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App downloads grow 60pc year-over-year: USAA

The [email protected] USAA Android, iPhone and iPad app now has 5.2 million USAA downloads, which is an increase from 3.3 million downloads in 2011. In addition, members are also using the apps more often than they were a year ago.

“Consumer adoption of mobile technology is changing virtually all aspects of the financial services business from sales to service to fulfillment,” said Neff Hudson, assistant vice president of emerging channels at USAA, San Antonio.

“We are moving as fast as possible to keep pace with our members’ needs and expectations in an always-on, always-connected world,” he said.

“But one important thing to note – mobile-first does not mean mobile-only. We see mobile as our lead channel – but it must be integrated with our best-in-class contact centers and legacy channels like Web, email and mail.”

USAA provides investment, retirement products and banking and services to 9.4 million members of the United States military and their families.

Invest on mobile
As an example of how USAA clients are using mobile more, the company has seen a 190 percent year-over-year increase in the number of times iPad owners use the app.

The iPad app launched a feature called animate accident in Nov. that uses voice and animation technology to let consumers explain the details of a claim, which cuts down on the amount of information that users have to type in.

When it comes to what consumers are doing, everyday banking transactions are the top uses of the app.

For example, 13.3 million deposits were made via the app in 2012. This totals $7.4 billion and represents an annual growth of 70 percent.

The app was launched in 2009 with 24.6 million deposits to date, totaling $13.8 billion.

Additionally, the app was rated as the No. 1 insurance app from Key Lime Interactive.

Other top areas of use include stock trades, mobile claims and service transactions.

Consumers can also apply for life insurance or open a deposit account directly from the app. Auto loans and insurance and renters insurance are also available via mobile.

Bank on mobile
USAA plans to build on its mobile success with a few new initiatives this year.

A third version of the [email protected] app is in the works for both iPhone and Android devices will allow users to deposit 10 checks at a time across multiple accounts. The update has already been rolled out to the iPad version.

“You will see us continue to improve and expand all the core functions of our financial services business by deploying better tools for managing your relationship with USAA,” Mr. Hudson said.

“We also will experiment with innovative capabilities like a voice-based virtual agent, which will begin rolling out in March, and mobile wallet capabilities integrated into our existing app,” he said.

“Finally, we will begin to explore what kind of financial advice our members want and need in real time. By the time we are done, you will; have the full power of USAA in your hands.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York