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US Bank BBVA Compass Launches Mobile Phone App

With all the news of mobile phone traffic and usage gaining pace and increasingly becoming inextricably intertwined into our normal daily lives, it shouldn’t be of any surprise to learn of BBVA Compass, a US bank’s announcement that it was launching its first iPhone mobile phone app.

But there’s a difference.The mobile phone App will for the first time, allow new customers to enroll in mobile banking directly with their mobile phone, even if they are not existing customers of the bank, making it easier for customers to enroll with the bank.

This is an important precedent particularly as the trend seems to be that more people are using mobile devices to surf the net in place of desktop computers.

The main stumbling block hitherto for why many banks had not seized on this opportunity sooner has always been about security issues.

BBVA Compass recently announced that it will be allowing new customers to enroll with the bank on a mobile phone using its mobile phone app, which is a first in the banking industry.

But according to Alejandro Carriles, executive vice president and director of mobile at BBVA, security issues for mobile banking is no different to online banking.

US Bank BBVA Compass Launches First Iphone Mobile Phone App As Mobile Internet Usage & Penetration Expands

 One issue banks have struggled with as they develop mobile banking apps is: how to get new customers on board?  Banks generally require customers to be online banking customers before they will allow them to use mobile banking.

The version 2.0 iPhone app BBVA Compass is launching today is the first to let customers enroll in mobile banking directly from their phone, even if they don’t have an online banking account. “That’s a fundamental change, because for most banks you have to be an online banking user” before you can use mobile banking, says Alejandro Carriles, executive vice president and director of mobile and online strategies at the $65 billion-asset bank, which is based in Birmingham, Ala. “With online banking penetration from 40% to 60% of users, that means you’re leaving out 40% to 60% of your customers that are not online banking users. Younger generations are going to skip online banking altogether. They’re going straight to mobile.”

The new BBVA app has a simple button that says, “Register for mobile banking.” Where other banks have wanted to allow mobile registration but have been frightened by security issues, Carriles says the security issues, and the answers to them, are no different for mobile banking than they are for online banking. BBVA provides encryption and multi-factor authentication. Read the full article in Bank Technology News.

While the move by BBVA to offer a mobile phone app for mobile banking is just one of a long line of large corporate companies’ decision to offer mobile services, this decision is of particular significance.

Hereto, a major concern for many mainstream businesses in adopting mobile phone compatible services was primarily due to security and confidentiality. The announcement by a major US bank that it was opening up mobile banking services via a mobile phone app represents a clear endorsement of trust in mobile services.

While many businesses may continue to show some hesitation in going mobile, it seems fitting to end with these words taken from a comprehensive report prepared by Morgan Stanley in 2011, which said:

“Rapid ramp of mobile internet usage will be a boon to consumers and some companies will likely win big (potentially very big) while many will wonder just what happened”.

The question is what is your company going to do to position itself to capitalize on the growth of mobile search traffic and usage?

For help with or for specialist advice on mobile phone apps, mobile marketing and advertising call us today and speak with one of our mobile marketing strategists.

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