Credit Union Mobile Banking Debut of the Week: Put it up and they will find it. That’s the guiding marketing principle at Palisades FCU, a $153 million institution in Pearl River, N.Y., which recently launched its mobile banking app. “We put it in the Android Market with no promotion,” said Anthony Pili, vice president, marketing and sales. “Without any promotion, we had over 50 downloads and a perfect 5 out of 5 rating from 15 users. This was surprising since it implies that members are going online without any knowledge and searching to see if their credit union has an app,” according to Pili.
An iPhone app is going up soon, Pili added. He expects even more members to find that one.
What are members finding when they look for your app?
Catalyst Corporates Stakes Out Mobile: Derrick Peterson, chief financial officer at Greater TEXAS Credit Union in Austin, Texas, said his $488 million institution is rolling out mobile banking and the twist is that he is using apps acquired via Catalyst Corporate and at much lower costs than he had found when he approached vendors as a one-off credit union.
Plano, Texas based Catalyst said it believes it can provide useful member service while saving its members money by, in effect, wholesaling mobile banking to them.
Greater TEXAS has now emerged as the first of what Catalyst hopes will be many credit unions that turn to it for mobile banking. “We are getting a nice price break,” said Peterson. He added that the app has “lots of cool features – we are very satisfied.”
As for Greater TEXAS itself, Peterson said the institution is highly optimistic that the offering will attract more members, especially from students and recent graduates of Texas A&M University, which is a key target audience. Peterson added: “Our members have been asking us for mobile apps on our Facebook page and that is where we will initially promote it.”
Remote Deposit Capture: The Mobile Banking Killer App? “The convenience is why RDC is mobile banking’s killer app,” said Jim DeBello, CEO of Mitek Systems in San Diego, which has developed many of the patented processes involved in using a smartphone to snap a photo of a check that can then be used to initiate a deposit.
“Point, snap, deposit, that’s what we are about,” said DeBello, who indicated Mitek – which sells through partners ranging from Fiserv to Jack Henry and FIS – controls “about 95%” of the RDC market.
One key to that success: “Our accuracy is high. We believe it is higher than with deposits using desktop scanners,” said DeBello.
Definitely, it is the next big mobile thing (though as paper checks decline in number so will the appeal of RDC).
On Fire: Citi and now BankofAmerica have announced mobile banking apps optimized to run on Amazon’s hot-selling, $199 tablet, the Kindle Fire. Some months ago, CU Mobile Apps had told Credit Union Times it expected to have live credit union apps on Fire by March 31. In a recent interview, Tom Gray, a partner in the firm, reiterated that. According to him, the apps for a number of credit unions are already in the Amazon approval process. Either way, Kindle Fire – which Amazon claims is its top-selling product – looms as a new battleground for financial institutions. The device lacks built-in GPS so some standard Android app tools – ATM locators for instance – need to be re-thought before declaring an app Fire ready.
Why You Need to Be on Social Media: We are plunging headfirst into “the age of social + mobile.” That is the headline from the latest research from Javelin, GangofFour (andPossiblyFive) Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon – andPayPal.
A key idea in the report - which explores how nonbanks just might grab a greater share of financial transactions - is this advice to get thee to a social network: “About seven out of every 10 adults use social media (69%). Approximately 16% started using social media in the past year alone, and notably, these newcomers comprise all age groups. ... With 164 million adults using social media, at a minimum, FIs must establish a presence to protect their brands from cyber squatters, fraudsters, and others who could harm their reputations.”
The Javelin advice continued: “Moving beyond the defensive approach, leading FIs are using social media mostly in the realms of branding, marketing and advertising. The most aggressive financial institutions are forging into customer service, social forums, financial literacy, financial alerts and transactions.”