Why Did Chase Shut Down Finn?

Forbes | | June 6, 2019

chase closes finn - Why Did Chase Shut Down Finn?JPMorgan Chase announced that it is shutting down Finn, its digital banking service.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Finn was a bit of a hybrid, offering customers a digital app loaded with features as well as some branch access. The bank ultimately determined that Chase was best positioned to provide that combination of services to its customers, according to people familiar with the matter, rendering Finn unnecessary."

Finn, named after one of Meadow Soprano's boyfriends in the hit TV show The Sopranos (just kidding), was launched in July 2018 after a nine-month test in the St. Louis market. At that time, Tearsheet wrote:

Finn’s wider rollout is evidence of the opportunity banks see in serving younger, digitally native users, and a sign that the agile, iterative approach to products typical of startups is making its way to the big banks."

Well, that didn't turn out as planned. According to estimates from Cornerstone Advisors, Finn managed to sign up just 47,000 customers since its inception.

Why Did Finn Fail?

Finn's failure can be attributed to the combination of three factors:

  • Lack of demand. Who wants to bank with a digital bank like Finn? According to Cornerstone Advisors' research, not a lot of people. When asked who they would consider if they were in the market for a new checking account, only 7% of respondents said they would consider a digital bank.
  • Wrong audience. If Finn's target market was "younger, digitally native users," it was barking up the wrong tree. Just 7% of 20-something Millennials and 6% of 30-something Millennials said a digital bank would be in their consideration set. In contrast, 9% of Gen Xers and 7% of Boomers said they would consider a digital bank.
  • Better choices in the market. This is the clincher. The bottom line is that Finn didn't offer consumers (and in particular, existing Chase customers) anything they couldn't get elsewhere. Chase was already leading the pack (or right up there) in mobile banking capabilities.

Megabanks Lead the Pack in Mobile Banking Functionality

A study by S&P Global Market Intelligence looked at 15 "advanced" mobile banking capabilities, i.e., features beyond the standard ones like branch/ATM locator and check balance. They reviewed the mobile banking capabilities of 70 banks--26 with assets greater than $50 billion, and 44 with assets between $10 billion and $50 billion.

Percentage of Banks Offering Mobile Banking Feature by Asset Size
Greater than
$1 trillion
$50 billion
to $1 trillion
$10 billion
to $50 billion
Manage balance or fraud alerts  100% 95% 75%
P2P payments 100% 91% 66%
Other biometric login options 100% 86% 68%
Turn card on/off or report lost 100% 77% 39%
View balance without logging in 100% 68% 52%
Card rewards information 100% 64% 27%
Other language options 100% 59% 7%
Travel notification  100% 36% 16%
Credit score information 100% 32% 7%
Access account statements 75% 68% 45%
Budgeting tools 75% 45% 36%
Apple Watch app 75% 27% 16%
Cardless ATM 75% 18% 5%
Schedule branch appointment  50% 23% 2%
Picture bill pay 25% 9% 7%
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

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