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E*Trade caters to app and wearable users via Apple Pay

E*Trade Financial Corporation is rolling out Apple Pay functionalities for its debit card holders, as well as customers using its mobile or wearable applications, as more financial marketers acknowledge the unstoppable force of digital payment platforms.

E*Trade recognizes that its investors and traders are constantly seeking seamless and secure experiences on mobile that span the entire investment cycle. The financial marketer’s customers will now be able to link their branded debit cards with Apple Pay’s platform, enabling them to leave their cards out of sight when conducting transactions on their iPhone devices.

“Apple Pay caps off an end-to-end mobile experience for E*Trade customers — from researching investment opportunities all the way through to using cash in their accounts for daily purchases,” said George Fischer, senior vice president of trading, margin lending and cash management at E*Trade, New York. “Apple Pay is another example of how mobile is becoming an increasingly critical channel for all customer types.

“Mobile is engrained in our daily lives. E*Trade customers use our mobile platforms for everything from monitoring to more engaging experiences like researching investments, watching educational videos, and now with the addition of Apple Pay, harvesting their proceeds, directly from their mobile device.”

Two-fold benefits
E*Trade will no longer need to transmit users’ ATM card information over the network, a move that could offer more comfort regarding security to its customers. Additionally, the brand’s biometric authentication enables consumers to more securely save their personal information on their smartphones.

Individuals owning an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, Apple Watch, iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 will be able to use the feature.

IPhone users can leverage Touch ID to complete transactions with Apple Pay

E*Trade has long been an innovator in the mobile commerce space, which has helped it lock down a larger audience of tech-savvy customers. The brand provides apps for a slew of devices, including wearables and tablets, thereby allowing users to manage mutual fund trades, access accounts on-the-go and receive real-time quotes from any location, at any time.

“We always look to continuously integrate the best of mobile and the Web into our offerings, making these innovations relevant to retail investors,” Mr. Fischer said. “We created the first mobile app in our space, and have been innovators in each Apple iOS software upgrade, including leading in our industry with functionality such as mobile bill pay and mobile check deposit.

“We are also innovators in the wearables space, being the first to offer account level-data through our Apple Watch app. We certainly aim to continue this digital legacy.”

Pioneering easier experiences
E*Trade’s biometric authentication feature has also been popular with users, underscoring how the company is leveraging mobile to better serve customers and remain at the forefront of digital commerce.

An E*Trade executive at the 2015 Mobile Marketing Association Forum New York revealed that 45 percent of the company’s daily users leverage its iOS 8 biometric security function, which enables users to sign into their account by pressing their finger against an identification button, proving that Touch ID is optimal for financial marketers (see story).

Contactless payment services are gaining significant traction among merchants and users alike

The Apple Pay integration will likely yield a positive response from consumers seeking to conduct their investing and trading tasks on smartphones or tablets while on-the-go.

“E*Trade customers tend to be smart, digitally savvy investors, who look to E*Trade to deliver a best-in-class trading, investing, and cash management experience,” Mr. Fischer said. “We think they will appreciate the added convenience that Apple Pay delivers.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York