Mobile Everywhere. Ask Mark Sievewright, a senior executive at Fiserv, to pinpoint three big trends changing the credit union landscape and here is what he said in late February at the New Jersey Credit Union League’s “Reality Check” conference: “mobile, mobile, mobile.”
Mobile is not just about a new channel – although it is that – it fundamentally is about changed relationships.
And it is growing incredible fast. Another “Reality Check” speaker, CUNA Mutual’s John Lass, flashed a slide that showed mobile users eclipsing the number of online banking users within a few years.
That is how fast the digital rules are getting rewritten.
Credit Union Mobile Banking Debut of the Week: Feb. 22 was the day Partner Credit Union in Colorado flicked on its mobile banking and, said CEO Sundie Seefried, member adoption has far outstripped expectations. The institution had expected maybe 100 downloads of the app – both iPhone and Android versions are available – but in the first week there were 490.
Partner put a notice about the app on its website and that pretty much was all the marketing it did initially. It now is rolling out a promotion where members who download the app and also send an SMS are entered to possibly win a credit at an Apple store.
“We are pursuing the younger market,” said Seefried who elaborated that in her opinion a good mobile app was a necessity with that demographic.
During the Credit Union Times interview, Seefried exclaimed, “This is good!” Turned out she had just gotten around to downloading the app to her own iPhone and, she said, she was pleasantly surprised by how easy the download and set up were.
Tweet This. There are facts and then there are conclusions. Which is a way to say that sometimes statistics mislead. Witness the recent The Financial Brand report, CreditUnionsStruggleWithTwitter, OneInFiveAbandonAccounts.Based on a study of 350 institutions, the study concluded that a lot of credit unions were wasting their time in social media: “With a total of 203 of the 350 credit unions (58%) initiating their Twitter initiative in 2009 or before, it’s hard to say Twitter hasn’t been given a fair run. The typical credit union has been on Twitter 2.2 years, which is more than enough time to evaluate its viability. Wouldn’t you think that if consumers had any interest in connecting with financial institutions on Twitter, they’d have done it by now?”
In a word, nope. It is very fair to say that many credit unions are doing a poor job on Twitter - they have not allocated the manpower to succeed. But it does not follow that therefore members have no interest in the Twitter stream of their credit union. What they have is no interest in a poor product, which means simply that they are rational beings.
At Verity CU in Washington state, senior executive Shari Storm – herself an active Tweeter – said her institution has multiple Twitter accounts because this is an easy way to put ideas in front of members and also to listen to members. She did add this caveat: “I don’t say that every credit union should be on Twitter. If you don’t have people on staff who are familiar with Twitter, it’s probably not right for you.”
Bottom line: Twitter takes time, it takes thought – but ignore it at your own peril. If nobody is talking about you on Twitter, the existential question has to be: do you still exist?
3 Ways To Foul Up a Mobile Banking Launch. Ask Drew Sievers, CEO of mFoundry, a leading apps developer for credit unions, how credit unions botch their mobile banking launch and he is quick to tick off the reasons:
“1. They don't market the solution effectively; no marketing means no adoption
2. They only do 1 or 2 modes; you need all three [that is: mobile web, SMS, and an app]
3. They don't include remote deposit; critical for branchless banking.”
Disappointed with results of a mobile banking debut at your credit union? Before blaming your members, or the app developer, ask yourself which (if any) of those three sins you committed. Right there may be the cause and also the cure for turning around a stalled mobile banking rollout.
Mac Users Beware. Apple users have long believed their computers are impervious to malware but bad news has come out of Intego, a San Diego security firm, that has tracked the brisk spread of FlashbackG, Macintosh malware that hunts for user names and passwords to crucial sites such as PayPal.
The common belief is that very few Apples are protected with updated anti-virus security software. Experts have, for many months, warned that Apples – with increased market presence – had become an object of interest for cyber crooks. Flashback G may be round one in a long fight that could have significant implications for online banking at many credit unions.