Go Mobile the Right Way: Guest Opinion
Credit unions do many things right. We care about our members, treat them fairly and offer them products and services at competitive rates. But is your credit union consistently looking at ways to make the banking experience easier and more convenient for members or are you falling behind the technological times?
As new and emerging technologies take over the financial industry, credit unions have a unique opportunity to bring even greater value to their membership. Whether it’s offering mobile, online or text banking, innovative financial solutions are not only good for business, they’re good for members.
Our recent launch of mobile deposit exemplifies how a service can positively impact a member, as directly quoted from one of our members” “I’m excited to have this capability. It saves me time, and I can deposit right away, not days later when I get around to it.”
The reality is credit unions must offer mobile services to serve the needs of our members and to be well-positioned for the future. To remain strong and viable, credit unions must attract new and younger members.
Millennials and future generations expect to bank on their own time and where it is convenient. In fact, consumer demand for mobile banking has skyrocketed the past few years. At UW Credit Union, more than 20% of our online logins originate from a mobile device, which was double over the past year alone. And that trend isn’t about to change anytime soon.
Read more in the Aug. 7 online & mobile banking focus report:
- FocusReport: Online and Mobile Banking
- Mobile Deposit Access is Sparked by Demand at BECU
- Digital Account Opening Cravings
Mobile services also set the stage for deeper, more meaningful member relationships. Branch employees’ time is freed up from transactions which means more time can be spent consulting with members, addressing needs and delivering financial education. We’ve already seen evidence of this with the launch of mobile deposit. In its first month, more than 10,000 deposits were processed, creating additional capacity for our branch staff to focus on sales, deliver great service and provide more value to our members.
When you’re ready to launch a new mobile or technical service, it’s important to keep the member experience as frictionless as possible. For example, when we developed our mobile deposit service, we made sure our funds availability policy wasn’t too limiting. Having members upset because they couldn’t access funds for multiple days defies the logic behind mobile deposit altogether.
It’s also vital to control the member experience to make it as seamless as possible. Instead of developing an app for mobile deposit, we chose to build a program in house that directed members to our mobile site. This allows us to immediately address functionality issues, update bugs and clarify text. Now, members simply log in without the need to proactively update their devices or download apps.
In order to stay relevant in the financial industry, it’s no longer possible for credit unions to rely solely on positive branch-based relationships for membership growth and retention. We must challenge ourselves to find innovative solutions to meet evolving member needs and expectations. Any mobile service offered to members shouldn’t simply be a checklist item, but a fully functional extension of a branch or desktop computer that gives members added value.
In the end, it positions us to serve tech-savvy generations and gives us additional time to address deeper member needs. It is important to offer more technology-based services to members, but it’s vital that you do it in a way that puts members’ best interests first.
Delivering quality by embracing innovation and change is a core value at UW Credit Union. Our commitment to this value is a key driver of our investment in technology and mobile solutions to our members.
Rob Van Nevel is senior vice president & chief member solutions officer at UW Credit Union.
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