Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Set Your Sights Higher for Your Mobile Channel

This article by CUNA Mutual Group's Steve Hoke, director of loan growth products, originally appeared in Credit Union Magazine

If your basic online banking functions such as checking balances and transferring funds work smoothly for members who login on their smartphones, you’ve accomplished goal No. 1 for mobile banking: You’re meeting their basic needs and expectations.

But it’s time to set your sights higher.

Use your mobile services to encourage deeper relationships, especially with younger members who will need loans, credit/debit cards, and other services that—unlike most mobile services—directly add to your bottom line.

According to a Federal Reserve survey of mobile phone users [pdf] who had used mobile banking within the last 12 months, 39.1% were 18 to 29 years old, and 33.7% were 30 to 44.

The survey also measured the percentage of mobile phone users who said they’d used specific mobile banking services. Ninety-three percent said they’d checked account balances or conducted a recent transaction.

The next two most popular actions were downloading the financial institution’s mobile banking app (72%) and transferring money between accounts (57%).

These three services probably drive the most mobile traffic to your site. Look further down in the survey results, however, and you’ll see mobile services that not only drive traffic but have the potential to enhance loyalty.

For example:

  • 53% of mobile phone users surveyed received an email alert and 43% received a text message alert from their banking institution within the previous 12 months. That’s the financial institution reaching out to the mobile user, providing a valuable service and creating another touch point.
  • 41% located the closest in-network ATM. This uses mobile devices’ GPS capability.
  • 38% deposited a check using their mobile phone camera.

The lesson? Design your mobile experience to take advantage of this technology’s features to create more meaningful touch points with mobile banking users.

Loans are a stronger bond to your credit union than account maintenance. Require the bare minimum data your credit union needs on an application to begin the decision process.

Later, you can get the other information you need to complete the transaction in person, on the phone, or via email.

Payment protection products are a good way to protect members while establishing an additional relationship. Your mobile lending platform should be able to cross-promote these products.

This gives your lending staff a head-start in bringing these options to members’ attention at the loan closing.

For your mobile strategy to build loyalty that lasts, you must continually test your site’s mobile capabilities. This technology changes quickly, and users’ expectations change
with it.

Loyalty, in this arena, doesn’t mean finding members who will stay with you no matter what—it means adapting to their needs as they change.

Mobile Banking: Consumers Set the Bar Higher

Google’s 2013 Our Mobile Planet survey showed that mobile device users increasingly expect mobile-optimized websites.

Respondents who completely agreed with the statement, “I expect the websites I visit on my smartphone to be easy to navigate and access as they are when I visit them on the desktop PC or tablet,” increased from 61% in 2011 to 65% in 2012, and to 70% in 2013.

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