Rating: Side effect of abandoning mainstream software developers
It has always puzzled GoMobile News as to why the UK’s retail banks have responded so poorly to the obvious consumer demand for banking by smartphone. We’d always assumed it had something to do with data security and/or the time it takes to develop an app fro the three major platforms – iOS; Android and BlackBerry. Let alone developing for Windows Phone 8 (WP8) as well. However, an article in the Sunday Times points the finger somewhere else entirely. According to this report, Barclays has eschewed the use of traditional high tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Oracle and SAP. Instead it has adopted an ‘internal cloud’ model based around using the Linux OS. The result? Mobile app development time dropped dramatically.
The article here* quotes, “Sources close to the bank claim the development time for the app was cut from an estimated two years using traditional systems to seven months with the tailored in-house technology.”
That’s pretty impressive in anyone’s book. However, it looks to us that decreased app development times have been something of an unexpected bonus.
By combining cloud technology and replacing traditional software vendors with Open Source/Linux based applications, the cost of developing its internal computer systems could be slashed by as much as 90 per cent, the bank has claimed.
There may be another side-effect of this Open approach in that industry observers can’t help but notice that in the UK at least, Barclays has taken a lead in adopting NFC technology too.
There’s something of an irony here in that we reported that those smartphone users too adept at Open source software had found themselves unable to run Pingit on their ‘rooted’ Android smartphones.
GoMobile News reported that problem originally back in February 2012 here that Pingit won’t work on such handsets.
It seems to us that good old xda-developers have come to the rescue and have posted a fix for this here in June 2012.
Curiously, there’s still a warning on the standard Barclays Mobile Banking app for Android that it won’t run on rooted devices.
The last time we looked here, downloads of the Pingit app had been going incredibly well – over 0.5 million downloads in the first month.
Judging from Google Play, downloads are still running at between 100,000 and 0.5 million a month.
Perhaps other banking groups have started to follow Barclays’ lead and we’ll see more mobile apps as a result?
Find the correct version of Pingit for your smartphone here.
* A subscription to the Times Newspaper Group will be required