Mobile banking isn”t anything new, but Cadence Bank”s recently unveiled iPhone application is blazing new trails in Starkville.
As part of the Starkville-based bank”s reboot under new ownership, Cadence rolled out its new iPhone app last week along with several new customer service features. The app, developed by the S1 e-banking corporation in Georgia, allows customers to locate bank branches or ATMs, view account information like balance and transaction history, transfer money among Cadence accounts and change PIN numbers.
Billy Williams, electronic banking manager for Cadence, acknowledges other banks with branches in Starkville already offer smartphone apps. But Cadence, according to Mississippi State University Management and Information Systems head professor Dr. Rodney Pearson, is one of the first Starkville-based businesses to offer an app.
Pearson, whose students have created apps as part of his course since 2009, couldn”t think of a single additional Starkville-bred business with its own dedicated app. Several MSU websites, such as mstateathletics.com, offer a mobile web page. And some students are able to take online quizzes directly from their mobile browsers. But Cadence is on a very short list, along with the Link, Columbus” chamber of commerce and industrial recruiters, of companies to offer an app.
Cadence”s app isn”t 100 percent original — it was developed for banks of similar size — but it was customized by S1 to include Cadence”s color scheme and graphics. Williams said the iPhone app remains a work in progress.
“What it is today is not what it will be a few months from now. I”m on the phone with (electronic banking) vendors constantly asking ”What are you working on?”” he said. “I”m in close contact with our product managers and development team. I talk to them about things we”re seeing on the market that banks our size don”t have that we”d like to set ourselves apart.”
The bank is currently working on an iPad app and is beta testing an Android app. Cadence offers a Blackberry launcher app, which is really just a shortcut to the website, but a full feature Blackberry app is also in the works.
Pearson, who has 20 of his own apps currently available on the iPhone app store, said a team of developers should be able to construct an app for a business in a matter of weeks and for less than $5,000. He said apps are part of the new business landscape and aren”t going away. They may evolve to become more web-based, but companies need programs dedicated strictly to their products.
And they”re willing to pay for the service, too. Two young programmers to pass through Pearson”s courses recently were hired straight out of college with no work experience to develop apps at starting salaries of $60,000.
In keeping with the changing landscape, Pearson began teaching Android programming in addition to iPhone this semester.
Jason Browne was previously a reporter for The Dispatch.
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