Chase Closing Down Its Finn Mobile Bank App
Back in October 2017, JP Morgan Chase announced the launch of a Millennial-targeted mobile bank called Finn. In addition to offering customers access to Chase ATMs and allowing them to deposit checks, it also had some unique features such as the ability to rate transactions using emojis. Now, 18 months later, the bank account that is Finn will soon be no more.
According to Forbes, JP Morgan will fold Finn into its Chase digital banking app. That change is set to take place after August 10th, as an e-mail to customers confirms. Incidentally, while JP Morgan hasn’t said how many Finn users there are, nearly half already have regular Chase accounts as well. On a positive note, the bank says it will be waiving monthly service fees for the Finn customers being folded into Chase.
At the time of Finn’s launch, Chase’s CEO of Digital Bill Wallace said “When it comes to money, Millennials told us they don’t want to feel like they’re being judged. So, we designed Finn to put them in charge, no matter where or how they’re spending.” However, explaining the decision to shutter the offering, a Chase spokesperson said, “We know the Chase brand is already among the most popular banks for millennials, so we’re leaning in on that, rather than continuing to build a brand from scratch.” Elaborating on what they learned about their Millennial customers, the spokesperson continued, “They simply want a bank that gives them the tools to manage their money, along with access to branches when they need them. Given all this, we have taken some of the favorite Finn features, such as rules to automatically save, and have already integrated them into our Chase mobile app and have other capabilities we have yet to announce.”
The failure of Finn is notable for several reasons — not the least of which is that it represented one big bank’s attempt to capitalize on the FinTech wave. It’s no secret that Chase has been trying to embrace FinTech ideas, although that’s mostly involved developing them in house. In contrast, when youth-centric bank spinoff Marcus by Goldman Sachs wanted to reach new customers, it acquired the personal finance app Clarity Money. As P2Bi CEO Krista Morgan notes, “The bank and FinTech space is very competitive right now, and it’s not easy to build and scale an entirely new product from scratch.”
While this particular at-bat for Chase didn’t quite work out, it seems unlikely that the bank will turn its back on FinTech entirely. Instead perhaps the institution will consider more partnerships and acquisitions in the future. Whatever the case may be, hopefully Finn’s short life helped at least some young customers learn more about money, saving, and FinTech.