Digital and mobile credit union member onboarding.

For many people, their first in-person visit to a credit union branch is critical – it’s where all the new membership forms usually are, after all. But thanks to smartphones and computers, fewer prospective members may be willing to make the trek to a branch just to join a credit union. That’s raising questions about whether credit unions should invest more in digital-only membership applications and onboarding processes, and less in traditional face-to-face, paper-based systems.

However, taking the new membership process digital can be tricky. A recent study from Citi found that mobile banking apps are now one of the three most-used types of smartphone apps, and a PwC study recently found that 46% of consumers now do all their banking digitally – almost double the number in 2012 (27%). A J.D. Power study found, however, that “digital-only” customers – those who use only online or mobile channels for banking – were the least satisfied group of banking consumers.

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Tina Orem

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