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U.S. Bank pilots geolocation app to deliver community information

U.S. Bank is piloting a geolocation-based mobile application to bring community members relevant information and resources, such as local events, promotions, noteworthy news and financial education advice.

The Your Community app, developed in conjunction with BlueSoho, saw an initial rollout in California’s San Jose area. While the app is still in pilot mode, its creation suggests that more financial institutions will introduce standalone features specific to communities and towns in a bid to serve the most relevant information to consumers.

“We are continually looking for new and innovative ways to connect with our customers through mobile devices,” said Dominic Venturo, chief innovation officer at U.S. Bank, Minneapolis, MN. “This app will allow our business customers to make offers available to individuals that are shopping nearby their locations.

“We believe this app will provide a unique resource for all of our customers in the Santana Row area. This is yet another way in which our business customers can reach customers in the area and another way in which U.S. Bank can be a strong business partner and resource to our customers in the Santana Row area.”

Targeted information
Citizens in San Jose’s Santana Row area may download the Your Community app, which is free for Android and iOS platforms, to receive the region-specific information, ranging from noteworthy community news to promotional offers.

While consumers are likely to benefit from the relevant tips, U.S. Bank hopes to enable its business clients to roll out offers to customers near merchants’ locations.

Users may also find the nearest U.S. Bank branch or ATM.

The app is currently only available for San Jose residents, although it provides information that appeals to consumers in other geographic regions. If a user downloads the app outside of San Jose, the app will detect his or her location and send relevant U.S. Bank content on a national scale.

A slew of major bank chains may be set to follow in U.S. Bank’s footsteps with this new offering, especially as they gear up to bolster customer loyalty and reach a younger demographic of consumers who may not yet have an affiliation with a particular financial institution.

If users can receive access to account records and also view material relevant to their immediate location, they will be much more likely to drive app engagement and keep it on their smartphones as a prime slice of mobile real estate.

“We think the offers and events features will be very popular among consumers,” Mr. Venturo said. “We are also excited to share the U.S. Bank financial education tab which will feature a multitude of tools and resources focused on financial literacy.

“The app will be able to detect your location and will present to you the appropriate offers and events in the area. This app initially launched in the Santana Row area, but includes more national U.S. Bank content that will load on the app depending on your location.”

Mobile’s green light
Many national financial institutions have given their technological teams the green light in terms of ramping up mobile focus. Banking apps for customers are commonplace now, as are mobile tools for aiding those in the advisor fields.

For example, Wells Fargo Advisors, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Co., is bringing conversations with clients out of the office and onto mobile as it expands its Smart2Go application (see story).

U.S. Bank has also been doing its share of digging deeper into mobile strategy.

In June, the institution sought to meet the demands of business customers who want faster, more secure payments with an update to its mobile app for commercial card accounts that adds more features from the bank’s electronic payment management system (see story).

Additionally, it has made strides in image capturing tools on smartphones, which enable customers to snap a photo of a check with their device and immediately deposit the money into their account.

Last December, U.S. Bank, alongside mobile capture software company Mitek, predicted that banks and financial institutions would see beacon usage take off in 2015, helping deliver more personalized experiences (see story).

“We think consumers will find the app to be very easy to use and helpful, especially if they are visiting the Santana Row area,” Mr. Venturo said. “Consumers will also be able to click on the events tab to see what is happening in the area.

“We hope customers who download the app will also check out other items on the app including U.S. Bank financial education resources, events and the news section which includes both U.S. Bank items and local items.”