U.S. Bancorp executives provided details about their mobile banking strategy, including plans to roll out person-to-person transfer and remote check-capture services this year.
Dominic Venturo, the Minneapolis company's chief innovation officer, said it has struck partnerships with several mobile technology vendors. These include CashEdge Inc., which offers a P-to-P transfer service; Qualcomm Inc.'s Firethorn Holdings LLC, which will provide remote capture software; and Infosys Inc., with which U.S. Bank is developing a mobile shopping concierge that would send coupons tailored to customers' location in a retail store.
Also on this year's agenda are a rewards program called FlexPerks Mobile that will send offers to consumers' phones, and payments using components that will plug into phones' Micro-SD slots.
Venturo and other U.S. Bank executives discussed these initiatives at the Mobile Banking and Emerging Applications Summit in Las Vegas this week. The event was sponsored by SourceMedia, which publishes American Banker.
Pam Joseph, U.S. Bank's vice chairman of payment services, said generating revenue is a key part of its mobile strategy.
"We're a very efficient bank, we watch our investments closely. For the most part we will see benefit on the issuing side of the business, along with tremendous benefit on the merchant side," she said during a keynote presentation Tuesday. "We also see a tremendous amount of opportunity through our other bank partners."
The mobile concierge 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, Venturo said. 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.
In mobile P-to-P, U.S. Bank plans to introduce a service with three-day funds availability, but with faster delivery times available in the future. The company sees the service as 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, a U.S. Bank executive vice president and its strategy chief.
The Micro-SD payments application, which is being developed with Visa Inc., Monitise Americas LLC and DeviceFidelity Inc., will let consumers use their phone to make payments. A pilot program is expected to begin in the fourth quarter.
In 2011 the bank plans to test mobile lead-capture applications and one-click mobile "apply" functions for retail banking products.
"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."
U.S. Bank also revealed some statistics about its mobile users: the average age is 33, they have 1.6 times the number of accounts as the average user, are heavy users of automated teller machines, but rarely use the phone channel.
And while they tend to 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 rewriting its consumer and small-business online banking applications, and expects to emphasize a personal financial management application for retail customers.