JPMorgan Chase launches digital-only bank

26. October 2017.

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JPMorgan Chase launched Finn, a standalone digital-only mobile banking platform that allows users to open accounts, make deposits, issue checks, track spending and create savings plans.

The app is being tested for iOS users in St. Louis — where Chase does not have any branches — and will be offered to Android users and expand into more US cities next year.

Finn offers tools specifically geared toward helping millennials manage spending. The app was developed to target millennials, as well as consumers who don’t live close to a Chase branch. Users will receive a physical debit card with access to 29,000 Chase ATMs. And in addition to banking offerings, like tools to build savings and prevent overspending, the app has a feature that lets customers rate purchases by “want” and “need” and assign emojis for how the purchase made them feel. That could appeal to millennials, who thrive on network effect and digital access, by giving them banking platforms that resonate with them more than a traditional app-branch model might.

And Chase’s robust digital investment could be a great gateway to reach key demographics of new customers.

  • Millennials are likely to take advantage of mobile banking offerings. Forty-three percent of all mobile phone users in the US use mobile banking annually, a figure that grows to 67% among millennials, according to the Fed. And Chase itself has high digital engagement — as of Q3 2017, the bank had 29.3 million active mobile users, a 900,000 user increase from Q2 — and likely the biggest mobile banking user base in the industry. Chase could leverage that digital momentum to build a platform that’s attractive to millennials and digitally-inclined consumers, and then use its strong brand to help get the word out.
  • Chase could expand its customer reach without incurring the costs of operating physical branches. Bank branches are pricey — as an example, depositing a check digitally is 96% less expensive for Chase than depositing it via a human teller. Finn could allow Chase to move into areas where it’s less represented, both geographically and demographically, without investing in physical infrastructure. And as consumers become more dependent on mobile banking and less on human support, Chase can begin to evolve its strategy to meet consumer needs in a cost-efficient way without cutting important resources, like ATM access.

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