Guest Opinion: The Next Generation of Banking
Transformations in the mobile banking arena will be a hot topic among credit unions in 2012. According to Morgan Stanley, within five years, the number of mobile Internet users will surpass the number of desktop Internet users.
As these savvier mobile users become accustomed to accessing critical information through a mobile app rather than through their phone’s Web browser, first-generation mobile banking may become stale and insufficient for attracting and retaining members. Therefore, it is critical that credit unions understand how to manage and evolve their mobile presence to meet the needs of this new landscape.
Here are six things you can do today to make sure you’re prepared to support your members’ mobile banking requirements in 2012 and beyond.
Take All Services Mobile.
In today’s competitive marketplace, you have to offer much more than online banking on a mobile phone. You must be able to offer a unified mobile presence that incorporates all of your services for your members. This includes the ability to deliver social media, marketing and promotions, loan origination, remote deposit capture or any other services that you want to incorporate in the mobile channel.
Mobile Services Must Be Everywhere.
To capture the largest audience, you can’t be tied to a specific mobile platform. Your members must be able to access your mobile offering on all the major platforms, whether it’s an iPhone, iPad, Blackberry or Android smart phone. Additionally, your offering must able to take advantage of the new HTML5 standard to help make the technology extensible for the future and available to any mobile device with Internet access. Above all, your mobile offering should look, feel and behave the same across all platforms so members don’t have re-learn your app when switching devices.
Mobile Analytics Equals ROI.
Because it’s all about the bottom line, you need to be able to prove the return on investment of all the services you’re delivering through your mobile presence. Any mobile solution provider you work with should offer analytics that show the ROI of any service you present to your members. The analytics should show you how many members are using each service, from what location and which kind of device, as well as what members are not using. Powerful analytics is the best way to listen to your members and improve your mobile offerings. And, this information is critical for calculating ROI and delivering value to your members over time.
Gone are the days where you should need to rely on someone else to ensure your mobile presence is up to date. Whatever mobile solution you choose, make sure it offers a way for your organization to update your mobile app’s functionality and content without the need to reach out to a vendor’s expensive technical experts for help. On your own, you should be able to turn functionality on and off with the click of a button, and to seamlessly update your app without member intervention.
Speed to Market Equals the Right Solution.
Back in the early days of mobile offerings, it could take six months to a year before your mobile presence was published and available to the carrier markets. With that kind of delay, you could be the last to market, and ultimately, experience attrition from your members who require a great mobile solution yesterday. If a provider tells you it will take more than three months to implement your mobile offering, you know they have older inflexible architecture and technology. It would be better to look elsewhere for a solution that can get you up and running quickly.
Keep Service Independent.
It’s important to keep your mobile banking platform as independent of other services as possible. Why? Imagine you have a mobile banking offering provided by your home banking provider, and then one day you choose to switch. More than likely you would need to change your mobile banking solution as well because your new provider may not embrace your current solution. This would result in a lot of headaches for your staff, not to mention additional member inconvenience.
There are a lot of mobile banking offerings on the market today. As you look to ensure yours meets your members' need, following these simple steps can help to choose the right solution.
Dan Chaney is a co-founder of FI-MOBILE LLC.
Contact 512-646-0997 or dan.chaney @fi-mobile.com