U.S. Bank will be the first major bank to offer a new mobile-imaging technology, called Mobile Photo Balance Transfer, that allows customers to transfer an existing credit card balance to a new U.S. Bank credit card with their smartphone cameras.
The feature will allow bank customers to take a photo of a credit card payment slip for an existing credit card and then apply for a balance transfer through a new U.S. Bank credit card.
Mobile Photo Balance Transfer is developed by Mitek Systems, the same company that offers mobile check deposit and mobile photo bill pay technology to the nation’s largest banks.
“The balance transfer solution is really about reducing the friction of signing up for a new credit card by letting a customer snap a picture of a credit card bill or coupon from a competing credit card issuer,” said Scott Carter, chief marketing officer at Mitek, in an interview.
Mobile Photo Balance Transfer extracts the relevant data such as balances, account numbers and payment address from a credit card payment slip to process the balance transfer.
U.S. Bank will update its mobile banking application in November to have the Mobile Photo Balance Transfer feature. Currently, the bank plans to use it as a new cross-selling opportunity to strengthen existing customers’ relationship with the bank.
“Our first step is going to be targeting U.S. Bank customers with competing credit cards,” Niti Badarinath, senior vice president and head of mobile banking at U.S. Bank. “The next step is to use Mobile Photo Balance Transfer to drive the acquisition of new card customers.”
U.S. Bank already offers mobile check deposit and mobile photo bill pay, also through the partnership with Mitek. Additionally, in 2014, Mitek will update U.S. Bank’s mobile banking applications with MiSnap, an upgrade that will automatically take the best possible photo without requiring customers to tap the screen.
Many other financial institutions have shown interest in offering Mobile Photo Balance Transfer as well, including one major U.S. credit union, Carter said. In September, Mitek unveiled a new mobile-imaging technology called Mobile Photo Account Opening, which allows consumers and bank staff to open new accounts by taking photos of required documentation (e.g., driver’s license).