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E*Trade bolsters mobile strategy with iPhone deposit feature

Financial institution E*Trade has added a mobile deposit feature to its iPhone application to help consumers easily deposit checks.

E*Trade has added the feature after seeing approximately 17 percent of all unique logins happening via mobile. The company also has mobile applications for iPad, Android and BlackBerry devices.

“Our strategy is to provide customers with the tools they need to manage their investments with whatever channel they choose to use,” said Eric Johnson, manager of product management at E*Trade, New York.

“We are excited to offer our customers a more convenient way to manage their money with mobile deposits,” he said.

E*Trade is a financial institution that offers business investors online brokerage and banking services.

Snappy deposits
Users who have already downloaded the E*Trade iPhone app will need to update their mobile device in order to see the new feature.

To make a deposit, consumers use the device’s camera to take a picture of their check.

Users can then check that the deposit amount is correct and select their account to send the check to.

According to Mr. Johnson, mobile deposits are planned to be launched on the Android app later this year in addition to a mutual fund trading option.

In addition to the iPhone app enhancements, E*Trade has also made other additions to the company’s iPhone and Android apps.

E*Trade’s iPhone and Android apps are now equipped with complex trading options.

Additionally, streaming charts, CNBC videos and advanced search functions have been added to the Android app.

Mobile check
E*Trade is not the only financial institution that is using mobile deposits.

Most notably, Chase rolled out mobile deposit functions to its apps in 2010 (see story).

Mobile banking has become beyond the point of convenience for consumers and is now consumers expect their banks to have mobile apps.

However, companies need to think larger scale about features that will help consumers speed up their banking experience.

In 2012, financial institutions will need to step up their mobile apps with more advanced features, including mobile deposits.

“As smartphone and tablet ownership continue to show explosive growth, investors are increasingly leveraging mobile technology to manage their portfolios, and we view mobile as a key channel for our clients,” Mr. Johnson said.

“Since the soft launch of mobile deposit, we have seen positive early trends in adoption of this feature, and we will continue to invest in mobile innovations that meet and exceed our customer’s needs,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York