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U.S. Bank’s app update expedites, safeguards payments for businesses

U.S. Bank seeks to meet the demands of business customers who want faster, more secure payments with an update to its mobile application for commercial card accounts that adds more features from the bank’s electronic payment management system.

The expansion of the Access Online Mobile App will allow users such as infrequent business travelers, field technicians, property managers and others who make occasional purchases to request virtual card accounts and have them delivered to their mobile devices to make payments when card issuance is not possible or practical. The update could accelerate the enabling of frictionless commerce aimed at making online transactions easier, quicker and safer.

“Mobile devices are blurring the line between corporate and consumer needs,” said Bob Kaufman, head of virtual payment products for U.S. Bank corporate payment systems. “Consumers want a consistent, familiar experience, whether paying their mortgage or managing their company’s invoices.

“Therefore, whether at work or at home, they demand simple, intuitive tools that offer high value at low cost,” he said. “Increasingly, we are delivering on that demand, making it easier for our customers to get the information and services they need when and where they need them.”

Virtual account
Users of the updated app can request and receive a virtual account number through their smartphone. The account can be limited to one-time use for a capped amount to ensure complete spend control.

Accelerating adoption of frictionless commerce.

The Access Online Mobile App can be downloaded from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and Google Play.

First, the user selects “Create a Payment Request” from the menu within the app. He or she then enters the required information and it is routed for approval.

Once approved, the virtual account information is displayed in the app. The update not only offers app access to existing cardholders, but also to those without a card account.

The result is added convenience for the user and easier expense management for the organization.

The move is the latest by the fifth-largest United States commercial bank, which has 3,172 banking offices in 25 states, to bring mobile-enabled convenience to customers.

Last July, U.S. Bank tested a new mobile application in partnership with the Minnesota Twins that leveraged the camera on an iPad to speed up credit card applications for baseball game attendees.

The test enabled fans attending the Major League Baseball team’s games at Target Field, the team’s home stadium, to easily apply for a Minnesota Twins Rewards MasterCard, which is issued by U.S. Bank. The test was the latest example of how U.S. Bank was invested in photo banking as an overall imaging strategy.

In 2013, U.S. Bank introduced the ability for bankers to take advantage of credit card balance transfer offers using the camera on their smartphones or tablets.

The mobile payments space continues to heat up with a number of financial services companies in the fray, accelerated by the introduction of Apple Pay and the mobile payments-enabling Apple Watch.

Last month, with security one of the biggest hurdles to driving mobile payments adoption, Visa and MasterCard doubled down on technologies such as tokenization and biometrics to safeguard customer data on smartphones.

Mobile payments
Visa also has continued to expand the availability of mobile payments services in Europe, adding Arcadia Group’s Topshop as well as Iceland, bathstore and, to the roster of brands that accept the payment service.

U.S. Bank’s corporate app aims to expedite payments.

“The original app enabled cardholders to see account summary information such as balance, transaction history and payment due dates,” Mr. Kaufman said. “Now users can also request virtual card accounts and have them delivered right to their mobile devices.

“Upcoming enhancements include fraud and security alerts, electronic receipt attachment and account payment capability,” he said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York