Liking What I See At U.S. Bank
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Earlier this week, I attended the Mobile Banking and Emerging Applications Summit in Las Vegas. Although I had many meetings there and had to make a presentation myself, I was able to attend some other presentations. Among them, I thought that U.S. Bank's was one of the most interesting. This is because I saw signs that U.S. Bank "gets it" in terms of mobile transactions, especially at point-of-sale (aka proximity or NFC payments). Specifically, U.S. Bank is preparing to launch a "mobile concierge" service powered by Infosys technology, which will use location-based services to send coupons to shoppers in retail locations. In other words, U.S. Bank has recognized that it needs to engage shoppers before they make actual payment. As many of our readers know, I am a proponent of the belief that in the mobile context, the brand that controls consumer's awareness, discovery and shopping optimization (e.g., cost comparison tools, coupon/discount/loyalty point provisioning) controls consumers' payment decisions. Banks that don't recognize this are in danger of offering "dumb payments". It would seem that U.S. Bank understands this threat. During the same presentation, it was revealed that U.S. Bank is working with a whole slew of mobile-related vendors. In addition to Infosys, U.S. Bank mentioned Visa, CashEdge, Monitise, DeviceFidelity and Firethorn (in addition to U.S. Bank's homegrown technology). My take-away from this was that the banking industry continues to feel that the mobile vendor space is marked by a lack of players who can "do it all and do it well".