank.

Tesco Bank has now added a feature named Balance Peek to its mobile banking app that allows people to easily check their balances. 

The bank said it has about 450,000 logins to its mobile app each week and customers now only need to drag down an icon on the mobile to see their bank balance.

Despite being a small enhancement, it supports the notion of easy customer experiences, which many people – particularly younger people – desire.

Tesco Bank digital and marketing director Grant Bourbousson said about a third of logins are just to view balances. 

“We want to offer customers the most accessible and convenient digital banking experience possible, both online and via mobile," he said.

"Since we launched the mobile banking app last year, we’ve seen many customers log into the app every day just to check their balance. To help these customers, we created Balance Peek to provide simple, fast and convenient access to their account balance on the move.”

Tesco Bank offers savings and current accounts, loans and insurance, and has more than seven million customers in total. Balance Peek enables customers to look at the balances of all their accounts.

Differentiation through IT is more important than ever as result of increasing competition from new banking startups and technology companies. Tesco’s retail business has struggled in the face of similar competition from new players such as Aldi and Lidl.

A recent technical problem during a routine update of back-office files prevented some customers at Tesco Bank from being able to see online accounts for two days.

Read more on IT for financial services