American Express continues to improve its app experience for consumers. To make it easier to use its new high-yield checking account, the company aims to provide a seamless, intuitive experience that integrates its banking and credit card products in one app.
Ashish Pawale, vice president of global mobility engineering at American Express, told: “Our mission is to play an important role in our customers’ digital lives by delivering value, convenience and joy.”
The redesign team wanted to use one app for banking and credit card customers, making the new app experience as easy and convenient as possible. Starting with the launch of the AmEx savings account in 2021, the team sees this as a good opportunity to introduce visual and technological change.
“I think it’s really important for us to go beyond the card experience, which is already a core part of the mobile app,” Johan Alexandersson, director of global mobile product design at American Express, told. “When the discussion about checking accounts started, , we see an opportunity to go a step further and think in a broader perspective of different types of products that might be integrated into mobile applications,” he said.
To merge the credit card-focused app with consumer checking accounts, the team needed to create a new registration and authentication process. Since it’s the first thing a customer interacts with, it’s important to get it right. The company took a few things into consideration when it came to the redesign.
What is the experience like when you are a customer and log into the app? How do you keep all these products in one place and let customers switch between products seamlessly? ” said Delma Quash, Vice President of Product Management at AmEx Mobile.
With the influx of digital consumers since the pandemic, it is important to provide customers with an attractive and easy-to-use app to control their money. While it’s still early days, Quash said what they’ve seen so far in terms of customer retention and increased customer numbers after rolling out some updates has been positive.
The inspiration behind the new checking account
Part of the reason for setting up an all-digital checking account is also to appeal to millennials and Gen Z consumers, as research shows they use debit cards instead of credit cards or cash.
Checking accounts include a debit card that earns 1x Membership Points per $2 spent and an annualized rate of return (APY) of up to 0.5%.
“If you look at millennials and Gen Z, they like to use debit cards instead of cash. Of course they want to use digital. Those are our top priorities in addition to customer satisfaction and retention,” Pawale said.
Before the pandemic, industry demand and customer expectations for digital banking had grown. It reinforced during the COVID-19 pandemic and is unlikely to decrease post-pandemic, Quash said.
In fact, a recent J.D. study supports that 80% of digital consumers plan to stay digital after the pandemic is over.
“The expectation is that you’re going to have a digital banking experience, so our job is to really meet that expectation and create an overall experience where you don’t have to step foot in the bank to get full self-service,” Quash said.
When asked if the team planned to add financial wellness resources to the app they were trying to appeal to younger generations with new products, they said it was an evolving process.
“It’s very important for us to not only rigorously test the experiences we post, but to really listen to our customers. Because at the end of the day, they’re experts in the experience they want, and that obviously includes [financial literacy resources], Alexanderson said.
Verify Account and App Features
One of the main features of a checking account is the ability to link external bank accounts to it and transfer funds between them. The Money Flow Plan is one of the account’s best new features, along with its industry-leading APY, Quash said.
Checking accounts come with a debit card that rewards cardholders for every transaction (1x point per $2 spent). It also offers buyer protection, which protects consumer purchases better than typical debit cards. Membership Rewards points earned with the card can be deposited into a checking account and are worth 0.6 cents each.
More features are in the works, such as the Smart Search feature currently being tested in the UK. The search function is designed to help users find exactly what they need, as the app has many features to browse.
Checking account and app functionality will be an evolving process driven by customer feedback, the team said. “It’s an evolving experience, and we hope to roll out more experiences throughout the year and beyond,” Quash said.
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