By Jill Jaracz


5 Min. To Read

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When you just want a little bit of information about your credit card, why would you bother calling customer service just to spend a lot time going through phone menus or sitting on hold--or worse, have to deal with a keypad that doesn't register or your card number, or having to say your account information out loud where other people can hear (and potentially steal) your information?

Mobile apps can make credit card management a lot easier for a society that's increasingly relying on a mobile device to help manage personal finances, but they've generally been behind the eight ball when it comes to being able to offer exactly what people need. Now, both Citi and Capital One have introduced new features onto their apps to streamline some of the everyday activities their cardholders do.

Over the last several months, Citi has released a few new mobile app services. The first is Citi Quick Lock, in which cardholders can freeze their card through the app or website to prevent unauthorized purchases if they realize their card's been lost or stolen. If they find their card again, they can "unfreeze" it and use it again.

The second feature gives cardholders more peace of mind when it comes to replacement cards, as they can now track that process in real time through the mobile app or online. The service covers natural replacement when a card is lost, stolen or damaged; when it expires or is upgraded to a chip card; and during product conversions.

Citi's goal with this service is to let their cardholders' have a deeper experience with the process. "Having real-time insight into the status of their card delivery will provide our customers with more peace of mind and enable them to plan ahead," said Alice Milligan, chief customer and digital experience officer for Citi Global Cards and Consumer Services, in a statement.

Customers can keep tabs on the processing of their replacement card, when it's due to arrive, and if sent via FedEx, they can track the shipment. They can also activate the new card through the tracker tool.

Citi's also made app usage easier with its third new feature, which speeds up the process of adding a card to an account on the app. Cardholders can now take a picture of their card with their phone's camera and upload it to the app. The app then will populate the card number in the registration.

Capital One is also launching a new mobile feature to help its cardholders. Its Eno virtual assistant lets cardholders manage simple account processes interactively.

Eno is a chatbot that users can text with conversationally to manage information about their Capital One checking, savings and credit card accounts. Users will be able to ask Eno for information about balances, recent transactions, account summaries and payment histories. For credit cards, it can also tell users about bill due dates, available credit and credit limits. Users can even able to pay their credit card bill through Eno.

Eno is currently in pilot testing, but Capital One has a waitlist online for those who want to be in the next rollout. It also eventually plans to roll out other capabilities, such as money transfers.

Mobile app usage has greatly increased, especially among Millennials. A recent Fiserv survey found that this generation uses mobile apps more than twice as often as older generations. The survey also noted that mobile is being used just about as often as bring up a website through a computer. Because mobile apps are becoming the way most people interact with their credit cards, offering unique, robust services can be a way to reach the next generation of customers.

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