2018 felt like a year where Chase just did more of everything better. The largest bank pressed down the gas pedal in retail banking, digital banking, mobile banking, and payments. While other banks narrowed their marketing focus to specific targets, Chase was able to expand its influence into both younger and older audiences.
Here are 4 things we learned about Chase’s mobile banking and payments business in 2018:
Chase is embracing younger clients
Chase’s new digital-only brand Finn is turning out to be a proving ground for Chase to experiment with more modern forms of product development and marketing. “Our goal is to be as nimble with our marketing as possible, such that we are constantly learning from customers across the end-to-end experience of Finn,” said Matt Gromada, managing director and chief product owner for Finn.
Personalization plays a big role in creating successful financial experiences for younger clients. In its beta release, Finn experimented with allowing users to determine how they’d like to be addressed, exploring more inclusive ways to address consumers. Chase is also using more millennial friendly marketing to attract younger customers, including campaigns with memes and GIFs.
Chase’s approach to scaling Finn represents how banks are quickly releasing minimally viable products that are effectively “works in progress”. Customer feedback plays a big role in determining the features and fate of these types of financial products. To get this right, Chase is building the product in-house, freeing Finn of legacy technology and organizational complexity.
Chase is pushing payments hard
The company made payments — from consumer peer-to-peer transactions to its correspondent banking business — one of the main focuses of its 2018 Investor Day presentation given by chief financial officer Marianne Lake, who said payments is a natural extension of the digital banking conversation.
The firm is pushing its payment offerings hard. According to Lake, Chase is the only U.S. bank with scalable businesses in every major payments vertical, allowing it to serve “the 360-degree need of customers” in every segment.
The continuum is “definitionally, soup-to-nuts the payments industry,” Matt Kane, CEO of Chase Merchant Services said. “So we are definitively in competition with everyone in the payments space.”
Chase goes where the customers are
The market for banking customers is getting more competitive as more players enter the market and offerings get more niche. Chase deployed 27-foot trailers at business events across the U.S., offering free one-on-one advice sessions on marketing, business insights and small-business financing.
The trailer, which is called Chase BizMobile, is the latest iteration of the bank’s plans to grow face-to-face connections with business owners, alongside conferences and seminars it has organized for the last two years. The objective is to connect with clients and prospects who may consider taking up service offerings from the bank in the future.
“Our strategy is to have a human presence everywhere we do business,” said Brent Reinhard, chief marketing officer for Chase Business Banking. This includes new partnerships in auto finance, too.
The bank also joined forces with Starbucks to roll out a prepaid Visa card that lets customers earn Starbucks Rewards stars whenever they use it — even when it’s not being used at Starbucks. The product broadens the pool of customers for JPMorgan Chase, including Starbucks Rewards members, and opens the door to future possibilities to redeem points beyond the Starbucks ecosystem.
Chase is experimenting with new bank branch formats
In 2018, we declared the bank branch alive again after mourning it in 2017. For its part, Chase continues to experiment with new bank branch formats, including Express branches it rolled out this year.
Express branches include a Digital Advice Bar to help customers learn how to engage with Chase digital products and video conferencing to connect customers with companion branch bankers for more complex matters. The idea is the branches will be smaller and offer simpler services like account openings. For more complex things like a home loan, customers would have to videoconference with a banker, or just go to a regular branch.