Huntington Bancshares Inc. is rewriting its mobile strategy through the hiring of mobile-banking expert Jeff Dennes from USAA Federal Savings Bank.
The Columbus, Ohio-based parent of Huntington Bank plans to formally announce on Oct. 18 that Dennes had joined it as a senior vice president and director of online and mobile services.
Dennes worked for 10 years at USAA, where he oversaw the San Antonio-based banking company’s successful rollout of iPhone and Android smart-phone applications, as well as mobile remote deposit capture, which sparked larger banks’ interest in the technology (see story). Dennes plans to beef up Huntington’s mobile offerings during the next year and to develop services for touch-based consumer devices, such as Apple Inc.’s iPad.
“We are certainly going to start with an iPhone and Android app, but we’re also doing quite a bit of work on our online channel. And will continue to improve the existing channels like ATM and the branches,” Dennes said in an interview Oct. 15.
Dennes officially started at Huntington in late August and has been developing a strategy road map that he said has the support of senior management.
“Customers are looking for better online and mobile [services] and more convenience,” Mary Navarro, Huntington senior executive vice president and retail and business banking director, said in a press release. “Jeff’s vision and innovation, along with his extensive background and proven track record, will give Huntington customers access to leading-edge online and mobile banking” services, she said.
Huntington plans to have its banking app for iPhone and Android smartphones ready by next summer, Dennes said. Mobile remote deposit capture also is a priority. The bank already offers a mobile website and text-based services.
“In 2008, I would have considered Huntington really leading-edge as far as mobile was concerned,” Dennes said. “They really have not invested in the last two years due to other economic-climate situations, but they are ready to invest today.”
Dennes’ hiring is a milestone for Huntington and mobile banking, contends Bob Hedges, a managing partner of the Mercatus LLC consulting firm in Boston. “It’s a regional player embracing mobile as a key part of their future,” he says.