Snapchat, once dismissed as just a sexting app, has become banks’ latest playground for connecting with millennials over playful filters, emojis and videos.

In July, Bank of America paid for a sponsored lens that turned willing users into llamas to promote its mobile app. To woo young talent, JPMorgan Chase has advertised on the app. Citigroup is using the company’s trendy sunglasses to make short videos that illustrate the bank’s culture.

Community banks are fiddling with the filters, too. CenterState Banks in Davenport, Fla., has been testing how different content ideas could potentially resonate with the app’s users.

CenterState’s conclusion so far on banks having Snapchat accounts, however, is grim: it is likely a waste of time, said Chris Nichols, the chief strategy officer for the bank. CenterState is still exploring if it can create useful content on the app, but Nichols said he is skeptical.

“It is a great medium, but it is just not conducive for most banks,” he said.

“If you had a bank that specialized in banking professional athletes or celebrities, or if a bank had a CEO with a really big personality, it might be a different story.”


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