Magazine article American Banker

JPMorgan Tech Deployments Support Military Banking Strategy

Magazine article American Banker

JPMorgan Tech Deployments Support Military Banking Strategy

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeremy Quittner

By boosting its offerings to military personnel, JPMorgan Chase & Co. may find itself maneuvering against USAA Federal Savings Bank, which has set the gold standard for serving customers in the armed forces.

To succeed, JPMorgan Chase must have the right remote-banking technology in place to appeal to what is often a far-flung audience.

JPMorgan Chase announced on Monday an expansion of its offerings for military members and veterans. It launched a premium checking account for active-duty military personnel and veterans. This expands a set of services it began offering to just active-duty military members in July.

"This is part of a much broader strategy that we have to recognize those who have served," Jon Wilk, head of marketing for consumer banking for JPMorgan Chase says. The company is not explicitly targeting USAA with its new product, he says.

USAA, of San Antonio, has long been considered the leader in the military market. It has pioneered such concepts as unstaffed branches with video links to live representatives. It was also one of the first financial services organizations to initiate remote deposit capture for its more than 8 million members.

"Serving military members may be a new campaign at other banks, but it's the core mission at USAA," a USAA spokeswoman wrote in an email. "Military values are in our DNA, making us uniquely qualified to serve military families."

JPMorgan Chase has spent recent years adding functions such as mobile payments and check capture, which make banking easier for customers in remote locations.

Certainly JPMorgan Chase has the necessary technology to serve military customers spread throughout the globe, Alan Mattei, a partner for Novantas LLC, says. Like military customers, more than 25% of large-bank customers depend on mobile, online and telephone services.

"Chase is one of the more technologically advanced banks out there, and if they put their minds to it, they can crack the code for [military] customers," Mattei says.

For veterans, JPMorgan Chase's checking account comes with no minimum balance requirement, free checks and a free safe deposit box. …

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