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Bankoh improves service for those using iPhones

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Bank of Hawaii customers with iPhones have a new way to find the branch or ATM nearest them. But wait, there’s more.

"For us, we think it’s a pretty significant service," said David Oyadomari, senior vice president and manager of Bankoh’s online and mobile banking.

The free app, developed by California-based MShift Inc., taps into the iPhone’s GPS location feature so whether in Hawaii or Guam, the iPhone user can find the bank facility nearest them.

But wait, there’s more.

"We also added a feature — I think we might be one of the only ones. … When you’re looking for a branch you can find one that will still be open in the next 15, 30, or 60 minutes," he said. Bank officials thought it would be useful later in the day on weekdays and on weekends. The GPS functionality and Google maps technology will also provide directions for the user whether on foot, for driving, or via mass transit, Oyadomari said.

Bank of Hawaii began offering mobile banking service in August 2007, and it saw that a "fair amount of our customers, people visiting our website, are iPhone users," he said. The iPhone app was "the next logical step."

The free app also works on the iPad and Internet-enabled iPod Touch, and the bank is considering apps that will work on other platforms.

It is among the newest of the 4,357 finance-related apps in Apple’s iTunes app store. Hawaii Pacific Federal Credit Union launched its app on May 24, but of the nearly 1,000 apps perused by your columnist, a preponderance were uploaded by large national or international institutions.


Fodor’s fawns over Hawaii

The Fodor’s Choice Gold Awards for 2010 includes eight Hawaii resorts gracing top 10 lists in 10 categories.

Visitors bureaus on Kauai and Maui can look toward Oahu and the Big Island and say "nanny-nanny-boo-boo" with pride as each can claim three winners, while Oahu and the Big Island each have a single winner this year.

Sheraton Kauai Resort is among Fodor’s 10 Best Destination Wedding Hotels, while Halekulani is among the top 10 Most Romantic Hotels.

Fodor’s chose the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa as being among the 10 best U.S. hotels for kids and families, but it wasn’t a winner for Best Hotel Pools. Hawaii got a twofer in that category, with the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui and the Hanalei Bay Resort on Kauai among the top 10.

Whether traveling with kids or without, the Westin Maui Resort & Spa has one of the best spas located on U.S. hotel properties, the travel guide reported.

A top 10 Best Design award for having among "the most stunning architecture and decor" went to the Mauna Kea Beach Resort on the Big Island, which you may recall was shut down for a massive rebuild following the 2006 earthquake.

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is among the top 10 Best Hotels for Service for offering "remarkable experiences and continually striv(ing) for top-quality customer service."

Hawaii had no winners in the Best Sense of Place, Best Hotel Restaurants or Best Urban Escapes categories.

On the Net:




Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Advertiser. Reach her by e-mail at

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