U.S. Households Are Just an App Away

Thinking small yields the best results with mobile financial solutions.


It’s not an uncommon sentiment. From teenagers in the mall to executives on the subway, you’ve likely heard the phrase “my cell phone is my life.” As data usage peaks, the role of effective mobile applications is becoming increasingly clear across many demographics, including some you may not expect.

A Washington Post article highlights the rapid adoption of text, Internet, mobile banking, and finance applications in poor, rural, and urban communities across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where other financial resources are often unavailable.

For many of the same reasons, mobile finance and banking applications appeal to many underserved demographics right in your own neighborhoods, in ways that traditional branching and online banking products may not.

According to a second Post article, low income groups have the fastest growing adoption rates for mobile technologies. There was an 11% increase this year in data services used on wireless devices for households earning less than $30,000 annually — 45% of this demographic now utilize these services.

As a credit union, how are you marketing your mobile banking solutions and what demographics are you targeting? Mobile solutions can be a crucial step to capturing a bigger portion of the underserved market but specificity is key, Newsweek suggest.

Remember, there are almost a quarter of a million iPhone apps and 70,000 Android apps competing for mobile users' business. Targeting niche markets, such as the underserved, and utilizing strategic promotions translates to effective adoption and utilization of these applications. After all, even the best designed financial applications do no good unless they’re used.