"Implementing voice will become a hotly contested space," Hudson says.
The forthcoming iPhone app enhancement underscores how USAA continues to champion unique capabilities of smartphones by devoting product innovation to a channel it believes will outpace website penetration in the next three to five years. Currently, 50% of the membership regularly uses the website today, while about 25% of its membership uses mobile devices for everyday financial activities, like viewing deposit and credit card account details, transferring funds, depositing checks and paying bills.
"We are intrigued by how big [mobile] will get," Hudson says.
Indeed, USAA recently announced more than 5.2 million members had downloaded its mobile apps for iPhone, Android and iPad by 2012's end. That compares to 3.3 million downloads at 2011's end.
"There's another generation of banking innovation that will drive growth in the next couple of years," Hudson says. "Mobile will be bigger than the web. … We're starting to see mobile live up to its hype."
Within USAA's near-term projects, Hudson hinted that the company will make mobile wallet news in the next three to six months.
Regardless of which features hit the channel, Hudson stresses "how they must be reimagined for mobile."