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Mobile treasury management – redesigned with your business in mind
Well, it's great to be here. My name is Jake Barker. I'm a working capital consultant here at the bank. And I'm glad you've joined us today. I think it's pretty safe to assume that the majority of us are all still joining from home. And of course, that comes with its own set of challenges that we're all much too familiar with at this point.
But I hope that among those challenges we're able to take a moment and at least appreciate the irony of the situation. Just a few short years ago we were all laughing at the video that went viral with the guy doing a webcast from a bedroom when his kids came bursting in. And he's trying to chase them out. And then his wife comes in. And so in one way or another, we're all living that now.
And so it really has changed the way we work. It's changed the way we interact with businesses, with vendors, and with our banking partners, working in this new environment. And so today we want to discuss how you interact with banking platforms and portals, and how that's evolving to be more digital and mobile focused.
So joining us today, we have Nidhi Gupta and James Gallo. Thank you both for joining. Nidhi and James, they both lead separate teams, journey teams as we call them, who focused on improving how you interact with U.S. Bank, and specifically with our banking portal SinglePoint. So Nidhi, the SinglePoint being that main point of contact for access for many to perform banking and treasury management tasks, can you share what are you hearing from those on the line and others about what improvements they're looking for and development within SinglePoint.
Yeah. That's great, Jake. We're hearing a lot from our clients. We're currently undergoing this huge initiative. And I think we spoke about it on other calls. But it's a huge multi-year initiative to modernize our online banking portal SinglePoint, exactly what you said. It's the way that our clients interact with us, transact with us online through digital means, both web and mobile. And it's evolving 100%.
It's taking kind of a Mazda and turning it into a Maserati. We're taking a look both under the hood, as well as kind of addressing all of the aesthetical needs that our clients have pointed out to us over the years in terms of the tools and services that they want to see integrated into SinglePoint.
We're not just putting lipstick on a pig is what you're saying.
Not at all.
We're going the full length.
We want to find-- yeah, we want to find an easy way for our clients, for all of you guys to be able to perform your daily banking tasks in this new remote environment. We want to ensure that your banking data remains safe in these new situations. And we want to make it as easy as possible for you and your employees to get this work done, because we all have multiple different challenges, as you mentioned right now.
So we want to talk about what we're doing, and those things that Nidhi alluded to that will help you accomplish those tasks in this new environment. But before we get into the meat of that, I want to take a minute and talk a little bit about what the next phase of this digital era will look like going forward. And so James, what do you see in terms of adoption of mobile tools for work purposes?
Yeah, definitely. It's been an interesting ride. And I think over the last 12 months it's definitely evolved. But even before we reached-- or we came to the pandemic, there were a lot of efforts to make our users and enable more users to have a mobile application that they could use for their daily purposes.
Now, over the last few years, according to a Barlow Research, it increased from about 11% in 2013 up to 25% in 2019 in terms of companies using some sort of mobile device-- iPhone, iPad, something that was not their desktop. And so there was a growth, but it wasn't really as astronomical as you would see in the consumer side.
And so what's really happened is, I think, as you mentioned earlier, this has been an acceleration where a lot more clients-- you're all going home. And you need additional tools in order to do your job that are not just at an office.
So with that increase, I mean, is that a good thing for companies and corporations, that increase in mobile usage?
So that's a really good question, because at first I definitely know there is a lot of hesitancy. I think we all experienced that. There's very much hesitancy to, well, can I do the same work from home? Can I still be as productive? So I'm going to share a couple of stats with you, Jake, and I'm going to share a couple stats with our audience.
So according to the research firm IDC, mobile workers-- they're expecting mobile workers to become about 60% of the entire U.S. workforce by 2024. So that's a jump from 78 million to 93 million by 2024. So although we were forced into this remote work lifestyle, the reality is that there's been a lot of benefits from it. And so that's expected to continue to increase.
In a separate study conducted by IBM, they actually said that there was a 67% increase in productivity and a 53% increase in employee engagement. And although that might be a little counterintuitive, think about it. When you have to commute to work, where is that commute? The commute is from your bedroom to your computer. So there's a lot more time that can be spent being productive. And in these times when you might not necessarily be able to work with your friend, go grab a coffee with your co-worker, you make an effort to really have events in order to keep the group together, to keep in touch with your colleagues that have just popped up in this time of the pandemic and the remote workforce.
It really is a little counterintuitive, but it's amazing to see that there is an increase in productivity there. So Nidhi, what does this mean for those companies? And how can we make sure that the banking tasks specifically are still done securely in this increasingly mobile environment?
Yeah. There's a lot of great initiatives underway under this umbrella of modernizing SinglePoint. We want to simplify as many workflows for all of you, as many as we can. But in that, we also want to make sure that the information is much more readily available and is transparent to you all.
