How do I love thee, Smartphone? Let me count the ways: watching a movie, finding directions, listening to music, getting the score, buying stuff, playing games, videotaping the kids’ soccer game … and doing my banking.
When a phone is your PFI
For today’s Americans, making phone calls with your iPhone or android is almost an afterthought. A November 2015 Pew Research Center study found two-thirds of American adults own a smartphone – nearly double the number from four years ago. And mobile searches officially outpaced desktop searches last year, according to Google. Not only do U.S. consumers rely on their phones for online access, almost half say they couldn’t give them up. In fact, Bain & Company’s 2015 global survey asked consumers which they’d rather give up for a day – their phone or their wallet. More than half chose their wallet!
Pew also reports that 57% of American smartphone owners now use mobile banking. This is good news because a Fiserv study of banks and credit unions showed that within three months of launching their mobile banking apps, average monthly POS transactions climbed 19%. Further, bill pay transactions were up 13% and ATM transactions rose 25% and mobile banking users also acquired more financial products than branch-only consumers. And the attrition rate among mobile users was less than half that of non-mobile users, only 4.9% as opposed to 13.4% for other channels! For credit unions, the study showed a 36% increase in ROI, compared with branch-only users.
Encouraging mobile usage
Going mobile isn’t an expense: It’s an opportunity to grow the bottom line. Our DigitalMailer column last month provided some ideas for making the mobile experience more satisfying for members (“Mobile banking now and later,” CU Insight, Jan. 21, 2016). Here are some tips for increasing usage:
- Keep promoting. Most credit unions have a push when their mobile app is launched, but what about later? Not everyone will sign up right away, so steadily promote your app all year. You can place a mobile-banking download link on your website’s home page. Also promote mobile on your social media channels, and consider adding a video demonstration about how it works.
- Make mobile part of onboarding. Invite new members to download your mobile app when they first join. Let them know your credit union offers banking convenience across all channels. Today’s consumers do their banking from their desk, at kids’ swim practice, even in the dentist’s waiting room.
- Create an email campaign. More than 50% of smartphone users read their emails by phone. And email continues as the No. 1 channel where consumers focus on promotional messages the longest. Create an email marketing plan with a series of personalized messages to members who haven’t downloaded your app, reminding them of mobile’s benefits.
- Grab their attention. Include an incentive for members who download your mobile-banking app, such as offering a prize to the first 100 to sign up or entering their names in a drawing. Make sure all your member contacts include links to your banking app. Also, for those who prefer texts over emails, create a spot on the website where users can enter their phone number to receive a text message with the link.
- Give them security. The Federal Reserve’s report, “Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2015,” notes that mobile adoption has stalled slightly in recent years, with 62% of consumers who have not adopted it citing security concerns. But mobile banking is at least as safe as online banking, and when it includes mobile multifactor authentication (MFA), security is very strong. Educate members about the importance of following security basics, like not storing the mobile banking password on the phone, and downloading the app directly from the website.
Whether or not your members are using mobile banking today, most are likely to do so in the near term. A brand-new report from Javelin (Javelin 2015 Mobile Banking, Smartphone, and Tablet Forecast) reveals that in 2015, one in every 10 U.S. adults began using mobile banking, amounting to 25 million new mobile bank users! By encouraging more members to use your mobile banking app, your credit union can cut costs, increase cross-selling opportunities, and keep members engaged. It’s worth using every marketing tool in your arsenal to promote it because the more convenient you make banking, the happier your members will be. And with an ROI more than a third higher than branch-only users, your credit union’s bottom line will be happy, too.