My family and I received several checks from family members as gifts and as payback for gifts purchased. My wife typically handles the day-to-day checking account and generally handles making deposits at the nearest Wells Fargo ATM. I suggested that she try using the mobile deposit feature on the Wells Fargo mobile application. Being the wife of someone who works in FinTech, she agreed to try out the feature….despite all the negative feedback about the application. Unfortunately, she successfully validated the negative comments splattered across iTunes.
The biggest disappointment came through the application crashing after each attempt to deposit a check using the mobile deposit feature. What I found most interesting were my wife’s comments after the 3rd attempt. “Well, Wells Fargo, I guess you REALLY don’t want me to use this feature,” was the first comment. The second comment was “What happened to the pics of the checks I took before the app crashed? Are they stuck in the app or are they with Wells? Can someone steal the money?”
Three interesting thoughts came to mind as I digested her valid complains. One, when it comes to getting customers to try new features that involve their money, banks better be sure the feature works for the customer the first time. Yes, app crashes can happen for many reasons. Unfortunately, several reviews reflected the same frustration and experience my wife had…which implies that improvements need to be made to the application. From my wife’s point of view, Wells Fargo implicitly told her mobile deposit is not ready for prime time and to keep using the ATM. Wells needs to track that these customers are and target them with a “mea culpa” CRM program to win back their trust with new technology. After all, according to a recent study, 49% of consumers will change banks for a better mobile experience.
Secondly, I think my wife’s concerns about where the check pictures have gone after the application crashes point to an engrained reaction that stems from frequent e-commerce transactions. I think similar “where’s my money now?” concerns come up when a consumer enters in a credit card number online, presses submit and the site crashes. “Did my credit card go through? Do I need to re-enter my credit card? If I do, will I get double charged? Is my card number safe?” All are common questions following an e-commerce site crash. I think it’s only natural for my wife to ask similar questions after a mobile banking application fails. In-application messaging must be delivered immediately to consumers to quell their anxiety when things don’t go as planned.
Lastly, the low application star rating and poor review indicate that mobile is NOT a big priority for Wells Fargo. In an effort to win customers, I would imagine that the mobile team would quickly iterate and redeploy an application as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, Wells Fargo is not the only major bank that appears less focused on winning customers through mobile. Chase and Bank of America have similarly low rated mobile applications. If these major banks do not step up their focus on mobile, the door will remain WIDE OPEN for innovative mobile banks like GoBank and Simple to entice customers through compelling mobile banking experiences.