So one of the things that we're doing right off the bat that we've done already, actually, right off the bat was to simplify a version of a report that we have out there, the security settings report. And I talked about this report on a previous webinar as well. So I won't bore you with the details here.
But through this report, as a system administrator, you can use it to monitor how many users you have entitled to certain services, payment services, system administration services, et cetera, and what you want to set those thresholds at. So think about it. I mean, there's a lot of questions out there in terms of, what should I set my user settings to? What are the best practices around that?
We want to provide a simple way for you to navigate through all of what that means. The jargon alone can be really overwhelming. So we want to have a way in which we can provide this information readily to you all, and give you the best settings necessary for those particular arenas.
So that's really just about locking down the settings so that it's preventing the chance of fraud as much as possible. And that's both on desktop, my computer, as well as on a mobile device.
Exactly. So now, yeah, one of the enhancements that we've made for this report is exactly that-- incorporating mobile entitlements, allowing our system administrators to see exactly how many users they have entitled to mobile, how many folks, they had that information already for payment services, ACH approvals, how many do I have set to time, and how many users do I have set to approve wires, et cetera.
But how many users do you have on mobile? That was some information that we wanted to make available, especially as we're going through some additional security measurements on mobile that we wanted to provide to our clients so that they could have that intel readily available to them.
So if I am one of those mobile users, if I'm accessing SinglePoint on my phone, can I-- do I do that through an app? Or how do I do that?
You do. You do. So as long as you are a SinglePoint user that is entitled to mobile banking services and your system administrator can provide you with that, you should be able to download Mobile SinglePoint from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, and be able to start using Mobile SinglePoint right away.
And so when I hear app, is that like an added-- is there an added charge for that? Or is that free? I mean, all good apps are free, right?
Yeah. I can't remember the last time I paid for an app.
Do you know what I mean? In this day and age, it's an antiquated carrier--
OK. Good to know. So as I think about using mobile and my phone, just in my personal life, everything that I do it seems like I use some form of-- we call it bio-authentication. I use face ID, or before it was the fingerprint, right? So is that being integrated into what we're doing here with SinglePoint for mobile access?
100%. We actually just incorporated bio-authentication capabilities into our mobile app. As James mentioned, mobile uptake is not just this temporary fad. It's here to stay. And by and large, I mean, in person is not merely the concept that it used to be. We're all still pretty remote. And we don't know what that's going to look like moving forward.
We want to have some sort of mobile options available to our clients as well. The pandemic just kind of further accelerated the mobile adoption into this industry.
Actually, a survey that Visa had conducted found that 86% of our consumers want to use biometrics rather than traditional passwords to verify their identity.
Think about that. Yeah. I mean, think about that. A password can be easily cracked, right? It can be easily guessed.
Birthdays. They can be easily forgotten. I know we have to reset our passwords a thousand times over and over again just to keep up with compliancy's sake. And it easily hacked, forgotten, or guessable. So why not have a measurement of security like a fingerprint, like a facial recognition that is uniquely your own and less cumbersome to manage?
Right. I mean, I can't even count the number of times I've had to change my password just because I forgot it.
I can't forget my face. It's always there. But it's nice to hear. I mean, anecdotally, we know that we can see that there's an increased use of these bio-authentication tools. And so we assume they're better. But it's good to hear that there are some stats that really prove out that that this bio authentication piece is better than passwords. So that's really good to hear.
Now, kind of continuing on with that trend of these security features, so James, when we talk about security, we often hear buzzwords like bio-authentication, which we obviously just talked about. We also hear things like token passed around. And can you give us a high level of what a token is and how it's used? I mean, when I first hear token, I think of a coin, which I know that's not the case, but that's what I'm first thinking of. So help us understand what a token is and how it's used.
Absolutely. It is not a coin. You're not going to be using a token coin here. So hard tokens are used for something that we refer to as multi-factor authentication. So what happens is if there are certain high-risk activities, such as initiating a payment, confirming a payment, we want to ensure that the person who is actually initiating those or confirming those is who they say they are.
So multi-factor authentication is a common practice. And what it is is it's about having a physical hard token, or at least up to today, it has been a physical hard token, a piece of plastic, something like a little credit card. And what it does is it gives you a code that you would input within, in this case, SinglePoint that would allow that user to progress.
Now, what you can imagine is carrying one more thing is less than ideal for our audience, our users. And so what we are very happy to have established recently is this concept of mobile token. And so a mobile token is something, as the name implies, that is switching from hard token, physical plastic, to using your mobile device.
Now, just in terms of hard tokens and just to share a quick story, one of our early users of mobile token actually shared a note of gratitude, saying I'm so happy that I don't need to have these hard tokens in my purse anymore. And I don't have to always remember them. I mean, just think about it. Hard tokens created some logistical issues. You always had to remember them. You had to ensure that if you went anywhere or if you left the office, you worked from home one day, now you had to make sure you had that physical token. So we're really excited about this introduction of the mobile token as an alternative to hard tokens for our users.
