Archive for August, 2009

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August 20th, 2009

USAA Mobile Banking Application – Convenience or Cost Savings?

My colleague Seth Fowler showed me one of the more innovative mobile services I’ve seen in a while. (See NY Times article) It’s USAA’s iPhone application that allows qualified customers to photograph both the front and back side of checks and upload the photos to complete a deposit. How cool is that?

[If allowed, cut paste NY Times photo and give them credit]

I want this service through my bank. (Wells Fargo and Schwab – are you listening?) My banking habits most closely resemble those of a 70 year old. I do not do online bill pay. (Had two bad experiences – one in 1994 and one in 2000, and I am scarred) I do not know the codes for my cards to deposit a check into an ATM. I walk into the branch and hand my check to a teller. Seriously, I do. This service would motivate me to go direct to mobile – skip the Internet entirely. There would be no middle step for me as many think will happen with Internet-based services on cell phones.

When we talk to our clients about how mobile services can help them to achieve their business objectives, we put them into three buckets – revenue-generating, cost-savings, and customer convenience. The catch is, customer convenience often doubles as a cost savings initiative. This USAA application does just that. At a high level, the bank processes less paper and already has an image of the check. For the customer, they save a stamp or a trip to the ATM.

In terms of evaluating the services, I use my colleague James McQuivey’s Convenience Quotient framework where I define mobile benefits as consumer value on immediacy and context combined with simplicity. There is context – my phone knows who I am. My phone can save/store account numbers. It’s simple – I can both take and upload the photo with my phone. Immediacy? Deposit checks immediately before lost, stolen or misplaced let alone the trip to the bank.

And then there’s the insurance stuff … what to do in an accident. For next time ….

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August 10th, 2009

Connectivity Withdrawal – Have a Back-up Plan

I cleaned out my car a month or so ago. Decided I could throw away all my MapQuest and Google Map print outs. I thought, “I have an iPhone, a Blackberry, an N97 – the N97 has especially good maps – why do I still need paper?”

They told us there would be limited to no connectivity on the coast. I thought, “great, I’ll disconnect for the weekend.” While there, the reality set in. I wanted to share photos from the trip on Facebook. I couldn’t. We wanted to check traffic on Route 1 vs. highway 101 on the way back … we couldn’t  (and got stuck in traffic).

I’d lost sight a bit of how much I depend on my phone for non-voice communication. We even left the GPS unit at home … figured we had phones. My phone ended up spending most of the trip in the glove compartment with the radio turned off to conserve battery power. We had no plan “b” so to speak.

California Coast

California Coast

Then I was walking to the coffee shop this morning, and a young woman was screaming at her boyfriend on her iPhone (yeah, distinguishable white ear phones visible from across the street.) I was then wishing that perhaps there wouldn’t be connectivity everywhere. Was so uncomfortable to be in the same public place as this woman.

Then I drove north on Route 101 to Mendocino County for the weekend and south back along Route 1 (the coast).

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August 6th, 2009

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MCDONALDS WIRELESS

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August 6th, 2009

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August 6th, 2009

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August 6th, 2009

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August 6th, 2009

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August 6th, 2009

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August 6th, 2009

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August 6th, 2009

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