Truist Looks to Fintechs as It Brings Customers Onto Mobile App

(Bloomberg) — Truist Financial Corp. is taking its inspiration from fintechs as it works to integrate the digital systems of its predecessors and deliver clients a unified online banking experience.

Financial-technology firms have succeeded with client-friendly designs and other offerings, and that’s what the bank is trying to replicate as it gradually brings customers of SunTrust Banks Inc. and BB&T Financial Corp. — which combined in 2019 to form Truist — onto its smartphone app.

“These tools and techniques have been around for years,” Donta Wilson, Truist’s chief digital and client-experience officer, said in a phone interview. “What you’re going through is a client transformation.”

The lessons from fintechs’ success are coming in part through acquisitions made by Truist and its predecessors, such as online consumer lender LightStream, as well as investments by its venture capital arm that have given the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company capabilities it can plug into its own systems.

“We don’t have to do it all ourselves,” Chief Information Officer Scott Case said in the same interview. “We’ve designed a platform that’s highly integrable to other fintechs as well.”

The bank is gathering feedback from clients who have already been phased into the app, utilizing surveys available through the software’s existing incarnation as well as reviews left on platforms such as Apple Inc.’s App Store. 

Comments left by around 3,700 users have identified some frustrations that Wilson says the company is aware of. Some reviewers, for example, have been asking for a credit-score monitoring option, which Wilson said would be introduced with time. At the moment, the app scores 1.6 stars out of 5 — a low rating, but not out of line with the company’s expectations.

“What we’re seeing in the feedback is things we had already expected to see,” Wilson said. “We’re paying close attention to that.”

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