Chase cancelled Finn: Now what?
This week, Chase announced the cancellation of Finn, its digital banking app designed to attract mobile-focused Millennials, after only a year of broad-market existence. The product never quite lived up to the hype, and while features like budgeting tools and no monthly fees were solid, Finn struggled to really differentiate itself in a growing field of mobile banking options.
Online banks like Chime, Simple, and Varo offer most of Finn’s core benefits, with added sweeteners such as high-yield savings, early paycheck access, and lending options. Empower and Acorns Spend added cashback options on everyday spending. And even traditional banks joined the party – Citi’s online banking products, similarly targeted at individuals living in areas without a physical branch presence, pay an industry-leading 2.36% APY on savings balances.
In addition to the lack of true disruption, Chase’s marketing strategy left much to be desired. For example, there was limited marketing on social networks, a popular place to target Millennials. Further, since the national launch in June 2018, Chase spent less than .001% of its digital ad budget on Finn.
Chase announcing via Chase.com Finn’s cancellation.
So what is the fate of those early Finn adopters? They are being converted to the new Chase Secure Checking and basic Chase Savings accounts. In many ways, this makes a lot of sense, as Chase’s core mobile banking platform has been upgraded to offer many of the features once unique to Finn. It also simplifies the banking options. Just a couple months ago, Chase also discontinued the prepaid Liquid card and transferred those accounts to Secure Checking.
Finn customers redirected to Chase Secure Checking and Chase Savings accounts.
The Secure account, which is essentially a checking account without physical checks (designed to eliminate the ability to overdraft and incur excessive fees), offers mobile banking, budgeting tools, and Chase ATM access. However, in contrast to Finn, customers now have to pay to access out-of-network ATMs. On the bright side, the $4.95 monthly fee for the Secure Checking account is being waived for those migrating from Finn.
While it was certainly not Chase’s strategy or intention to attract customers to a product only to discontinue it and convert them to a basic offering, they still gained a new audience. Whether or not they can now retain them, or better yet extend the relationships to include additional products and services, will be the real challenge.