Strategies To Make A Good Mobile Experience Great

PSECU’s director of digital channels talks features, testing, and member response to a new mobile banking app.

 
 

Top-Level Takeaways

  • PSECU relied on insights from member-facing employees to support decisions during app development.
  • It took the credit union more than one year to find a new mobile banking application.

Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union ($5.0B, Harrisburg, PA) focuses more on technology than on physical branches for commonplace transactions. In fact, its mobile banking application was widely accepted by members — to the tune of 120,000 users averaging 14 logins per month at November 2017.

But just because the application worked well didn’t mean it was best for members. That’s why the Keystone State credit union started investigating alternatives for its mobile banking app.

 

 

 

“To best serve our members, we need to continually be on the lookout for new technology and the highest quality products and services,” says Jessica Hutchinson, the credit union’s director of digital channels, strategy, and quality assurance.

The search took more than a year but resulted in PSECU adopting a platform that provides more flexibility as well as security. In this Q&A, Hutchinson discusses what the credit union was looking for in a new app, member response, and best practices for converting platforms.

What was PSECU looking for in its new app?

Jessica Hutchinson: We wanted more control over how we managed the app, the ability to make modifications based on business needs and market demands, and more flexibility to offer a strong feature set. More flexibility allows us to be more agile in our response to member feedback.

Jessica Hutchinson, Director of Digital Channels, Strategy, and Quality Assurance, PSECU

We can now augment the app’s features to provide the mobile banking solution that best fits members’ wants and needs. For example, members now can add bill payees from within the app rather than by logging into their online banking. Two additional features include a more detailed account transaction history and the option to view check images.

We also wanted enhanced security. Our new app has multifactor authentication and certificate pinning, which keeps our members, and their money, safe. This enhanced level of security also means members can do more with the app once they are logged in, like make changes to their address and user information.

How did you prepare for the switch?

JH: We wanted the switch between apps to be as simple as possible for our members, but we also wanted them to quickly see the enhancements the new app presented. So, we collaborated with marketing to use multiple channels — newsletter, website, blog, social media, and more — to share the message with members that they would soon need to download a new PSECU mobile banking app and uninstall the previous version.

People who work directly with members, like staff in the call center, have a great pulse on what members want based on feedback they receive.

Jessica Hutchinson, Director of Digital Channels, Strategy and Quality Assurance, PSECU

As part of this process, we asked members if they would like to be notified when the new app was available. We received around 27,000 positive responses and started notifying these members in batches as soon as the new app launched.

Also, we made sure the new app had a slightly different look and feel to set it apart from the old app.

How have members reacted to the switch?

JH: Our new app became available for public download on November 29, 2017. We are currently collecting feedback and working through potential issues related to the initial version.

Prior to the launch, we offered a beta version to select members to test the product, solicit feedback, and take requests for additional features. In addition, we conducted an app review through focus groups. Overall, the response we’ve received from members is promising.

How many providers did you look at?

JH: We considered multiple vendors, including the vendor we used previously. We considered the vendor partnerships we have in common and how we could leverage those relationships to the ultimate benefit of our members.

We also considered the possibility of creating the app in-house as we did for our PSECU savings app.

PSECU uses Kony as its mobile banking provider. Find your next partner in Callahan’s online. Buyer's Guide. Browse hundreds of supplier profiles by name, keyword, or service area.

CU QUICK FACTS

PSECU
Data as of 09.30.17

HQ: Harrisburg, PA
ASSETS: $5.0B
MEMBERS: 438,381
BRANCHES: 2
12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 6.5%
12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 9.3%
ROA: 0.91%

What did training and support look like?

JH: As with any major project, staff’s hard work contributed greatly to the successful launch of our new app. Training was key. We needed to make sure our staff — especially those in our call center and those who have direct communication with members — were aware of the new app and how it works. We created many training and informational materials, such as interactive PowerPoint presentations.

What did you learn during the conversion that other credit unions might like to know?

JH: From a technical perspective, Android fragmentation can be challenging. Because there are so many devices, manufacturers, and platforms, it can be difficult to design and test for all the Android options. Thanks to its consistency, the iOS platform is easier to navigate.

Speaking more broadly of lessons learned, you can’t communicate enough with your internal staff. People who work directly with members, like staff in the call center, have a great pulse on what members want based on feedback they receive. It’s in your best interest to partner with these individuals so their knowledge can support the decisions you make in app development. Make sure to listen to your members through feedback channels, too.

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Dec. 11, 2017


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