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U.S. Bank Reveals Mobile Roadmap

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Executives from U.S. Bank opened the kimono yesterday at SourceMedia's 4th Annual Mobile Banking and Emerging Applications Summit, laying out the bank's mobile roadmap in great detail.

On the agenda for the rest of 2010 are mobile P2P payments, facilitated by a deal with CashEdge; mobile RDC in partnership with Firethorn; a mobile rewards program called FlexPerks mobile that will send offers to consumers via their mobile device; Micro-SD based payments, and a mobile shopping concierge that will used location-based information to send specific coupons to a customer based on where the customer is in a specific retail store, according to Dominic Venturo, chief innovation officer for U.S. Bank's retail payments group.

The mobile concierge, being developed with Infosys, is a location based-service so granular that it could send a toothpaste coupon to the smart phone of shopper who is browsing the toothpaste aisle in a grocery store. The customer would then digitally "clip" the coupon, which would store it in the mobile wallet. The wallet works in conjunction with a physical card that is swiped at the checkout, which deducts the aggregate amount of the clipped coupons from the total bill.

On the mobile P2P front, US Bank intends to launch with three-day funds availability, but with faster delivery times available in the future. And, it's intended to be a source of revenue.

"We do think there's an ability to price those transactions. And there's demand for next day availability and ability to price for that as well," said Mac McCullough, evp and chief strategy officer for US Bank.

The Micro-SD payments application is being developed with Visa, Monitise, FIS and Device Fidelity, it will allow consumers to "slide to pay" on their smart phone. A pilot is planned on the bank's prepaid portfolio for the fourth quarter of this year.

The bank is also planning to pilot mobile lead capture applications and one-click mobile "apply" functions for retail banking products in 2011.

"We are casting a wide net in our mobile banking offerings," McCullough said. "We really want to have the solutions customers want and need based on current capabilities and what they're comfortable with."

US Bank also revealed some compelling statistics about its mobile users: the average age is 33, they have 1.6 times the accounts of the average user, are heavy ATM users, but infrequent users of the phone channel. And though they have lower than average balances, the value of their relationships is 1.1 times that of the average customer, McCullough said.

The bank is also currently rewriting both its consumer and small business online banking applications, with more emphasis to be placed on PFM tools for retail customers.

Quotables from the Summit:

It's About Mobile, Stupid
"The real mindset of consumers about mobile is, 'When is the banking industry going to catch up with us,'" said Bob Hedges, partner, Mercatus LLC


"Making a business case for mobile banking is about like making a business case for oxygen," said Hedges.


"The reason we need to pay attention to mobile, and this should scare the daylights out of you, is the standard card economics will become less attractive to some issuers," said Phil Philliou, partner, Philliou Selwanes Partners.

All Pilots, No Action
"Our CEO likes to joke we have more pilots than United Airlines at this point," said Doug Deibert, Visa.

It's Big in Japan
"Japan matters to us because it is one of the only countries in the world where we have a commercial rollout of mobile contactless players," said Red Gillen, Celent.

And Korea
"The future is unevenly distributed," says Ron Hirson, co-founder, Boku. "In South Korea 10 percent of all ecommerce transactions happen bill to mobile, a third of those are physical transactions."

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