USAA Launches Mobile Banking App for Android

USAA has added a mobile banking app for Android smartphones to the Google Android Market. Following the success of USAA's iPhone banking app, its Android-using customers can snap a photo of a check to deposit it on the go.

USAA introduced Mobile App for Android, enabling its 1.2 million members to deposit checks using smartphones that run the Google Android operating system.

USAA first introduced its Deposit@Mobile feature for the iPhone in May 2009, and since then - using the USAA software and the iPhone's camera to snap a photo of the check to be deposited - its members have routed more than $300 million without the need to visit a bank.

"The popularity of USAA's mobile platform clearly demonstrates that USAA members are comfortable using this technology and welcome the convenience it offers," said Jeff Dennes, USAA's executive director of mobile technology, in a Jan. 23 statement. "With this expansion to Android-supported mobile phones, going to the bank to deposit a check soon may be as antiquated as black-and-white TVs."

USAA's 7.3 million members are military members and their families, who tend to move often or be deployed to remote areas, and so value the ability to bank over a mobile platform. The banking company and insurer says that 1.2 million of its members - a number higher than the industry standard - use USAA's mobile solutions for their banking.

In 2006, USAA first began enabling customers to perform mobile banking by scanning their checks with a home scanner. In August, Dennes said the company - which develops the software in-house - was additionally working on applications for use with Palm and BlackBerry devices, as well as those running Windows operating systems.

"These tools are being developed by people who understand our culture of service and the unique needs of our customer base," said Dennes.

The Mobile App for Android works on smartphones running Android version 1.6 or higher, and is now available in the Android Market.

As of November, Android phones represented 13 percent of those in use, according to AdMob, which measures ad requests, not sales. Holidays sales, however, as well more recently introduced devices such as the Motorola Droid and the Google Nexus One, are certain to have driven that percentage upward.

A January survey of Appcelerator's developer clients showed Android to be the number-two platform its developers were most interested in designing for. The greatest focus of their interest is the iPhone, and the anticipated Apple tablet ranked third.