November 11, 2016 11:00 AM
Mobile phones are only going to become a bigger part of how banks interact with their customers, so several institutions are looking to enhance that experience. They are focusing on better ways of opening accounts, verifying identities, interacting with customers and offering new services and features. Here are some of the improvements announced this year.
Citigroup and Credit Card Disputes
Citi customers can now challenge credit card charges in the bank's mobile app. Customers can submit merchant disputes on charges for a range of reasons, including damaged items, returned goods and duplicate charges. The app sends the customers notifications when Citi begins taking action and for other necessary updates. As part of the same upgrade to the mobile app, customers can request credit limit increases, view recurring charges and enroll in paperless statements.
USAA Makes Remote Check Deposit More Accessible
Depositing checks is one of the main reasons USAA's visually impaired customers visit its locations, so the bank fixed that problem. In July, it launched voice-guided check deposit on its iOS and Android mobile apps to help its visually impaired customers take advantage of the convenience mobile banking offers. Customers are directed to position the phone's camera to capture the check's image with audio prompts like "pull in," "move left," "lower device," "hold steady" and "image captured."
Santander Focuses on Business
Business customers are demanding better mobile services, and some banks are beginning to listen. Santander last week announced a business-only mobile app that will allow clients to deposit up to $15,000 per day without visiting a branch. Customers can also transfer funds between work and personal accounts. The app was piloted with 250 business customers in July before being rolled out formally.
BBVA Looks to Selfies for Security
Banks are trying to improve remote account openings, but authentication is one of the hurdles. BBVA announced last week that its Spanish customers could now verify themselves with a selfie in remote account openings. The self-taken photo is used to cross-check photo IDs. From there, the bank can have a video chat with the customer to finish up the process.
Capital One Looks Out for the Bargain Hunters
Last month Capital One acquired Paribus, a New York startup that helps digital shoppers get better deals. Users of Paribus are alerted when something they bought online goes on sale in a bid to get the cheaper price. It remains to be seen how the acquisition will fit in the company's overall mobile strategy, but it will gain the Paribus tech talent.
B of A Debuts Digital Assistant
Bank of America has hopped on one of latest fintech crazes: chatbots. The bank's voice-activated artificial intelligence service, dubbed erica, is designed to help consumers develop better money habits, among other things. The virtual assistant, which was teased at the Money 20/20 conference, will be integrated into the bank's mobile app by late 2017.
TD's Moven Partnership
MySpend, TD Canada's personal financial management platform offered in partnership with Moven, has been frequently been at the top of download charts in Canada since its April launch. Bharat Masrani, CEO of TD Bank Group, said in a conference call in August that the tool has resonated with customers because it gives them a simple way to manage their money.
JPMorgan Chase Uses Mobile to Drive Auto Sales
In August, JPMorgan Chase partnered with digital automotive marketplace TrueCar to launch Chase Auto Direct, a digital service accessible on desktops and smartphones that lets customers get approved for a loan, shop for cars and see what others have paid.
Wells Fargo Has Its Eye on Authentication
Tokens have been the albatross of business mobile banking, with users having to carry around the dongle in order to access their account. Wells Fargo is working with startup EyeVerify to give its commercial clients an easier way to log in the whites of their eyes. The company initially targeted a second quarter launch, but a spokeswoman for the company said it is still in pilot and it plans to roll it out over the coming months.