The Marketing Of Mobile Services

So, driving to work this morning, and I hear Chase advertising its remote check desposit service for the iPhone on the radio. This article has a good set of screen shots and description of the user's experience. Hard to imagine even 5 years ago a couple advertising a mobile service or application. How far we've come. Even three years ago, it was mostly Apple.

One of the top reasons companies give for building iPhone applications and mobile services is marketing -- the connection of innovation and technology to their brand. Chase was giving both instructions to existing iPhone owners to download as well as new customers. A very convenient mobile service being used to draw in new banking customers. It is using the availability of an interesting new feature -- and not simply "free checking" or "low interest rates on mortgages" -- to advertise Chase. It is using the availability of free services -- free mobile services.

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What The Citi iPhone Security Flaw Says About Mobile Security

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Citigroup’s iPhone electronic banking app contained a security flaw that had been fixed. According to the article, a new version of the app has been made available to customers through Apple’s App Store. The Citi app was developed in conjunction with mobile app specialist mFoundry and allows customers to view their banking and/or credit card statements and make bank payments. From the Journal article:

“Citi said its iPhone app accidentally saved information—including account numbers, bill payments and security access codes—in a hidden file on users’ iPhones. The information may also have been saved to a user’s computer if it had been synched with an iPhone. The issue affected the approximately 117,600 customers who had registered the iPhone app with Citi since its launch in March 2009, a person familiar with the matter said. The bank doesn’t believe any personal data was exposed by the flaw.”

Forrester customers who are also Citi banking or credit card customers should immediately update their iPhone app. They should also change their account password if their phones have been stolen or lost.

I have not spoken to Citi about this matter, and I do not have inside knowledge about the nature of the vulnerability. However, it stands to reason that:

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Bank of America Uses Online To Keep Free Checking Free

Bank of America is launching a new eChecking account that has no minimum balance requirement. The twist is that in order to avoid the $8.95 monthly fee customers must enroll and receive eStatements versus paper and make deposits and withdrawals using ATMs versus a teller.

The development of an eChecking account is not new, but the Bank of America offering differs from forays into this area in the past because:

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