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US Bank tests iPad app for credit card applicant acquisitions

U.S. Bank is testing a new mobile application in partnership with the Minnesota Twins that leverages the camera on an iPad to speed up credit card applications for baseball game attendees.

The test enables 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 is the latest example of how U.S. Bank is investing in photo banking as an overall imaging strategy.

“This pilot is an extension of the mobile initiatives that we have going on at the moment,” said Ken Beirne, vice president in payments innovation at U.S. Bank.

“We have been challenged when you are taking credit card applications, getting the applications taken accurately and making sure they are filled out correctly,” he said. “So by taking the camera function and scanning the driver’s license, we are able to extract a lot of the important information that we need for a credit card application, extract this pretty accurately and pre-populate this into your credit application.

“That speeds up the process for a better user experience and it helps our associates out in the field – it is a better experience for them and it is a better experience for the customer.”

U.S. Bank and the Minnesota Twins worked with mobile imaging solutions provider Mitek to create the feature.

Easy data entry
The app is being used by Twins employees who are stationed across Target Field stadium. These employees can scan an applicant’s driver’s license to fill in much of the information that is needed to apply for the branded credit card. As a result, the app is able to speed up the time it takes to enter basic information needed for the application while also reducing paper and the risk of phony applications.

After the app has been used to snap a photo of an applicant’s driver’s license, he or she can verify the information and add any additional information that is required.

The application is then processed normally, using the same criteria for approval as for other applicants.

The new feature has been in place since June, during which time it has been used at 11 Minnesota Twins games.

U.S. Bank has used photo imaging in a number of banking services, such as enabling customers to deposit a check into their account by snapping a picture of it with their phone.

Photo banking
Remote deposit capture has been widely embraced by other banks, with Mitek reporting that more than 12 million mobile users have made a deposit via their devices, adding up to more than $40 million in deposits (see story).

Late last year, 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. At the same time, a bank executive told Mobile Commerce Daily that the bank has intentionally invested in imaging capabilities to maintain a leadership position in photo banking (see story).

With consumers embracing mobile for banking purposes, financial organizations are exploring new ways to extend the reach of mobile banking. Credit card applications one strategy that has been quickly gaining steam this year.

“What we are hoping is this will not impact so much the volume but the quality of the applications that we get,” Mr. Beirne said.

“We will continue with this into September and at that point figure out what our next steps are,” he said. “The hope is we will continue to extend out all of our mobile capabilities, including our photo camera capabilities.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York