USAA’s Mobile App Showcases Innovation

For years, there’s been a lot of hype about mobile banking. It turns out, however, that most people are not ready to abandon their branch visits, phone calls, or Web browsing for a mobile window into their bank. But that doesn’t mean that mobile can’t play an important role in banking.

Source: New York Times

USAA introduced an innovative iPhone applicationremote check depositing. Customers that qualify for the service can take pictures of their checks and deposit them into their accounts as if they were handing the paper check over to a teller.

My take: This application makes a ton of sense for USAA, especially since many of its military customers are stationed around the world. Companies can find opportunities like this by following my three steps for customer experience innovation:

  1. Uncover the needs. Many USAA customers do not have an easy way to deposit checks.
  2. Design a disruptive strategy. The mobile app is a great example of a strategy called online infusion.
  3. Evaluate the opportunity. Given USAA’s focus on making it as easy as possible for their customers, this new application makes strategic sense. And the company’s rules for qualifying help keep the risks low. 

The bottom line: Everything starts with customers’ needs.

About Bruce Temkin
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, marketing, interaction design, customer service, and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

2 Responses to USAA’s Mobile App Showcases Innovation

  1. scorekeeper says:

    It’s a great concept, but sadly I’m a USAA customer who can’t use it.

    USAA has two classes of customers:
    – current and former members of the armed forces, who are eligible for USAA’s insurance products and neat new innovations like this

    – non-military customers like me who use their great banking services but are locked out of insurance offerings and (apparently arbitrarily) from deposit@home (a 3-year old service!) and deposit@mobile.

    It’s a strange gap in the otherwise excellent USAA customer experience.

    I love the service I get from USAA, but they do a poor job of communicating to “second class” customers like me that these services aren’t available (I downloaded the app and tried to use it!). Hopefully they’ll open it up to long-standing customers like myself, but it would be great to know when and if that’s planned.

    • Chris Talley says:

      Scorekeeper:

      Thank you for your comments. We appreciate and understand your frustration. USAA teams are working across a number of fronts to analyze new and innovative ways to manage deposits for our on-the-go members. Also, our mobile team continues to work on ways to expand our robust mobile platform.

      We look forward to sharing progress and again appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts on this blog.

      Chris Talley
      USAA Corporate Communications

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