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, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

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:


      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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