WASHINGTON, October 3, 2012 — Serious investors and people who laugh at the hilarious antics of babies both know E*TRADE. I’m not a serious investor, but I have always admired the creativity of their promotions. Yet the real creativity is coming from their Mobile Platforms division.
Barcode scanning and voice recognition come standard with E*TRADE Mobile. The goal is not to flex their innovation muscle or show off the latest cool gadget. Eric Johnson, Director, Product Management, Mobile Platforms for the company is aiming to make the process easier and reduce barriers of entry.
People want products and tech that make their lives easier, that simplify everyday taks or questions they may have. Johnson answers my questions below about the direction of E*TRADE and how he interacts with apps himself.
Jeff Barrett: What are some of the recent technological advancements E*TRADE has introduced in mobile investing?
Eric Johnson: E*TRADE Securities has long been known as a pioneer in online investing. In the mobile investing territory, we were the first to offer customers a complete investing solution with free streaming quotes, real-time access to their accounts and a money transfer capability.
As E*TRADE Mobile evolves, we remain committed to making investing on the go simple. Most recently, we launched two state-of-the-art technologies: Barcode Scanning and Voice Recognition. Barcode Scanning enables investors to snap a photo of their favorite product’s barcode and, if available, get details on the publicly traded company associated with the product. Once the stock information is retrieved, an investor can buy shares of the stock right through the application. E*TRADE Mobile Barcode Scanning offers the ultimate “on-the-go” investing experience - anywhere. And, since people are getting accustomed to interacting with voice-enabled technology, we launched Voice Recognition. E*TRADE Mobile Voice Recognition lets mobile investors conveniently get stock quotes and company information, and launch stock order tickets.
JB: What features are mobile investors looking for?
Johnson: Ultimately, mobile investors seek convenient access to their portfolios. With E*TRADE Mobile, we make it easy to get quotes, place trades, transfer money, access breaking news, and even watch educational videos. We recognize that there are many types of investors, and their mobile investing needs can vary. At E*TRADE, we offer tools and research to suit the needs of long-term investors and active traders alike.
JB: Explain the barcode scanner. That sounds awesome.
Johnson: The Barcode Scanning feature is available on our iPhone and Android applications and allows mobile investors to scan any product’s barcode, identify the parent company, and if available, the ticker symbol.
For example, if you received a box of chocolates and were interested in learning more about the manufacturer, you could scan the barcode and get information such as company news and performance. Before E*TRADE Mobile Barcode Scanning, you would have had to jump onto a search engine and do some manual research before using tools on www.etrade.com Now mobile investors can connect seamlessly to the market in a way that’s easy and fun.
JB: What do you believe is “the next big thing” in mobile platforms/mobile investing?
Johnson: I believe investors will continue to expect convenient access to their portfolios on-the-go, whether via mobile phones, or emerging platforms like watches, glasses or cars. Basically, as technologies evolve, mobile investors will demand access to transactions and research, anywhere and anytime, through an experience that’s optimized for specific devices and situations. At E*TRADE we’re committed to innovation, and we continuously seek out new ideas and ways to optimize technology that will help us deliver the best mobile investing experience.
JB: What is your favorite app, outside of E*TRADE mobile?
Johnson: This is tough. There are so many great apps out there today. The ones I use most frequently right now are Instagram and Snapseed, as my wife and I recently had a baby and we want to capture every single moment. For me, the convenience of having a camera, editing tools and sharing features accessible at all times has been priceless.
Jeff Barrett is a recognized leader in public relations, experiential marketing and social media. Co-Founder of Status Creative, 2011 PRNewswire Award Winner for “Best Use of Video In Social Media” and record holder for Most Strikeouts in Tee-Ball.
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