Geofencing is a location-based service in which an app or other software uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location, known as a geofence.
For example, your Starbucks app on your mobile device can trigger a “Starbucks location is nearby” alert when your driving within a certain distance of one – a geofence, if you will. This trigger or alert allows you to make a decision to go or not to go buy a latte. But it also subtly keeps the Starbucks name top of mind, letting you know there’s a Starbucks in the vicinity.
Like Starbucks, many retailers have geofencing capabilities built into their apps to trigger notifications when you’re in the area or within “their virtual fence.” Again, it’s a fantastic marketing tool to generate more business on the chance that the alert will prompt you to stop by their particular store and shop.
These triggers/notifications can also have marketing messages incorporated, letting the recipient know of a sales, discounts, or any other promotions currently running.
Here are some geofencing uses with possible credit union applications:
- Social networking: One of the more popular uses for geofencing involves integrating with popular social networks. Location-based filters, stickers and other shareable content are all made possible with geofencing. Whether you’re using a promoted filter at a concert, using a custom-made filter for a friend’s birthday or uploading to public, location-based stories, it’s all thanks to these virtual perimeters.
Credit unions can do the same with their social media network presence. Sharing community stories, promotions, product offerings, news, etc.
- Marketing: Geofencing is ideal for businesses to deliver promotions, sending an alert right as you come within range of the store. Apple does this very well with their store app. More specifically, geofencing helps organizations target ads with audience segments to discover what efforts work best based on a user’s location habits.
Your credit union can do the same with geofencing, which could be used at branches to market new promotions to members as they approach a specific branch – keeping the credit union and its offerings top of mind. In this case, a mortgage lending promotion during the spring home buying season would be ideal.
- Audience engagement: Geofencing is also used to engage audiences at live events, such as concerts, plays, fairs and more. For example, a concert might use a geofence to crowdsource social media posts or deliver information about the venue or event.
For credit unions, engaging members for a sponsored community event like a football game, beach clean up, paper shredding event, chili cook off, etc. is perfect to keep it top of mind for members.
Geofencing will only get better and better as the technology improves – which means good things for credit unions. Imagine a member who is in the market for a new home visiting open houses on a Sunday. Geofencing could alert your credit union that this member is looking and send a notification to them, letting them know about the latest rates and loan packages or even get pre-qualified, if they aren’t already.
How are you using geofencing capabilities? Let us know; we’d love to hear and share.