The news: USAA Federal Savings Bank, which also offers insurance and caters to military members and their families, has overhauled its mobile app for the first time in 10 years, per American Banker.
USAA piloted the new app during Q4 2021 and began rolling it out gradually that year. The bank plans to make the update available to all members by June.
What does it do? Like the military service personnel it serves, the San Antonio-based bank is primarily mobile; it has only five branches within the US.
What changed? Ameesh Vakharia, chief strategy and brand officer at USAA, told American Banker that the bank is tailoring “to an audience of one,” adding, “The faster we can get to predicting what they need ahead of time is a big area of focus.”
After the overhaul, a personalization platform triggers on-screen alerts and conversational interactions with the enterprise virtual assistant, EVA. These alerts and other communications now include:
The big takeaway: USAA’s close focus on a narrowly defined niche audience of military families has helped it address very specific customer needs and goals. Insight into its customers’ lives drove the creation of highly relevant communications. This level of personalization is critical to customer retention—and it starts with the customer, rather than with the banks’ products and transactions.
The highly personalized alerts and services also give USAA a competitive advantage. The majority of consumers are not happy with the level of personalization they’re receiving during interactions with their banks, per J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study.