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Mobile banking app lets users purchase gift cards

Consumers can purchase, send and redeem gift cards for retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Fandango and via their mobile banking app from OnPoint Community Credit Union.

OnPoint is testing a new mobile wallet called iCashe that blends mobile banking features with purchasing and loyalty programs. The credit union reports that members who use iCashe have a greater volume of banking transactions.

“Mobile services are all about convenience  and enabling wallets inside a banking app that consumers already use makes it convenient,” said Siva Narendra, president of North America for Tyfone, Portland, OR.

“It also brings security, because not only is the consumer authenticated into a trusted brand that they use and recognize, the user does not have to enter their credit card or debit card or bank account information for purchase,” he said.

Convenience times two
The OnPoint iCashe offering is currently in beta testing.

OnPoint plans to integrate NFC contactless payments through its banking app using Tyfone technology once the retail NFC infrastructure is in place.

Users can choose from 100 different retail gift cards to purchase.

“Merchant gift cards are one of the fastest growing payment methods because it brings loyalty and convenience,” Mr. Narendra said. “We are taking that convenience to the next step by making it available right in your phone.”

Bank cards and other identities will be added soon. 

The first iCashe Mobile Wallet built into a mobile banking app will be launched before the holidays.

The company is also planning to launch a direct-to-consumer iCashe wallet in the first half of 2012.

OnPoint users log onto their mobile banking app as they normally would and see a tab for iCashe that they can tap. Then they can buy virtual gift cards for their mobile wallet with a few taps and store them on the phone for personal use.

Users can also buy cards to send to others via SMS or email.

Users must be logged into a mobile banking app to make a purchase.

ICashe is built on Tyfone’s mobile financial services platform.

Banks do not need to use Tyfone Mobile Banking to be able to offer iCashe to their customers.

Banks have been slow to move in the mobile space and are watching others such as Google and Isis taking a leading role in mobile payments.

iCashe provides revenue generating opportunities for banks from mobile. It also gives them a way to broaden their relationship with customers.

“Mobile wallet functions fit best inside mobile banking app because the user is already authenticated into a trusted brand for enabling transactions for purchases,” Mr. Narendra said. “Such a wallet brings convenience and security at the same time and on any phone.”

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