Thursday, April 24, 2014

Park Sterling rolls out 'photo bill pay' in upgraded app

Charlotte-based Park Sterling Bank said Thursday it has upgraded its mobile app, which now gives customers the option to pay bills with a smartphone camera as well as turn debit cards on and off.

The bank said it is the only bank offering the mobile photo bill pay option in its markets. The bank has branches in the Carolinas and north Georgia and a loan-production  office  in  the  Richmond, Va., region.

Park Sterling also said it is one of a few banks its size in the U.S. to offer mobile photo bill pay. Customers using the app's feature take a photo of a bill statement, approve the amount and then submit the payment. The process is similar to mobile check depositing, a feature that can be found on many banks' mobile apps.

In an interview, CEO Jim Cherry called the ability to use a smartphone to take a photo of a bill and make a payment "the big missing piece to really making mobile banking a bank in your pocket."

The app's other new feature allows debit card users to turn their cards off and on. In a press release, the bank said customers can use the feature to turn off a card that has gone missing or temporarily deactivate it card between transactions, "significantly decreasing the chances of the card being used fraudulently."

Park Sterling, launched in 2006, is the largest regional bank headquartered in Charlotte. The bank has been steadily growing, expanding into Virginia this year. Cherry said the enhancements to the app are part of the bank's strategy to compete with larger peers as it expands into new markets.

"This allows us to play bigger than our footprint in markets," he said. "If you want to both survive and prosper you're going to have to find ways to continue to meet emerging customer needs."

This is the second upgrade to the mobile app since it was launched last year. The initial app allowed customers to get account balances, transfer funds and find branches, among other things. The first upgrade added remote deposit capture.

The bank also reported first-quarter earnings Thursday.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wish they would concentrate on completing and integrating their mergers instead so that it wouldn't be such a nightmare to deal with them as a bank.

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