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Charles Schwab cements mobile banking strategy via remote check deposits

May 27, 2011

Charles Schwab iPhone appCharles Schwab is letting its clients deposit checks remotely by simply taking a photo of it with their iPhone.

In addition to the new iPhone application, the company has plans to roll out an Android app with mobile deposit capabilities next month. The iPhone app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store.

“As a full-service firm, our goal is to provide our clients with choice when it comes to their preferred method of banking and investing, including mobile,” said Lindsay Tiles, spokeswoman for Charles Schwab, San Francisco.

“Much like people have adopted Internet banking and investing over time, data and trends show that people will increasingly use their mobile devices for banking and investing,” she said. “It’s important for us to focus on our clients – and not just develop technology for the sake of technology.”

Charles Schwab provides financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8.1 million client brokerage accounts, 1.4 million corporate retirement plan participants, 728,000 banking accounts, and $1.7 trillion in client assets as of Apr. 30, 2011.

Snap it
IPhone users can deposit a check by selecting the Schwab Bank or brokerage account where they want to deposit funds.

Then, consumers enter the deposit amount, take a photo of the front and endorsed back and hit submit.

Consumers can snap a photo of their check to deposit it

Both iPhone and Android users can now transfer balances between Schwab Bank and brokerage accounts and place trades in brokerage accounts.

Additionally, the company’s clients can view balances and account activity for Schwab Bank and brokerage accounts, Schwab 529 College Savings Plans, and Schwab-administered 401(k) and stock option plans.

“Our data shows that people actually like to interact with their financial service provider through multiple channels – online, via phone, via mobile device and in person,” Ms. Tiles said.

“According to a recent Schwab survey about the Mobile Financial Consumer, 59 percent of smartphone users said they would be interested in interacting with their financial services provider through a mobile device, which is higher than ATM – 50 percent and close to online at 66 percent for this group,” she said.

Word of mouth
The company is getting the word out about its new mobile apps via its Web site, as well as a YouTube channel where clients can watch a video which shows them how to use the new mobile deposit functions.

“It’s important to note that Schwab’s mobile offerings are integrated across both bank and brokerage accounts, so clients can transfer money or deposit checks with their iPhones into both accounts,” Ms. Tiles said.

“Viewed holistically with Schwab’s High Yield Investor Checking account which has no minimums or fees and globally reimbursed ATM fees, our mobile offerings are an extension of Schwab’s commitment to providing convenience and value,” she said.

“We pride ourselves on innovation but also on taking a thoughtful approach to technology investments, making sure that they will provide the greatest benefit to our clients.”

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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