Credit union fintech solutions (Image: Shutterstock).

The way people access their money and manage their finances has been evolving since humans began using currency. Not that long ago, debit cards were innovative. It could be said that “fintech” began decades ago with the invention of Automatic Teller Machines, or ATMs, which marked the first time consumers could access their money 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Dial-up and website-based banking soon followed, delivering more value and convenience to consumers. The focus has now shifted to harnessing the power of digital. This is in part a response to companies outside the financial sector, such as Google, Uber, Amazon and Apple, wading into the market and bringing with them new innovations that are disrupting the delivery of services and changing consumer expectations.

At a time when people are attached to their cell phones – more than 77% of Americans use smartphones and 57% of all online traffic in the U.S. comes from smartphones and tablets, according to Forbes – consumers are accustomed to immediate access to their most important activities. Whether people are monitoring email, paying bills, shopping or connecting with friends and family, they expect instant results from their online interactions. This immediacy carries over to finances. More people are using mobile devices than desktops to track their finances. A recent study from Asurion showed Americans check their phones on average once every 12 minutes. That’s more than 80 times a day. If the ultimate goal is to improve convenience and increase personalization in financial services, credit unions must focus on mobile.

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