Major changes are in store for US Bank’s mobile app in 2015.
Niti Badarinath, senior vice president and head of mobile banking and payments, told Bank Innovation Monday that the bank would continue to push the envelope in imaging, as well as invest in beacon technology to personalize the banking experience.
The updated app will be released sometime in 2015, though Badarinath did not specify when.
The importance of imaging in banking was recognized early by the Minneapolis-based US Bank, which uses three imaging products from Mitek Systems– remote deposit capture, photo bill pay, and photo balance transfer — and is experimenting with a fourth, photo account opening. The account-opening experiments took place at Minnesota Twins games at Target Field this summer, and will continue at event venues throughout the bank’s footprint in 2015.
“Imaging features are the most positively reviewed features by customers,” Badarinath said. “Data entry is painful. Every phone has a camera. New research shows that customers like convenience and dislike apps that don’t use features their phones have.”
But imaging is old hat for US Bank. New to the bank will a swipe-for-balance feature, already offered by competitors such as Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. More information outside the app experience is part of a trend, Badarinath said, of “push” information playing a larger role than “pull.”
Regarding push alerts and Bluetooth connections to beacons, which will feature prominently in the updated app, Badarinath emphasized the bank would use caution, and that all push notifications would be opt-in. “We’re going to wade in fairly slowly, always being mindful of offer fatigue,” he said. “Users will have the ability to set preferences for what they would like to receive.”
Users of bank apps such as US Bank’s will have the opportunity, in the next year or two, to set preferences with a great degree of specificity, Badarinath said. This will lead to a deepening of the relationship and an increase in stickiness and customer loyalty, as the bank app increasingly feels personalized for the customer.
Badarinath stated this quite starkly. The new breed of apps, customers will realize, are “no longer the bank app,” he said. “It’s their app to interact with the bank.”