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Sport Chalet simplifies credit card applications via U.S. Bank iPad app


Specialty sporting goods retailer Sport Chalet is piloting a new mobile application for the iPad that gives shoppers a way to apply for instant in-store credit.

The new Instant Line Access App from U.S. Bank was designed to make applying for a U.S. Bank credit card easier, safer and more convenient. The app leverages mobile technology and security to improve the experience for customers applying to receive a line of credit.

“There are a variety ways to go about acquiring a new account in a retail environment,” said Dominic Venturo, chief innovation officer for the payment services division at U.S. Bank, Minneapolis, MN.

“The app enables the sales expert to have a shoulder-to-shoulder conversation about the product to answer any questions and then be able to hand the iPad over to the customer,” he said.

“It enables that relationship with the customer, eliminates paper and the need keep track of paperwork.”

In-store experts
The pilot program is currently taking place in four Sport Chalet stores to give the retailer and U.S. Bank a chance to see if the app or the training process for store associates need any fine-tuning. The app will be rolled out to additional stores once any potential issues have been addressed.

The app is being promoted in Sport Chalet stores via point-of-sale marketing.

Additionally, any customers who express an interest in applying for a credit card will be directed to an in-store expert for the app.

The iPads in Sport Chalet stores will be used exclusively for credit card applications.

U.S. Bank is providing the retailer with iPads and the app, which is not available for download directly. Using the app, Sport Chalet customers can apply for and, if approved, receive on-the-spot credit to begin making purchases and earning rewards.

Sport Chalet customers work directly with a store associate to apply for a credit card.

The store associate accesses the app via the iPad, which connects with U.S. Bank’s privately hosted server. The store associate then hands the iPad to the customer to privately complete and submit the application.

If a customer is approved, the new cardholder receives a temporary shopping pass for immediate use in the store.

Next generation
U.S. Bank also offers a similar app for smartphones that is designed for consumers to download directly and apply on their own without interacting with a sales associate. The smartphone app was launched last year.

The financial institution is working with additional retailers to bring the iPad app into their stores and expects to have a series of launches this spring. U.S. Bank plans to launch both the iPhone and iPad programs with other co-branded partners, as well as a U.S. Bank branded version of the iPad credit application program in select bank branches.

Sport Chalet, which operates 54 stores in California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah, offers the Sport Chalet Visa Credit Card via a partnership with U.S. Bank.

“The app is designed to work really easily for the consumer and is the next generation in what mobile technologies can enable,” Mr. Venturo said.

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