July 23, 2013
By Michael Fina, Vice President / Institutional Banking, First Trade Union Bank
The next wave of mobile banking has arrived. Mobile payments allow consumers to make payments using their mobile devices in the same way they swipe plastic cards to make payments at the point of sale. While a few companies have begun offering mobile payment services for consumers, financial institutions have been slower to adopt the technology – up until now.
First Trade Union Bankhas become the first full-service bank to introduce a mobile payment and loyalty app, FT Pay. It is the latest addition to First Trade's consumer offering, which includes paperless online account opening, unlimited ATM rebates, and mobile banking apps for smartphones and the iPad, making First Trade one of the first banks in the U.S. to offer a complete mobile banking experience for consumers. The app is powered by mobile payments networkLevelUpand can be used at the thousands of LevelUp merchants nationwide. The new FT Pay app is now available for free download from theiTunes App StoreandGoogle Play.
FT Pay combines the best of LevelUp's award-winning payment and loyalty platform with First Trade's existing mobile banking applications, giving FT Pay users the ability to pay with their phones at any LevelUp merchant locationwhile unlocking LevelUp credit and exclusive First Trade offers in the process. First Trade will match the savings from merchant discounts and deposit up to $25 as a new account bonus directly into new customers' FT Checking accounts, while existing bank clients can increase their savings by sweeping merchant credits into their savings accounts.
"FT Pay breaks new ground in banking by tying First Trade even more closely to consumers and local businesses: consumers earn additional rewards, and merchants have a new channel for attracting and keeping customers," said Seth Priebatsch, chief ninja, LevelUp. "First Trade understands banks need to get creative with technology as their customers' lifestyles get more and more mobile. By being the first bank to offer a custom-branded mobile payment app powered by LevelUp, First Trade is not just keeping pace with banking tech innovation, they're leading the way."
The new mobile payment app integrates with the First Trade Union Bank debit card, and any non-First Trade debit or credit card. The exclusive FT Pay "Vault" reward feature will continue to benefit businesses in the LevelUp network as First Trade will create ongoing, exclusive offers to drive more loyal customer traffic.
"With FT Pay added to our leading-edge services, First Trade has true end-to-end mobile banking, from deposits, bill payment and funds transfers, all the way through to payment at the register, from your phone," said Michael Butler, president and CEO, First Trade Union Bank. "We are excited about our partnership with LevelUp, to build off of its innovative mobile payments platform and extensive merchant network, and launch this first-of-its kind mobile payment app. FT Pay delivers rewards consistent with other First Trade account programs, like ATM rebates and no-fee checking, so our customers receive an exceptional experience that adds value and convenience to their lives."
The FT Pay app is available now for general consumer usage on any iPhone or Android device, and does not require users to be customers of the Bank. So go ahead and give it a try!
Michael Fina, Vice President / Institutional Banking for First Trade Union Bank, works in the company’s New Hyde Park office and is responsible for generating new relationships with public and private sector unions throughout New York State. Mr. Fina can be reached at 516-874-9601or email@example.com any questions or comments. In the coming months, Mike will be providing commentary and insight into timely banking issues and how they impact union organizations and their members.