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BBVA Compass accelerates mobile offerings with BlackBerry app update

The BBVA Compass app is available for free download from BlackBerry’s App World. Among its smartphone users with iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices, the company has found different behaviors for each group of owners.

“Across the board, we see differences among all three users,” said Alex Carriles, director of mobile banking strategy and retail innovation BBVA Compass, Birmingham, AL.

“BlackBerry users are typically the most enthusiastic about having their own app, but are not as frequent users as the other two groups,” he said.

“At the other end of the spectrum, iPhone users have access to some of the best apps in the world, so naturally they are the most demanding but have the highest usage of the app. Finally, Android users tend to be the most tech-savvy, use tech support less often, are most likely to resolve any issues on their own and they tend to use the apps almost as much as iPhone users.”

BBVA Compass is a financial institution with more than 700 branches in Texas, Alabama, Colorado, Arizona, California, Florida and New Mexico.

Bank on mobile
The BBVA Compass BlackBerry updates mark the second generation of the app.

Clients can now enroll for mobile banking directly from the app. Letting users sign up from an inside an app versus on a desktop eliminates a step for users, which will likely result in more mobile bankers and is a smart move for the company.

Additionally, consumers can now pay bills via the app. Users can also view transaction receipts and check images.

The app also includes graphs and charts that show users cash flows and account distributions.

To download the app, consumers can text the keyword BLACKBERRY to the short code 42282.

A mobile bar code is also placed on BBVA’s desktop site at that can be scanned to download the app. The site also includes a video demonstration of how the app works.

In addition to BlackBerry, BBVA Compass also has mobile banking apps available for iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

The financial institution also uses an SMS program to let clients check their account balances, view transactions and transfer funds. Although smartphone adoption is on the rise, SMS continues to be the mobile medium with the farthest reach and high open rates.

Multiplatform effort
BBVA Compass has steadily been building its mobile strategy around apps for a while now.

Most recently, the company revamped its Android app to include more visual elements such as graphs and charts to help clients manage their money (see story).

Additionally, last year ago BBVA Compass announced that it would be adding a BlackBerry Playbook app to its line of mobile offerings (see story).

As mobile banking continues to gain traction as the preferred way for consumers to manage their money, it is important for banks to consistently test new features and roll out updates to users.

For instance, remote deposit capture is a feature that consumers are beginning to expect from their financial institutions, and is planned to be rolled out at BBVA Compass later this year, per Mr. Carriles.

“This latest update offers our BlackBerry customers the same capabilities that our other device-specific apps offer. Our BlackBerry customers were some of our first mobile banking users, and we want to continue to support them,” Mr. Carriles said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York