We rarely review Banking apps as they’re pretty standard in terms of features and the interface as a whole is not exactly visually appealing. That all changed when we laid our eyes on the NTB Mobile Banking App. The app can ue used in either Sinhala, English or Tamil, which means you can use the app in the language of your choosing. Available for Android and iOS, the NTB Mobile Banking App is developed by Nations Trust Bank PLC in collaboration with Virtusa.
The first thing you notice when you download the app is that it will not work with rooted Android devices or jailbroken iOS devices. This is to ensure that all your app data is secured and not vulnerable to exploits. Once installed, you’re greeted with a screen where you can choose whether to login or to sign up for a new account. If you already have an NTB account, then registration is absolutely free. If you have already created an account or have used the app before, you just need to login using your credentials.
You can choose to sign up with your Account details, Credit card details or your Debit card details. For this review, we’ll be signing up with an existing NTB account.
The next screen is where you will enter said details. This includes your bank account number, NIC/Passport number and date of birth. You are then required to enter your credit card details such as the credit card number, validity period (when the card expires) and the CVV number (located on the back of your credit card. Once that is entered, you can enter in the details of your Debit card or simply skip that step if you don’t have one.
The last step in the registration process is to enter the OTP or One Time Password. This is a four-digit code that is sent via a text message to your mobile phone. It essentially disables the hacking into of your account so even if a hacker gets his/her hands on your username and password, they would still need the OTP to confirm validity of the account. Once the registration is complete, you’re given a list of terms and conditions to read. If everything is in order just press the “Accept” button.
This too is technically part of the registration process. Here you must enter a unique Username and a 4-digit PIN. The PIN is used to log in to your NTB Mobile Banking app so that you don’t need to keep entering a lengthy password each time. You can also give your device a nickname to identify what devices the app is installed and logged into. Going a tad deeper into this, the NTB Mobile Banking App can be installed on to more than one device at a time, hence the need to give a nickname to each device. If you do have multiple devices linked to the same NTB account on the app, you can manually log into the NTB Web portal and disable any devices that you’re not using.
Next up was a really cool and unique feature we found. The app actually allows you to setup a biometric security system on your smartphone to alleviate unauthorized access. Using either your fingerprint, facial recognition or voice recognition, you can set up an additional level of protection to further strengthen the level of security for the app. Once all that is done, you’re finally ready to start using the NTB Mobile Banking App
The app is extremely straightforward but also detailed at the same time and that’s what we love about it. It takes all the features you would ever need in a banking app and then lays it out for you in an extremely easy to use manner.
The home page of the app has categories for Accounts, Cards, Investments, Loans and Leasing. Each category is clickable and goes into more details. For example, the Accounts tab shows all linked NTB accounts. Clicking the relevant account will show you the minimum balance required and your account balance. A button at the bottom of the window shows you the transaction history of your account which can be sorted via date filter.
The Cards category provides you with details of all Credit and Debit cards linked to your account. You can use it to view your Credit card purchase history and also to check the credit limit on your cards. It also shows you when the card is going to expire. Similarly, the Investments, Loans and Leasing categories display all information related to any investments in the bank, any Loans you have taken and their payback period and also any leasing contacts you have with the bank.
Swiping from the left edge of the screen towards the right gives you a material design panel that have a number of options such as settings (where you can configure the app settings), Payee Maintenance (where you can see a list of payees linked to your NTB account, Biller Maintenance (a list of all utility suppliers who need to be paid that are linked to your NTB account). You also have contact us button to call the NTB hotline in case you require assistance. If you wish to change the language, you can do that as well.
You can also re-read the terms and conditions if there’s something you’re not sure of and worst case scenario, you can consult the handy FAQ which is the last option. Located at the bottom of the panel is the logout button so that you can safely exit the app once you’re done. But in case you forget to log out, don’t worry as the app automatically logs you out after a short period of inactivity.
Located at the bottom of the main home page is an app drawer of sorts depicted with a 3*3 square grid. Pressing this button gives you access to even more features such as Special offers offered to all NTB users by Malls, Hotels, Duty Free shops and a lot more. The app also has a Fixed Deposit calculator that allows you check the interest value you receive for a fixed deposit. You can calculate the interest received either on a monthly basis or at maturity. Simply enter the deposit amount, specify the Interest period and hit the calculate button and the app will do the needful. Quite handy indeed.
The app also has a Transfers option. This allows NTB account holders to transfer funds from their NTB account to a list of payees which we mentioned earlier. Similarly, the NTB Mobile Banking app also allows users to make payments to a variety of utility and service providers such as Telephone, School, Electric and even Insurance payments. As you can see, they offer payments to a variety of services. All you need to do is select the account you wish to pay from, select who you want to pay, enter in the amount to pay and add a remark (optional) and proceed to pay, and you’re good to go.
You are also given an up-to-date Currency rate of the major currencies in the world with both buying and selling rates if you’re looking to make a foreign purchase or transfer funds to a foreign account. Any emails you receive from the bank or any emails you send the bank are accessible via the Mail option. Quite nifty indeed.
Overall, in terms of features and usability, the NTB Mobile Banking App scores top points. They also score points for adding extra layers of security. In terms of the interface, we must commend them on a job well done. We rarely provide positive feedback for the interface of an app but we must say that the interface for the NTB Mobile Banking App is just beautiful. The colors are that of NTB’s color scheme and they blend quite well to offer an attractive UI and an immersive user experience. Hats off to the developers for making this app what it is. In fact, these are one of the very few apps that completely contradict our claim that Sri Lankan Apps suck.
The only minor flaw we could find is that you can’t use the app if your device is rooted. That’s not really a big issue unless you’re like me and you have a rooted or jailbroken device.
All in all, though, these are just minor issues that can be overlooked. Once again, hats off to Nations Trust Bank and the developers of the NTB Mobile Banking App for pulling off a stellar job.
NTB Makes Banking Easier With The NTB Mobile Banking App
Mahesh De Andrado
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