First look: How does JP Morgan's Chase app stack up?

By Aisling Finn on Wednesday 20 October 2021

Digital Banking

A brief look into one of the most hotly-anticipated digital bank app launches of the year.

First look: How does JP Morgan's Chase app stack up?
Image source: Chase/JP Morgan.

Just shy of a month after JP Morgan’s Chase brand finally touched down in the UK, we’re giving you a sneak peek of what the long-awaited app looks like.

The project has been underway for some time with news of the launch being revealed just a few months after the US bank acquired digital wealth manager Nutmeg.

So, did JP Morgan take a leaf out of fintech’s book for its hotly-anticipated app launch? Or is it sticking with its tried a true formula?

What's in a number? 

For those of us lucky enough to make it off the waitlist and open a Chase account, the digital banking app is much like any other banking app—if your normal banking app is devoid of all the bells and whistles that is.

First things first it seems as if Chase is trying to really push the fact that it has a numberless card, but in reality that just makes things a little fiddly.

In order to see your card details, you have to log into the app to see your details, which feels very odd not having them just at your fingertips.

Annoyingly card details and account details are not in the same place in the app, meaning you have to tap around to find your account number and sort codes.

Once signed up to the app, however, the Chase card is ready to use instantly through Apple or Google Pay, with the card arriving in a matter of days.

The card itself, unfortunately, is a little cheap feeling and not what you’d expect to come from one of the biggest investment banks in the world and, unlike its colourful fintech counterparts, its metallic blue finish doesn’t exactly stand out in a wallet.

Perks of being a digital bank 

Unlike other digital banks, however, Chase offers users cash back on every purchase. 

As it stands, customers can earn one per cent cashback on all purchases for the first year of them signing up—in my case 27 September 2022.

Now, it might not seem like a huge sum, but other digital banks are offering nowhere near the same interest rates. 

Starling Bank, for instance, offers customers 0.05 per cent interest on any money held in their accounts, while Monzo offers different interest rates depending on whether a customer pays a subscription or not—non-fee paying can’t currently earn interest on their savings, Plus users earn 1.0 per cent and Premium 1.5 per cent. So, the Chase cashback scheme seems like a good deal if you ask me.

Conclusion

It’s no surprise that Chase seems like a mature older sibling of the digital banks we currently have on offer given its JP Morgan roots.

The stripped-back, simple app could be the future of digital banking, with potential customers perhaps looking for just a good, solid digital bank that does the job.

That being said, JP Morgan is planning to add its starter app in the near future, with its American offering currently giving customers access to top features, like five per cent cashback, credit cards, savings accounts and much much more.

All in all, Chase's app is slick and easy to use (if a little barren) and, with the promise of shiny new features on the horizon, has the potential to be a real disruptor.

Or will Chase meet the same fate as Finn, or or any other flanker brand that has tried to tap into the overcrowded digital banking sector here in the UK? Only time will tell. 

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