Blog article
See all stories »

Digital Banking at JP Morgan Chase


At the recent American Banker Financial Services Marketing & Innovation Symposium in New York, Dr. Gavin Michael (Head of Digital for Chase) talked about what Chase have done, have learnt and alluded to what’s coming from the digital division of Chase. And it was worth listening to.


Digital at Chase

Some perspective on Digital at Chase - 9 million Chase customers are served through the digital channel dailyand Chase see “no evidence that it’s generational”. Digital as adopted regardless of age group – convenience is king.


Gavin referred to banking as a “companion activity” – something people do in-support-of or whilst-doing something else. This is a view shared by ex-CMO of Commonwealth Bank of Australia Andy Lark. It’s a good mind-set for the bank as it fosters an approach to delivering convenience and simplicity to customers.

With such a huge volume of customers engaging through the digital channel, Chase have identified that their digital experiences must be:

  • Simple – If the experience needs to be explained, you’ve failed;
  • Human – understand that banking is a means to an end, understand what people are trying to achieve and put that at the heart of the interaction (e.g. pay for groceries, buy a car);
  • Personal – If you know the customer, reflect that in the experience you deliver.

Some examples of how this is manifesting itself in the Digital channel at Chase are:

  • An app that welcomes the customer with “Good morning”, “Good afternoon” and “Good evening”…after all , that’s what a human would say;
  • An app that displays background images based on the customer’s location(Brooklyn bridge in NY, Golden Gate in San Francisco – they may have taken a leaf out of the very popular Yahoo weather app on this one).


Rolling out new capabilities

Chase have recognized that Apple and Google have created a customer base that’s used to frequent updates (change)…in fact they crave it. People are buying Google Experience Phones from the Play Store to ensure they receive new Android releases as soon as they’re available, rather than having to wait for the carrier to release it (which generally relates to the time it will take the carrier to certify their bloat-ware on the new OS).

So Chase have embraced this acceptance of change and work towards new releases of their mobile app every 100 days.

But Chase demonstrate a level of maturity in the fact that they monitor the contact center for an increase in calls on release day. If they’ve introduced problems or confusion with the new release – they’ll see it in the help desk. If they see no “net new calls” – they know they’ve “done the release right” as Gavin put it.

And this is important for an organization that sees 10m downloads of their mobile banking app in its first 24 hours of release.

Dr. Michael indicated that one of the biggest challenges associated with continuing to innovate in this way is attracting the right talent to Chase. Chase have successfully attracted experienced senior innovative people from Google+, Yahoo and Ariana Huffington. They’ve been lured with the promise of working on projects that result in apps that are downloaded 10m times in 24 hours and an experience that’s genuinely important to people – not saying that a Weather App isn’t important, but it doesn’t pay for groceries. The mBanking App does.

In fact, Chase were one of the launch partners for Apple Pay – Gavin highlighted that Chase had a team of 400 people working on Apple Pay before the launch and (with the legendary secrecy of Apple) less than 25% of them knew what they were working on. Apple Pay will be the first implementation of 2 years of tokenization work by Chase on debit and credit cards. And Chase are confident of its success because it is a customer experience that “just works”. That combined with the fact that Apple Pay represents partnerships between a technology company that people love and the banks that customers already trust with their money and security. Although the popularity of Moven, Simple and Affirm indicates a willingness for customers to stray away from the banks that are “too big to fail”.  


So what’s next?

Digital innovation seems to be viewed as critical to the long term growth of Chase and as a result Chase are asking their staff to stop saying “Oh no, we’re being disrupted!!!” but to start asking “How do we disrupt?” – a significant challenge for one of the largest banks in the world. And to do so, they’re looking to other industries for definition of the next generation of customer experience – don’t look to a bank, look to Uber, don’t look at a wealth management company, look at Starbucks.

Dr. Michael was somewhat (and understandably) guarded regarding what he would say about “what’s next” for digital at Chase. But what he did say was telling – “prepare for experiences that are hyper-personal”. Who knows – perhaps they’ll give customers a gift card on their birthday, or perhaps they’ll learn from Google Now and try to anticipate your behavior:

  • It’s 8am, you’re probably going to buy a coffee…Apple Pay is already open and ready to go;
  • You’ve got an upcoming trip overseas…they prompt you to transfer money to an international debit card;
  • Last year you spent $1,000 on Christmas gifts so they prompt you to begin a savings plan in July to get ready for Christmas.

Who knows what’s possible when a bank looks beyond the transactional data to derive insights about human behavior and then tries to help.



Comments: (0)

Now hiring