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The transformation of traditional banking: 3 questions with Rohan Amin, Chief Product Officer at Chase

  • What kind of structural changes were caused by the pandemic in the traditional banking sector?
  • Rohan Amin, CPO at Chase, talks about digital channels in banking, growing fintech competition, and what Chase intends to accomplish in the future.

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The transformation of traditional banking: 3 questions with Rohan Amin, Chief Product Officer at Chase

When the pandemic broke out over two years back, banks around the world were left with no choice but to shut down their branches and restrict access to basic in-person services for consumers. This shift meant that in order to stay relevant, incumbent banks couldn’t continue to function typically anymore – the way consumers used to bank had changed, and so had the required business model to deliver products and services to them.

Limiting branch access back then acted as a catalyst for the accelerated adoption of digital channels, such as mobile banking and customer support through artificial intelligence. 

In a way, the pandemic has helped the financial industry to be disrupted with new opportunities and healthy rivalries. It paved the way for a growing number of fintechs bridging the gap between what traditional banks offer and what the modern consumer has come to expect in recent times – to meet the demand for speed, real-time activities, the need to not be present in person for basic services, and a better user experience.

Surveys have shown that consumers are no longer interested in returning to their previous channel preferences now that the pandemic has almost subsided. Customers insist on continuing to bank digitally, as they have become used to the bank as an app rather than an institution.

According to JPMorgan Chase’s December 2021 Digital Banking Attitudes Study

  • 62% of consumers cited their banking app as a service they can no longer live without, up 7% YoY. 
  • As of Q1 2022, Chase had 60.2 million digitally active customers (+6% YoY), and 46.5 million mobile active customers (+11% YoY). 
  • Mobile active customers have increased 35% since Q1 2019, and more than 50% of mobile active customers use financial health tools.

I spoke with Rohan Amin, Chief Product Officer at Chase, about digital channels in banking, growing fintech competition, and what Chase intends to accomplish in the future.

How has the pandemic affected/transformed the relationship between banks and consumer behavior?

Rohan Amin: The pandemic forced consumers to re-examine their day-to-day behaviors more closely, including how they bank and achieve their — highly personal — financial goals. We’ve seen a real acceleration towards digital banking over the last two-and-a-half years. Consumers, including our own customers, are using their mobile banking apps for more than just checking their account balances. For example, our 2021 study found that 13% of respondents said they have used their bank’s website or app to book travel, while 34% of those who had not used this feature said they would be willing to try.  

Throughout the pandemic, customers have been engaging with us more digitally than ever before, but roughly 70% of customers have also continued to visit their local branch in 2021 as many people want personal interaction and the satisfaction that comes from chatting with their banker or financial adviser. We give our customers options to choose how they want to bank – whether online, on our mobile app, or by visiting our branches. Additionally, when the pandemic emerged, we created our Meeting Scheduler tool available on the Chase mobile app and website, to help customers facilitate and schedule their in-person appointments.

How do you compete with the innovation of growing fintechs in the space?

Rohan Amin: There are very few companies that have the size and scale of Chase. We serve more than 66 million households in the U.S. and have more than 60 million digitally active customers. Over the last several years, Chase has undergone a Product and Agility transformation that has empowered our Product, Data & Analytics, Design and Technology teams to collaborate more efficiently and make strategic decisions at speed and at scale. This transformation helps us compete, attract talent, and better serve our customers.

Our customers are at the center of everything we do. We use a wide lens to understand what is being done digitally in financial services, at fintechs, and across other industries – these insights, including feedback from our customers, are put to use to continuously improve our user experience.

Where do you see Chase 5 years from now, in terms of a goal-setting framework?

Rohan Amin: Job number one is helping our customers make the most of their money. In the time ahead, our digital products and features will continue to help consumers manage their finances, make payments, invest, save, book travel, and more. Our agility and product transformation efforts are central to our ability to continuously innovate and meet the changing needs of our customers, today and in the future.

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