by: Bryan Clagett, CMO, Geezeo
Take off your credit union hat for just moment and be completely honest. Do you enjoy banking? Is it enjoyable paying your bills, applying for a loan or waiting in line to cash a check? Do you look forward to going to the bank or a credit union? Do your members? Let’s just face it; banking sucks and it’s a chore we don’t choose to do, but instead it’s a chore we must do. Banking is also a chore often filled with friction, be it applying for a loan and awaiting the decision, or muddling through a call center menu. Obviously these are just two simple examples.
Let’s Reduce Banking Friction and Become “Useful”
So what are you doing to reduce the friction and lessen the chore of banking? Alex Payne, co-founder of Simple, the banking start-up once known as Bank Simple, states he was motivated “to start a bank that doesn’t suck”. As his team began the process of mapping out delivery strategies, they chose to look at User Experience (UX) and wanted to assure his customers found Simple to be useful. Perhaps we need to step back and then dive deeper and see how “useful” we are to those we serve. After all, usefulness should really be the heart of what we do in the credit union industry. Have you ever asked a member how useful the credit union is to him/her?
Remove The Rose Colored Glasses Please
Throughout my 30-year career I have heard and read that ease and convenience remain critically important to members. This holds true even as we see more transactions shifting to digital channels. A recent Infosys Survey found an overwhelming majority (94%) of U.S. consumers say that banking on their mobile device is easy and yet a lower proportion (77%) feel it is convenient. Perhaps some people will never find banking truly convenient, because they don’t enjoy it, and likely never will. Getting to the dentist is easy for me, but visiting the dentist is always an inconvenience because I simply don’t want to be there.
Making retail banking more “easy” is an admirable goal and I think newbies in the market like Simple can help retail banking evolve. But bringing true ease to the retail banking experience will not be easy for credit unions (or banks) as long as we are faced with compliance and regulatory requirements and mandates. Think that environment will change any time soon? When we think of ease for members, let’s set our sights on reducing some of the friction that exists in retail banking and try to operationalize a better experience where and when we can. Banking may never be truly easy, but we can strive to make it easier. And we can most certainly do more to be perceived as more useful.
Damn, I have Visa bill to pay and have to run. I have a great mobile app to use and it’s pretty easy, but stopping what I am doing, to do something I don’t want to do is pretty inconvenient. Man, doing my banking sucks.
Bryan Clagett is a principle driver of Geezeo’s global marketing, brand and outreach efforts. Clagett joins founders Shawn Ward and Peter Glyman in establishing Geezeo as the premier personal financial management provider in the financial services industry. Since 1987, Bryan has held a number of executive positions in the financial services industry. www.geezeo.com