Don't Ignore Your Mobile Members
According to Nielsen's newly released U.S. Digital Consumer Report, consumers spend nearly a full workweek per month using mobile applications and browsers.
That's a pretty incredible statistic when you think about it, and it seems there is no shortage of reports, metrics and analyses concerning mobile applications and how they’re impacting our daily lives.
But what's behind the numbers and why should credit unions pay close attention? The simple answer is competition and demographics. Mobile is the language credit union members are speaking. Not paying attention means ignoring a key competitive and demographic edge.
Large financial institutions were early adopters in mobile technology mainly because they were the only ones that were able to afford the steep development costs. However, as technology has advanced, those costs have reduced drastically even as capabilities and features of mobile banking applications have increased.
The growing number of smart device owners and lowered costs to deploy mobile applications have combined to form a compelling equation for credit unions. Credit unions are known for making personal service a hallmark reason to join and become a member. When a credit union unites its commitment to personal service with something that physically sits in a member's hand, then larger banks are not so large and the competitive landscape begins to even out. It's how credit unions can change the competitive equation and differentiate themselves.
Besides competition, and if the mountains of data aren't compelling enough, consider the underlying demographics. According to research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the largest demographic using mobile to work with their financial institution is the 18- to 29-year-old group at 54% and of the 30 to 49 age bracket, it's 40%.
These users are those who are expected to make mobile usage a part of their everyday life. That's important to know especially in light of a study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers that found the average mobile user checks their phone nearly 150 times per day.
Credit union members are no different with their mobile devices in terms of the number of times they use their devices each day. This is important especially in light of the industry's commitment to personal service as a major differentiator. It's important to note that mobile applications aren't just for the member. While the member expects to use a mobile application from their credit union, the credit union itself needs to be able to use mobile effectively. Like any tool, if it's not understood or used effectively, then very little can be accomplished.
For the credit union to be effective and efficient in its use of mobile applications, the solutions they deploy need to be easy to use. Mobile apps are no longer the sole domain of the IT staff. Today, they can be easily managed by marketing and member services staff. As a result, that makes mobile one of the most effective channels of communication possible. An easy to use mobile platform allows the credit union to quickly and consistently communicate with its members.
That means that a credit union can have a consistent share of the 150 times a day a member reaches for their device, which translates to an increase in membership and many of them becoming the highest growing and most profitable demographic of mobile users.
We’ve all watched the numbers of mobile users and apps rise at incredible rates, but until we take the time to understand who and what are behind the numbers, it will be hard to translate them into every day actions that will create positive outcomes of a mobile application strategy.Mike Peloquin is vice president of sales at Nitro Mobile Solutions LLC.Contact512-333-4015 or firstname.lastname@example.org