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Chase Bank axes Windows app to focus on bigger excursions

Chase recently said that its Windows mobile application will no longer be available by the end of March, but that customers using Windows smartphones can still access their accounts via their mobile browser.

However, since Chase is a leader in mobile banking, the removal of the app could send a message that Windows lacks importance in the mobile space. If customer demand is low on the Windows platform for Chase, the banking company may wish to focus on products its customers use more.

“The app removal is interesting,” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at RSR Research. “I have no inside information, but I can only assume it wasn’t worth Chase’s while to develop for a platform with such low market penetration.

“Still, it’s surprising, because good development platforms allow developers to code once, and they take care of the OS specific nuances, so I’m going to assume that the way they develop, they really did have to custom code for Windows, and it’s not worth it,” she said.  “Plus, don’t forget, Chase is major Apple Pay proponents.

“Maybe someone forced the issue.”

Ms. Rosenblum is not affiliated with Chase. Chase did not wish to comment on the record.

Goodbye, so long
The Chase for Windows app will be removed from that particular app store on Jan. 26. The first version of the Chase mobile app for Windows devices launched Sept. 2012. Chase last updated the app in August 2014.

Windows smartphone users have since displayed their feelings of anger, but Chase is responding by pointing to its mobile Web option, which allows for the same functionality. In the mobile browser, Windows smartphone users can still check their balances and pay bills.

A Chase spokesperson emphasized that its Apple and Android apps are still available.

Chase is following a typical business procedure; if a technique is not working or delivering response, businesses abandon the technique.

Most recently, Chase has shown its support of Apple Pay being an early collaborator. Perhaps Chase wants to position itself for the future and invest in developments that are expected to be successful.

A leader in the field
Chase has separated itself from its competitors with mobile integration. Therefore, the company may have more important projects that apparently come before its Windows App Store presence.

The bank company recently earned the highest score of 69 out of 100 in an evaluation by Forrester Research of the five largest retail banks in the U.S., and was cited for its strong transactional and cross-channel features in mobile.

In its 2014 U.S. Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark, Forrester Research found high regard for the Chase Mobile app for iPhone, which has been redesigned with more streamlined navigation and simplified UX.  The study reported that Chase and U.S. Bank tied for first place overall, with scores of 69 out of 100 respectively, closely trailed by Wells Fargo, 68 Bank of America, 66; and Citi, 64 (see story).

Chase also recently revamped its Android app (see story).

Experts agree that fingers are being pointed more at Windows than at Chase.

“Overall, it doesn’t make a very good statement about Windows phones,” Ms. Rosenblum said.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York