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First Trade bank launches mobile payments app to deepen relationship with customers

Built on the LevelUp platform, the FT Pay enables users pay for purchases using their mobile phones at any LevelUp merchant location. When paying for purchases via the app, users will be able to unlock LevelUp credit and exclusive First Trade offers.

“Given that a majority of consumers are embracing online banking, it makes sense for banks to offer expanded mobile banking options, like mobile payments,” said Christina Dorobek, head of POS partnerships for LevelUp, Boston.

“Banks are also realizing that a mobile payment app allows them to more closely own the relationship with consumers at the cash register– with is a huge opportunity for banks interested in extending their brand more deeply into the consumer’s transaction experience,” she said.

A rewarding experience
With customers heartily embracing mobile banking, banks are stepping up their efforts to leverage mobile for a growing array of services, including mobile payments.

The mobile payments app is the latest addition to First Trade’s mobile banking strategy, which includes mobile banking apps for smartphones and the iPad. Its mobile banking services include mobile deposits, bill payment and funds transfers.

When users first sign on to FT Pay, they will see a QR code with First Trade’s branding and logo.

Users can click on the “places” tab to find merchants nearby where they can use the app to pay.

Custom-made features for the FT Pay app include the “Vault” reward feature, which allows new customers to deposit up to $25 in rewards into a new FT checking account, and existing customers to deposit the merchant credits they earn directly into their FT savings accounts.

Being an innovator
The FT Pay app integrates with the First Trade Union Bank debit card as well as any non-First Trade debit or credit card. It also delivers rewards consistent with other First Trade account programs such as ATM rebates and no-fee checking.

The app is available for general consumer usage on an iPhone or Android device. Users can download the app for free from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

LevelUp is mobile payments app that users can link to their credit card, enabling them to show a bar code at the point of sale to make a purchase and unlock special offers from merchants. It reached 1 million users in February and is available at local merchants in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, New York City, Atlanta and San Francisco.

“First Trade is a community bank with a unique approach to providing customers an experience that rivals big-name banks, while still offering the personalized, timely attention that community banks are known for,” Ms. Dorobek said.

“It was important for them to be able to provide this unique offering, since they’re all about leading technology innovation in banking,” she said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York