Consumers Expect the Highest Quality in their Mobile Apps
By Josh Galde | September 5, 2013
Consumers are starting to catch on and take notice when their mobile apps and websites are not performing, and as a result they can dump the app and move onto a more stable app. While the problem can be attributed to a poor connection, network, etc. an app developer can also receive a share of the blame, especially when in the case of Citibank, actually causes the consumer financial pain.
In a recent article Citibank customers who had bill pay were charged twice for their payment transactions. And worse yet, the company didn’t even notice it for over 6 months! Ben Protess of DealBook covered this story giving us the full details. He writes “A technical bug caused Citi, the nation’s fourth largest bank by deposits, to double the charge for customer payments in recent months. Some customers using their iPads to settle their cable bill or mortgage payment, for example, actually paid twice, according to customers and a bank official.
The problem, which began in July but went undetected by the bank until December, prompted bogus payments big and small. Some customers quickly spotted the redundant transaction and complained to Citi, while other consumers were caught off guard when the bank recently notified them of the discrepancy. The snag even led some unsuspecting customers to overdraw their accounts, though a bank spokesman said that was rare.
Citi has traced the error to its nascent iPad application. Other mobile applications and the bank’s broader online bill payment system were immune from the problem, the bank said.
But a few clients who were charged twice said they had not used an iPad to pay bills. And the Citi spokesman declined to disclose the number of customers caught up in the mishap, saying only that it amounted to “a limited number of clients.”
Instead, the spokesman said that fewer than 2 percent of Citibank transactions executed through an iPad were counted twice. The spokesman would not elaborate on the number of iPad transactions at Citi, citing concerns about releasing proprietary data.
The spokesman, Andrew Brent, said the bank had “immediately fixed the technical issue” once it was detected and moved to reimburse customers. The bank also vowed to replenish any fees that customers incurred because of the extra charge, refund lost interest and dole out a modest amount of points for its rewards program, called ThankYou, as an apologetic gesture.
“We take seriously the functionality of our products and services as well as the satisfaction of our clients,” Mr. Brent said in a statement.”
We are happy that these transactions were corrected! However this just underscores the importance of testing your mobile apps, and even more importantly monitoring them. Once they are deployed, it is certainly not over. Monitoring their QoS (Quality of Service) is extremely important to any ongoing mobile app strategy therefore assuring success and monetization of their apps for years to come.