October 22, 2012

The consumerization of IT is transforming the ways bank employees do their jobs as well as the ways banks interact with consumers. Now it is beginning to have a significant impact on the ways some organizations are working with their corporate customers. In fact, consumerization was the driving concept behind New York-based J.P. Morgan Treasury Services' recent launch of the next generation of J.P. Morgan ACCESS, its online, electronic banking portal for corporate clients.

"The ultimate end users of these types of tools are consumers," points out Lloyd O'Connor, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Treasury Services. "So we're really taking that reality to its furthest conclusion. This entire rewrite of the [ACCESS] platform was done with that in mind. Although it is designed around a business user, the actual design is really very much designed around how a consumer would make a payment. In fact, if they make a payment that's what it's called, not funds transfer. Our end users are [actually] consumers, they have embedded consumer experiences, whether with their smartphones or through [online] self-help functions. We have provided a facsimile of that experience."

[Read more about how consumerization is driving more profitable relationships in banking]

The ACCESS portal was first launched about a decade ago, but O'Connor emphasizes that "This is not an upgrade." But following several mergers that took place over that period, as well as feedback and heightened expectations from clients, it was clear that a dramatic change was in order. The effort wasn't just about providing enhanced technical or transactional capabilities – "That's table stakes," O'Connor says. The ACCESS relaunch also offers ACCESS Community, which allows clients to use new community features that help educate users about the new platform via user guides, FAQs, how-to-videos and podcasts. "We realized we had a terrific opportunity at the company to change the competitive landscape and provide a value proposition to the client beyond the products and services offered," O'Connor adds.

The emphasis in ACCESS Community is on what O'Connor calls "self-learning. This is a whole lot more than help," he says. "It's an enveloping immersive experience, so [clients] can get their jobs done without getting off their mission. None of this is prescriptive -- it's elective, and is being heavily trafficked and used."