Magazine article American Banker

Mobile Apps Come to Banks' Reloadable Prepaid Products

Magazine article American Banker

Mobile Apps Come to Banks' Reloadable Prepaid Products

Article excerpt

Byline: Mary Wisniewski

Reloadable prepaid card customers are gaining more touch points from which they can get their bank account queries answered.

Indeed, U.S. Bancorp (USB) and PNC Bank rolled out mobile apps for their reloadable prepaid products in December, thus adding to the ways in which customers can resolve their account questions. The rollouts point to minor usability improvements.

"Having a well-designed mobile app can really help [consumers] measure their [finances] better and more conveniently," says Rob Levi, director of research at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), a company that focuses on underbanked consumers.

U.S. Bank, which has been beefing up its prepaid card business, released Saturday an iOS app for its Convenient Cash product, a reloadable prepaid card.

"It's all about customer service," Dave Smith, senior vice president of prepaid product development at U.S. Bank, tells BTN.

Upon initial release, consumers can get their basic queries like, "What is my transaction history?" answered through the app instead of having to ring the call center to find out. They can check their account balance, locate branches or ATMs, view direct deposit information and see the latest offers. However, they aren't able to enroll in the product through the mobile app.

Smith hinted at how some of the app's basic functionalities will mature. Take the app's "view latest offers" feature, for example. Though the button on the app is mostly meant for displaying marketing messages now, Smith says the bank is researching how to include special deals. Perhaps a customer will get an offer based on what he has previously bought. "There are a lot of different opportunities," says Smith, adding the bank will test out a few before settling on one.

Also looking ahead, U.S. Bank is looking for ways to make loading funds easier for its prepaid customers and also plans to launch a similar app for Android devices in the first quarter of 2013. …

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