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Chase offers best-in-class mobile banking: Keynote

Keynote’s “Spring 2013 Mobile Banking Scorecard” found that Chase performs particularly well in two of the four categories that were looked at – ease of use and functionality. The findings point to mobile banking becoming steadily more sophisticated for financial institutions.

“Chase does a number of things well across different tasks,” said Susan Foulds, manager of the Keynote Mobile Banking Scorecard, San Mateo, CA.

“Chase does consistently well in different mobile modes on the smartphone, and is particularly strong in money movement, so sending and receiving funds, wiring and enabling prepaid card members to check balances,” she said.

Keynote provides Internet and mobile cloud testing and monitoring.

Bank on mobile
Keynote’s Keynote Competitive Research group measured the mobile banking options at 15 retail banks in the United States.

The fifteen banks are Citibank, Bank of America, Chase, BB&T, Capital One, Fifth Third Bank, Citizens, KeyBank, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, PNC, Wells Fargo, USAA, Regions Bank and TD Bank.

The rankings were based on 120 objectives in five different modes – mobile Web, SMS and Android, iPhone and BlackBerry applications.

The findings were grouped into four categories – quality and availability, functionality, privacy and security and ease of use.

According to Keynote, Chase’s mobile banking has an easy-to-use navigation and lets consumers complete a task with a minimal number of touches.

In addition to ease of use and functionality, Chase is also branching out to non-deposit capabilities.

Wells Fargo placed No. 2 in the findings and Bank of America was No. 3.

In particular, Wells Fargo scored highly with privacy and security.

Additionally, US Bank topped the list in the quality and availability category.

When it comes to individual mobile banking modes, BB&T performed the best for text banking, and Bank of America was rated with the best Android app.

The report also point to a move towards financial institutions rolling out tasks that are independent from desktop banking, such as mobile enrollment.

“You are starting to see more capabilities with self-servicing, in other words you can report a lost or stolen card or change a PIN number – that was lacking in the previously released mobile banking options,” Ms. Foulds said.

Mobile trends
Mobile banking is expected to reach one billion users by 2017, according to research from Juniper Research earlier this year (see story).

A main driver in the adoption of mobile banking is advanced functionalities, such as bill payment or mobile deposit.

This is leading to some interesting differences in how small and large financial institutions handle mobile, per Keynote’s findings.

For instance, larger banks offer the best app banking while text banking is stronger with smaller financial institutions.

Not surprisingly, iPhone and Android apps are the top priorities for banks versus BlackBerry. Instead of pouring investments into BlackBerry apps, financial institutions are more interested in tablets, for example.

According to the report, although there might not be a lot of innovation happening in text banking, SMS still has a strong purpose as a way for consumers to quickly check their balances and check on the status of transactions without having to sign-in with their account information.

“Banks need to start by shifting business-as-usual services to mobile – basic mobile deposits, withdrawals and transfers to drive affinity and mobile adoption,” said Gary Schwartz, author of “The Impulse Economy” and “Fast Shopper, Slow Store.”

Mr. Schwartz is not affiliated with Keynote. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

“Small convenience service will drive virtual recommendation with this early adopter demographic,” he said.

“Building this loyal digital base is worth its weight in marketing gold. Phase two should be to provide native mobile services such as person-to-person money transfer. This is to expand the adoption circle.”

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