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There’s little contention that the credit union industry is now competing in a digital world driven by mobile devices. This means that in order to fully meet your members’ needs, your cooperative must have a mobile presence.
There is contention, however, about what specific mobile offerings are the most important to offer; from the ability to check balances and make payments, to exploring financial products or filling out loan applications. In some cases, these opinions may be influenced more by the products and services offered than by what mobile users themselves actually want to achieve.
As the digital shift continues, ultimate success in this channel will require financial institutions to stop thinking of mobile as merely a device with on-screen real estate and start thinking about it as a holistic experience.
Consider how quickly the world has changed in just a few decades:
The landscapes of entire industries have been altered, causing economic and job losses that no one foresaw at the time yet in hindsight seem inevitable. Financial services will be disrupted as well — but this is a revelation that is not always uniformly recognized nor prepared for.
The evidence for this impeding disruption is abundant:
This digitization of economics won’t stop — and as financial services leaders, credit unions will need to change as well.
Smartphones changed everything by providing real-time access to consumers and enabling these individuals to be in the loop at every point of the financial cycle.
For example, these devices can allow your members to:
Consumers can do all of this whenever they want and wherever they are.
Home computers may have introduced anytime banking into the equation, but smartphones and mobile devices have elevated that expectation to anytime/anywhere banking. And therein lies the dilemma, because the services consumers want on a mobile device are not the same as those they want at home.
For example, if a consumer is heading out to go shopping, they don’t need a balance history; they need the current available balance and the amount they can spend. If the consumer is in the showroom, they don’t need the ability to pay a bill; they need to know how much they can borrow, at what rate, and whether or not they are pre-approved.
Mobility ultimately requires credit unions to view their services through a lens of consumer context — i.e., what does the user need here and now?
As you adopt this new mindset, traditional concepts of product and channel will start to blur. Your offerings will still need to come equipped with fundamental capabilities, but these capabilities should be deployed systematically, within the context of a member's current situation.
This is a concept today’s Internet titans understand well. Services such as Google Now, Facebook Home, and CueUp (now owned by Apple) all try to anticipate the consumer’s next need and provide the right details at the right time, without the consumer asking first. Essentially, their relevant product features (maps, searches, music, reminders, phone numbers, and more) are brought together in exactly the product the consumer needs at that moment.
This is the opposite of past product development, where a team would decide features months or years ahead of the point of consumption. Today, such an attempt to pre-package products and channels is actually more likely to limit than enhance your mobile services.
Google, Facebook, and Twitter have become part of most people’s lives practically overnight and their mobile services are so attractive that hundreds of millions of people use them every day. Credit unions may face a very different set of challenges than these mobile mammoths, yet they can still learn a few things from the way such businesses attract and retain their customers.
Next: 7 Keys To Mobile Engagement
PSCU serves over 1500 financial institutions with a complete range of payment card and eCommerce solutions backed by industry-leading fraud management, strategic consulting, and 24/7/365 contact centers. Our innovation initiatives marry new payments technologies, such as EMV and mobile wallets, with proven deployment strategies and analytics to empower credit unions to compete and prosper.
This sponsored content article is provided to the credit union community for shared insights and knowledge from a recognized solutions provider in the industry. Please note that the views and opinions offered here do not reflect those of Callahan & Associates, and Callahan does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer.
If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact our Callahan Media team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-446-7453.
July 7, 2014
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