5 tips to achieve top-of-digital-wallet status

With consumers naming financial institutions as their most trusted digital wallet providers, credit unions already have something working in their favor. The next step is translating that confidence into increased loyalty. A great place to start is understanding what members want.

Recent research shows members want mobile payments. More than 32 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed ranked that option as the technology they would likely use for purchases in 2017.

Mobile is slated to become a bigger presence in the coming years. One global report found that 70 percent of respondents believed mobile payments will surpass credit and cash by 2030. “Given these findings, credit unions should continue their focus on digital wallets,” said Brian Day, director of digital payments products at CO-OP Financial Services. “An increasing number of consumers are seeing the value of digital wallets, which opens the door to many new opportunities for credit unions.”

Payment capabilities are just one of many functionalities contributing to consumers’ wallet loyalty.  “If consumers’ digital wallets are tied to their payment cards and other accounts, such as their gym memberships, those credit-union-issued cards remain front and center,” said Amy MacMullen, senior product manager at CO-OP. “Any way credit unions can add convenience to their digital wallets will win consumers.”

Credit unions should consider the following tips from Day and MacMullen to ensure their digital wallets are go-to selections:

  • Embrace all the “Pays.” Some members may have iPhones while others may opt for Android devices. “It’s important not to alienate one group of smartphone users with your digital pay options,” noted Day. “Offering a few different options like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay helps ensure every member’s needs are met.”
  • Integrate loyalty programs. A national survey of U.S. consumers revealed 70 percent had higher opinions of brands that digitized their loyalty programs. “Kohl’s has done a great job with this,” noted MacMullen. “Within the Kohl’s Wallet, consumers can see their payment cards, gift cards, Kohl’s Cash and all other promotional offerings. Plus, they are empowered to choose which discount they want to use at checkout, allowing them to save offers for future purchases.”
  • Let members store more than cards. To mirror a physical wallet, the digital wallet should be more than just a place to house credit, debit and prepaid cards. It should also allow members to keep track of coupons, offers and other accounts. Day noted, “This builds on the convenience of digital wallets, giving a credit union’s members another reason to go digital.”
  • Promote it in your mobile banking app. With 48 percent of people using mobile banking apps, there is much opportunity for credit unions to get their digital wallet offerings in front of members. “Tucking reminders to enroll in a digital wallet within the online or mobile banking app can prove successful,” said MacMullen. “Frequent app users will be exposed to the marketing message several times, thus increasing the chances they enroll.”
  • Offer enhanced service. Including member service capabilities within a digital wallet may be key in winning loyalty. Chatbots can give members the answers they want quickly and efficiently, for instance. “This can simplify a member’s life greatly,” noted Day. “Instead of having to exit the digital wallet to find support, the assistance they need is literally right at their fingertips.”

Following any one of the tips outlined above is likely to deliver positive results, but credit unions would do well to consider implementing them all. Credit unions partnering with CO-OP Financial Services receive the added benefit of industry expertise and technology dedicated to delivering a positive mobile experience. The new CO-OP, enhanced by bench strength from recently acquired TMG, gives credit unions the tools they need to make their digital wallets top of mind.

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