Thursday released an updated version of its app for the iPhone, intended to both streamline and personalize the mobile customer experience.
That doesn’t mean it comes with a
Siri-like virtual assistant. But it does add some personal touches, like a localized log-on screen that shows one of 18 different images from an iconic San Francisco cable car to the Brooklyn Bridge,
depending on where a user is. The app also offers a greeting at the top of the screen based on the time of day.
When it comes to the app’s functional aspects, Chase has
attempted to simplify the user interface, with a faster log-on setup, and a main page that features four tabs at the bottom for accounts, paying bills and making transfers and deposits. A
“more” button leads to other options, like an ATM locator, customer service, and creating alerts.
The bank points out that the app now employs different fonts and colors
related to different tasks and activities. In that vein, the accounts page shows balance figures in a large font that make you wonder if Chase has gone too far in the direction of easier reading at
the expense of security and privacy.
Among other changes, the new app adds Spanish-language capability and the ability to see and respond to secure messages sent by the bank. Chase
said it made the tweaks in response to feedback from the growing number of its customers who use its mobile banking services.
“Our customers also told us they want information
presented to them in a clear, relevant way.” he said. “They want speed and simplicity,” said Gavin Michael, head of digital for consumer and community banking at Chase, in the
If user responses in the iTunes App Store are any guide, the latest release is an improvement, garnering a 4.5 out of five-star rating compared to 3.5 stars for all
version of the app to date. Reviews posted since Thursday were mostly positive, with many noting the sleeker look and feel of the revamped app.
Some griped, however, that the prior
version was actually simpler to use, while others complained about the lack of swiping capability to change screens, and lack of a four-digit PIN code for easier access.
The more than
73,000 ratings the Chase app has gotten to date, along with the reviews posted in the last two days, are an indication of mobile banking's growth. The nation's largest bank says it has 16 million
active mobile users overall.
In an annual report on the topic issued in March, the Federal Reserve found that a majority (51%) of smartphone users have used mobile banking in the
past 12 months, up from 48% a year ago.
The most common use is to check account balances (93%), followed by transferring money between a customer’s own accounts (57%). Almost
four in 10 (38%) have deposited a check via mobile in the last year, up from 21% in 2012.
But negative perceptions persist. Among those who do not use mobile banking, the main reason
cited was the belief that their banking needs were already being met without mobile (89%). Concerns about the security of technology were also a common reason for not turning to mobile banking or
mobile payments, at 69% and 63%, respectively.