JPMorgan ( JPM Quick Quote JPM - Free Report) launches its digital retail bank Chase in the U.K. As planned, currently a smartphone app has been launched, which offers only current accounts. However, eventually, JPMorgan intends to provide savings as well as current accounts along with a wide range of banking services and loan products through the digital-only bank. As the Wall Street giant arrives in the U.K. with its digital bank, customers can sign up at chase.co.uk to download the Chase app, through which, a current account can be opened in minutes. Sanoke Viswanathan, who has been appointed as the CEO of the bank, stated, “We’re offering people in the U.K. the opportunity to experience Chase for the first time with a current account that’s based on simplicity, a fuss free rewards programme and exceptional customer service.” The newly-launched current account, which does not require any fee for opening, comes with a rewards program. Keeping in mind the debit card spending habits of customers in the U.K, the rewards program will offer a 1% cashback on all eligible debit card spend for 12 months. Customers do not have to switch their banking provider, commit to a minimum account balance or set up direct debits to receive the cashback rewards. The cashback will be payable when customers use their Chase debit card in person or online, and will be offered at retailers at home and abroad. In addition to the rewards program, the Chase current account comes with some other interesting features. To help customers simplify their money management, customizable additional current accounts will be available. Also, small change round-ups, on which customers will be able to earn a 5% interest for 12 months, will be offered. If customers round up their debit card purchases to the nearest £1 and then deposit the small change into a separate account, they will be able to earn an interest of 5% for 12 months. Further, customers will not be charged any fee while using their Chase card when they are traveling abroad, including for cash withdrawals at ATMs. The Chase debit card will be a numberless debit card, i.e. the card details will be stored behind a secure login on the Chase app, so customers won’t have to put their account details at risk if they lose their physical card. Viswanathan commented, “Having spoken extensively to consumers across the U.K., we know that people want good value combined with an excellent experience, from a trusted bank. With cashback on everyday debit card spend and an interest boost on round-ups, we can help customers save while they spend on items they already buy every day.” While JPMorgan’s expansion in the U.K. will help it in capitalizing on the acceleration of the digital banking boom, the firm will have to face tough competition. Several local FinTech players like Monzo Bank Ltd. and Starling Bank Ltd. have already garnered significant market share in the region, while large traditional banks, including HSBC Holdings ( HSBC Quick Quote HSBC - Free Report) and Barclays ( BCS Quick Quote BCS - Free Report) , are looking to expand digital offerings. Further, Goldman Sachs’ ( GS Quick Quote GS - Free Report) online-only bank Marcus — which began operating in the U.K. in 2018 and has more than 500,000 customers — poses a risk to JPMorgan’s expansion efforts. Despite these hurdles, JPMorgan is expected to continue its efforts toward digitizing operations to better align with customer needs. The efforts are expected to support the company’s profitability and boost market share amid a low interest rate environment. So far this year, shares of JPMorgan have gained 20.3% compared with 27.5% growth recorded by the industry.
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