By Tanaya Macheel

JPMorgan Chase is launching a national rollout of Finn, its sub-branded digital bank.

Chase unveiled the Finn project in October as a digital-only and more millennially-minded mobile banking app designed for customers in markets where Chase has few, if any, brick-and-mortar branches, beginning with St. Louis as a test market.

Since then the U.S. banking giant has adopted more of an “omni-channel” approach to customer acquisition that would marry its branch presence with new digital capabilities, like Finn, and existing ones, like its main Chase mobile banking app.

“Branches remain critically important for us as a company, which is why you’re seeing us expand,” said Melissa Feldcher, head of Finn. “There’s a portion of people looking for a truly end-to-end mobile banking experience, whether those are folks in our footprint today where we have branches or aren’t. That doesn’t mean there aren’t folks in our footprint that don’t want that product too.”

In April the bank said it would open and staff 400 branches in 15 to 20 new U.S. markets, beginning with Washington, D.C., as part of a $20 billion investment program.

Like almost any banking app, Finn customers can perform all of their banking functions on their phone — checking balances, depositing checks, and sending peer-to-peer payments. Customers also receive a debit card in the mail, which they can activate in the app and use at Chase or partner ATMs across the country.

The Chase Digital team has built in personal financial management functions like automated savings settings, a spending tracker, and a feature that allows users to rate purchases based on wants, needs, and how those purchases made them feel about their priorities versus their spending activity.

“We heard from our customers they wanted to save more easily, and that’s why we invented auto-save rules to give them the control to save without even thinking about it,” said Matt Gromada, Finn’s head of product. “You can set up an auto-save rule based on when you get paid, or based on a merchant you go to a lot… everything we do is customer-driven.”

Such features are frequently found in standalone fintech apps like Clarity, Digit and Qapital, but as large banks realize the importance of incorporating them as features of banking, rather than something completely separate, some of those single-purpose apps have begun to fold. Clarity, for example, was recently acquired by Goldman Sachs’s digital consumer banking offshoot, Marcus.

Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo are among the major U.S. bank brands creating “new” products under a sub-brand, as they seek new opportunities to connect with customers while leveraging the trust and credibility their master brands have built over decades — particularly as many of the millennial-aged customers they target tend to identify or associate banks with high-profile national scandals.

“People like the convenience and the ease [of Finn] but the Chase brand is really important because when people choose an all-mobile bank they need to know their money is safe and secure and they can trust it,” Feldcher said.

Feldcher and Gromada said the digital team will continue to add features to the app based on feedback they receive from customers through a popular process for outsourcing ideas called "co-creating" with them.

For the full segment, click here.