And so with that mobile token, do I go and download a separate app to service that token? How does that work on my device?
Yeah. Really good question. So as Nidhi was alluding to, Mobile SinglePoint is an app that's easily downloadable. And we actually leverage the power of Mobile SinglePoint for the purposes of this mobile token. So there's no extra app. There's no extra pretty much anything. We make it as seamless as possible for our users to switch over from that hard token capability over to that mobile token capability.
As Nidhi was mentioning, a lot of what SinglePoint operates on is entitlements given by a system administrator. So the system administrator right now for those users who are currently leveraging hard tokens, it's available for you right now to convert over to mobile tokens. And we're really excited about this new offering.
So as we've been talking about tokens, I was speaking with another colleague, and she shared a story that she was with the a treasury department in like the 60th floor of a building in Philadelphia. And the fire alarm goes off. And so naturally everyone's going to run to the exit. Well, they went the opposite direction to their desks first. They wanted to get those hard tokens first thing, because they had had experience where they had lost hard tokens in the past. And then getting all those back and being able to access the important data was just a nightmare once they had lost them.
But it's so counterintuitive-- before my life, I'm looking for the hard token, right?
Those are some dedicated employees.
Right. They really were. But what a better solution. I mean, we always have our phone. We're always going into those meetings with our phone on us. So we forget that. And even if the phone burns up, we get a new one. And we just download the app again. And we're good. So it's such a-- it just makes sense.
So now, Nidhi, we talked about enabling these banking tasks to be performed on mobile devices, improving the security, and then making it as simple as possible for employees through these tools, like mobile token, bio-authentication. Can you share some of the things maybe that are coming in addition to these in our roadmap?
Absolutely. I mean, we've made great strides already with the completion of integrating bio-authentication capabilities, mobile token capabilities, making some enhancements to make that information more transparent via the security settings report. Great things are still around. One of the things that one of our teams is currently working on is integrating in mobile check deposit capabilities. And so we're very happy with the progress the team's making on that. And we look to have additional details, maybe in an upcoming webinar even relatively soon.
So just kind of rounding that out a little.
So this is kind of a broad question, but both Nidhi and James, I mean, as we think about this mobile work environment and it continuing to gain steam, should we all feel confident that these banking tasks and treasury tasks can still be done securely and effectively?
Yeah, definitely. I think at the end of the day what this really is an embodiment of is something we strive for every day, which is to make everybody's consumer experience a lot more like-- or sorry-- their work experience a lot more like their consumer experience. So things like biometric authentication and validating with a multi-factor authentication with a mobile token, things like that are daily experiences. And we want to keep making that gap-- closing that gap between what people experience in their personal lives and what they're experiencing at work.
We want work to be just as easy. And so all the right measures are being taken. All the correct security is being implemented. And what we want to do and what we see happening, as we were discussing earlier, is there is an increased level of comfort. Just because it's on your phone doesn't mean it's automatically less secure. So we really want to continue to empower our users, give them more capabilities, while at the same time, like Nidhi was mentioning earlier, not sacrificing any security for that user.
As James said, I think I agree 100% wholeheartedly that, yes, you should feel secure. You should feel very safe in making that transition over to mobile a little bit more seamlessly. I think we want to make this as easy and efficient for you all to be able to use SinglePoint in whatever means you choose possible. So beyond just the added convenience and kind of thinking about it like it was a cherry on top of a mobile sundae, I think there's also a lot of efficiency to be gained from adopting early. We see this kind of remote workforce sticking around for a while. So I think there's probably a lot of benefit that our users can gain from having a little bit more of that mobile adoption early on.
Yeah. Well, and I'm glad to hear you guys say that, because that's how I feel. And it's definitely safe to say that in our personal lives, mobile usage is only going to increase. And as, James, you alluded to in that stat, in our work environment, it's just going to increase with I think you said 60% of workers by 2024 being mobile based. I mean, that's-- it just sounds kind of crazy, but that's the truth.
And like you said, Nidhi, there are some efficiencies to be gained by getting on board with that early and really embracing it. And so that's what we really want to encourage all of you to do is embrace the usage of this mobile technology. And a few of the ways that we've made that you can do that is really make sure that you have access setup to the Mobile SinglePoint app. And then reach out to your treasury management consultant to get more familiar with the key features and benefits of that. As Nidhi mentioned, it's not just the cherry on top. It's really the whole sundae, right?
And then in the new SinglePoint, leverage the security settings report to ensure that you have the appropriate settings to safeguard your users and the way that things are setup. And then, finally, have your system administrator enable those mobile tokens to just make it easier for you and your employees to do your jobs.
So we're really grateful that you joined us today. And we hope you'll join us again in May for our next webcast, which will be focused on receivables. Thank you.