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Trends & Highlights
In our monthly Trends & Highlights, Corporate Insight summarizes some of the more noteworthy trends, issues and changes we've observed in our recent research.
|July, 2011: Mobile Apps and More|
Quite a few firms we track introduced applications for various mobile devices last month, proving that consumers’ obsessions with on-the-go convenience are no fleeting trend, even when it comes to trading stocks and creating ETF watchlists. In addition to mobile app launches, firms began the summer with new online resource centers, acquisitions and ventures.
Mobile Apps Hot in June
Five firms introduced new mobile apps last month, including three brokerage firms, one advisor firm and one advisor and mutual fund firm. Charles Schwab launched a new app for the Android that provides users with the same features as its existing iPhone app, which allows clients to view accounts and options, and trade stocks. Ameriprise Financial rolled out apps for the Android, iPhone and BlackBerry, all also with the same capabilities, allowing users to view account information, including balances, positions and recent activity. Vanguard added an app for the iPad that mimics the firm’s iPhone app, and iShares added an app for the iPhone that allows users to review iShares ETFs pricing and performance information, as well as create and view watchlists. Perhaps the most interesting of recently launched applications is Putnam’s new “PriceCheck&Save” app, which allows users to scan the barcode of potential purchases and see how much money they could save if they used it for an IRA instead.
New Ventures and Features for Banks
In June, Capital One announced through a press release that it would buy the U.S. online banking business of ING Direct for $9 billion ($6.2 billion in cash and $2.8 billion in stock). This acquisition of ING is jumping Capital One from its spot as ninth largest bank to sixth, surpassing U.S. Bank. Also last month, Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo announced in a press release a joint venture called clearXchange, a service allowing customers to send money to any third-party account using a mobile phone number or email address. Lastly, banking firm Schwab launched a mobile check deposit capability, enabling approved customers to take pictures of checks with their iPhones and remotely deposit them into their Schwab account.
In Other News…