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U.S. Bank updates app with photo balance transfer, keyword search

The financial institution updated its iOS and Android apps recently adding photo balance transfer, and transaction search by keyword and dates. The revisions are part of the financial institution’s strategy to improve and expand its mobile offerings, including its mobile Web site.

“Mobile is a rapidly evolving platform where new innovation is constant and new features are being added at a frenetic pace,” said Abinash Tripathy, CEO of Helpshift, San Francisco. “Apps need to be able to keep up with the innovation.

“For example, when Apple introduced iOS 7 the entire design paradigm changed and apps have to quickly adapt to the change,” he said. “At least for the foreseeable future it seems like this pace of innovation will not slow down and apps simply need to take advantage of the innovation and constantly enhancing the user experience.”

Mr. Tripathy is not affiliated with U.S. Bank. He commented based on his expertise.

U.S. Bank was unable to comment before press deadline.

Photo improvements
Improving and expanding photo banking and other mobile banking options are among strategies U.S. Bank is leveraging to give it a competitive advantage with younger consumer, who are increasingly banking online.

The number of mobile bill payment users has doubled as more Gen Y consumers begin to pay their own bills, according to Fiserv (see story).

U.S. Bank apps are available for free download on Apple’s App Store and Google Play, in addition to the U.S. Bank Web site and mobile Web site.

The app’s photo balance transfer function simply requires users to take a photo of their credit card statements with their smartphones and enter some additional information.

The new search function searches and sorts transactions by keyword, date, amount, or check number.

The app also enables users to create custom accounts and to get alerts after transactions, withdrawals or deposits.

The “Pay a Person” function enables users to easily and quickly send money to anyone.

U.S. Bank app screenshot

Active updates
In October, U.S. Bank introduced mobile-enabled credit card balance transfers (see story).

The bank has a risk-free guarantee, which protects consumers from fraud loss.

U.S. Bank is not alone in ramping up its mobile banking sites and apps.

In September, Citi reported it was expanding its mobile banking services (see story).

Also in September, Chase was recognized for the ease of use of its mobile offerings (see story).

Mr. Tripathy said it is important for apps and mobile Web sites to be updated frequently, free of bugs and quick to respond.

“Mobile apps also have a much higher performance expectation than Web apps and apps that are slow tend to be abandoned by users,” Mr. Tripathy said.

Final Take
Kari Jensen is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York