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USAA simplifies banking via mobile direct deposits

July 19, 2011

A screen grab showing the insurance section on the iPad app

USAA is simplifying the banking process by letting consumers make deposits and pay bills via an iPad app. 

The app lets consumers make direct deposits, pay bills, transfer funds, place trades, view insurance policies and read personal finance articles. The app is available in Apple’s App Store.

“Our members are highly mobile because they are typically men and women in military and move and travel more in everyday life,” said Nicole Alley, spokeswoman for USAA, San Antonio, TX.

“We need to make life as easy as possible and by being able to help them with banking needs,” she said.

USAA is a financial institution providing service to 8.2 million members of the U.S. military and their families.

Easy banking
Consumers can directly deposit checks by snapping a photo of the check via their iPad 2 device.

The company is taking advantage of the iPad 2’s camera functionality to let consumers deposit their check remotely, no matter where they are.

“USAA already had successful iPhone and Android apps that generated high traction and traffic,” Ms. Alley said.

“Direct deposits seemed like the next step to mobile banking, which led to a natural and progression on the iPad,” she said.

One unique feature the app includes is personal finance articles and content.

USAA personal finance representatives cover topics such as budgeting, credit, savings tips and strategies.

“The articles deal with day-to-day personal financial topics that benefit our users,” Ms. Alley said.

“This app was customized and created for an experience that can only be done on an iPad, meaning it was built from the ground up and uses native code, so we saw a need for additional content that our customers can’t find elsewhere,” she said.

Traveling transactions
Mobile banking apps are gaining traction.

Financial institutions are seeing the advantages of having a mobile app and offering their services to their on-the-go customers.

Prime players such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, ING and Wells Fargo all have mobile apps and  similar goals of making banking faster, easier and simpler for customers.

“As more people adapt to mobile technology, banks and financial industries have to deliver on the need of consumers,” Ms. Alley said.

“We found that 50 percent of our users have smartphones so as they start to incorporate mobile into their everyday life, they expect to have the technology to handle financial banking via mobile,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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