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New Credit Union Math: Mobile + Social = Mocial?

Posted by Michael Ogden, CUNA Mutual Group on November 14, 2012


by Michael Ogden, CUNA Mutual Group

The words “mobile” and “social” are becoming intertwined and interchangeable more and more. Two years ago they were completely separate issues. But now with credit unions creeping up their adoption rates for mobile banking and social media activity, many are realizing that they are, like a fine wine and cheese – a good paring.

Recently, I attended the CUNA Technology Council where the main topic was “mobile banking.” Yet, according to my observations and conversations, there was hesitation from a handful of credit unions in the audience to implement mobile banking apps or abilities for their members. Here’s one  quote from an IT professional, “We don’t have the staff or budget to do this.” To this I say…”Let’s look at the numbers.”

According to our own research here at CUNA Mutual Group, since our Smartphone Loan app/program was launched, we’ve seen a 10 percent growth in the mobile loan completion rates. Wait, there’s more! Our overall volume of mobile loan applications through has nearly tripled without eroding other channels! One more thing….the median age of members using our mobile loan product: 24.5 years old.

The point is, don’t be so quick to make excuses for adopting mobile banking technologies for your credit union. And guess what? Where there’s mobile, there’s social.

But don’t take my word for it about the importance of social media and how it ties in with mobile banking. Let’s look at a recent study by Fiserv, Five Factors Will Drive Consumer Adoption. According to that research, social media is the model of providing “consistency across mobile channels.” To expand this idea further, mobile banking extends into social media for an excellent marketing and customer service experience, according to an article from the Memphis Business Journal article Mobile banking extends beyond normal services to include social media (Aug. 3, 2012). The article goes on to say, “You’ve got to be where the customers are.”

Let me toss out two more stats for you and then I’m done with the research portion of this month’s article. According to Tapjoy, mobile banking rose by 65 percent in 2011 and mobile commerce could increase by 362 percent in the next three years! Holy smokes!

All of these numbers mean mobile banking is here and it’s only going become more important for credit union members. It also means that social media has become the key to marketing and true connections with your members. The question now is can you do mobile without social or social without mobile? Here’s my answer: go with your gut.


Michael Ogden
Michael Ogden presents and writes about digital/social strategies for the financial/credit union and technology industries. He’s ran and created social media strategies and campaigns both nationally and internationally for 12 years. Connect with him at @grabbingtoast and his blog Michael Logged In.

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