On the whole, credit unions have done a good job of investing in mobile capabilities to provide members with access to a full suite of services. Much attention has been given to ensuring consistency among all channels, ensuring that existing members can easily conduct their banking business via their mobile device just as they would online or in a branch. When it comes to the overall mobile experience, however, credit unions should look to the example that retailers have provided in how to both serve existing customers and gain new ones.

It is estimated that annually, $1.8 trillion in retail banking assets switch from one financial institution to another, and increasingly, this battleground for new member acquisition is taking place via the mobile channel. As a group, the rising number of millennials that are entering the workforce and establishing banking relationships demonstrate a mobile-first preference in selecting and working with service providers (and this includes financial services).

Increasingly, prospective members are researching and selecting their financial services providers via their mobile device, yet a recent Celent report, "A Misanthrope's Journey: Assessing the U.S. Online Account Opening Experience," found that only 20% of the top U.S. banks are currently offering mobile-optimized new account opening.

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