How To Boost Mobile Banking

Two credit unions operating in different regions and serving different memberships share tactics, strategies, and best practices for how to create a consistent member experience in the mobile channel.

 
 

Mobile isn't just a channel anymore; it's the preferred channel for standard transactions for more than half of consumers, according to a 2016 survey conducted by Harris Poll.  But offering mobile banking and lots of apps isn't enough. Credit unions must offer a consistent member experience across channels, and that’s not easy.

But it can be done.

Two credit unions ― one in Tennessee, the other in Connecticut ― use five vendors, including two core processing platforms, to provide more than 20 mobile services. That’s a lot of touchpoints. But Y-12 Federal Credit Union ($1.1B, Oak Ridge, TN) and Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union ($400.1M, Rocky Hill, CT) use a member experience framework to shape product delivery strategies and standardize experiences across channels.

 

 

 

We are committed to e-channel improvement. That shows in our adoption rate.

Jeff Levesque, EVP/COO, Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union

For example, both credit unions are striving to make mobile the primary avenue for deposits. To make mobile deposits as easy as handing a check to a teller, the credit unions use the same check-clearing rules and parameters for mobile as in branches and a focus on making funds available as close to real time as possible.

Mobile Made For Members

CU QUICK FACTS

Y-12 FCU
Data as of 12.31.16

HQ: Oak Ridge, TN
ASSETS: $1.1B
MEMBERS: 112,579
BRANCHES: 14
12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 11.2%
12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 18.6%
ROA: 1.01%

Y-12’s new mobile deposit solution promises to speed up mobile capture and continuously post member deposits.

“Real-time posting means we review items faster, so members can access their funds sooner,” says Y-12 senior vice president and chief technology officer Todd Richardson. “In fact, depending on the limits we set, often instantaneously.”

The Oak Ridge-Knoxville area credit union already offers its members a big package of mobile functionality, including card controls, biometric authentication, bill pay, live chat, and secure messaging, as well as support for the major app platforms and emerging players like Apple Watches and Amazon Fire tablets.

“We have more active mobile users than active online users,” Richardson says. “They use the basic features constantly. Our goal is to reach 30,000 active users by the end of the year.”

Y-12 currently counts approximately 19,000 active mobile users from its base of 113,000 members. That tech-savvy crowd already makes 5,000 or so mobile deposits every month.

Y-12 runs on the Symitar core processing platform and uses Access Softek mobile banking software. Nutmeg State runs on the Corelation core and uses Jwaala mobile banking software. Both credit unions use Alogent RDC tools. Find your next solution in Callahan's online Buyer's Guide.

CU QUICK FACTS

Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union
Data as of 12.31.16

HQ: Rocky Hill, CT
ASSETS: $400.1M
MEMBERS: 39,21
BRANCHES: 9
12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 0.6%
12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 8.1%
ROA: 0.58%

Nutmeg State’s members are similarly enthusiastic about mobile. Its 39,000 members were, at year’s end, making 3,400 monthly deposits worth $1.5 million by remote deposit capture. It still has more desktop users than mobile — 9,454 versus 6,243, respectively — but expects to see mobile grow as the efficiencies and capabilities of its e-channels and core processing blossom.

That’s not wishful thinking, either: Mobile deposits in March exceeded 4,000 transactions totaling more than $2 million.

“We haven’t set formal adoption targets or goals,” says Jeff Levesque, Nutmeg State’s executive vice president and chief operating office. “But we are looking to drive as many of our interactions ―marketing, operational, and new business ― to these channels as we can.”

And the Connecticut credit union plans to use member experience to make that happen.

Our RDC delivery is no different from depositing a check through the teller line or an ATM,” Levesque says. “Our reviews and holds don’t vary from channel to channel.”

Behind The Scenes

It’s one thing to say a consistent member experience is important, but with multiple suppliers providing different products and services, delivering on that objective can be difficult.

That’s why Nutmeg State found itself forging its own path. In the absence of a suitable plug-in application, the credit union wrote its own real-time, 15-step security program that looks at everything from membership validation to ChexSystem checks to member history.

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“We needed a comprehensive set of risk and underwriting tools that weren’t industry standard,” Levesque says.

That do-it-yourself attitude stems from a five-year vision Nutmeg State adopted three years ago.

“We want to reduce our reliance on vendors and their system limitations by looking for systems we control and customize or develop on our own,” Levesque says.

Three years in and senior management has identified the best choices among its now-limited vendors and is building an in-house team that possesses advanced technical skills.

The Bottom Lines

Jeff Levesque, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union, offers these four tips for mobile channel success:

  • Keep it simple.
  • Make it convenient.
  • Make it intuitive.
  • Keep it consistent with delivery channels that have come before and could come after.

Todd Richardson, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Y-12 FCU, offers three ways to improve member experience and reduce basic transactions at branches:

  • Make the experience as easy as possible — everything from signing up and installing to logging in and using.
  • Make the interface something members like.
  • Keep up with features offered by other financial institutions. 

Tow Halls And Advisory Groups

Members make their voices heard in myriad ways. They attend annual meetings. They vote in elections. They post comments online. And they use their feet and their clicks.

Both Y-12 and Nutmeg State solicit feedback before and after introducing changes and make member response a central component in the development of member-facing strategies.

“We have advisory groups and use feedback from the branches and the app stores,” says Richardson at Y-12.“We’ve made modifications based on feedback from all those sources.”

Over at Nutmeg State, the credit union uses tools such as Net Promoter Scores, member effort scores, and mystery shoppers to measure feedback.

“We use this data to focus development schedules and the strategic direction of the e-channel,” EVP/COO Levesque says.

The Nutmeg State credit union also used direct outreach to ensure a successful launch of the functionality, look, and feel of its new core and mobile offerings. Its comprehensive marketing plan included electronic and paper communications, and it hosted three town halls for members to see demonstrations and ask questions. It also built-up its contact center.

“We are committed to e-channel improvement,” Levesque says. “That shows in our adoption rate.” 

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April 24, 2017


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