The importance of mobility to credit union members

Over the weekend, I sent several emails, checked and paid a few bills, watched a movie trailer and then bought movie tickets for that movie and even bought a new razor.

This may not sound very exciting (and, in fact, it is all pretty mundane stuff) but the key here is the way in which I did these things. I didn’t spend a single moment in front of my desktop computer to accomplish any of these tasks (let alone actually get in my car and go anywhere). All of these things were accomplished using my smart phone and tablet.

To a growing number of consumers, doing anything with a desktop computer other than workaday tasks and routine things related to our jobs is a foreign concept. As a society, we are now tethered to our mobile devices (again, smart phones, tablets and maybe even wearables in the future) and Wi-Fi networks.

What does this mean for your credit union? Plenty.

In order for members to easily interact with your credit union you’re going to have to get on the mobility bandwagon. I bet if you were to run the numbers on your current website, you would notice an increasingly large number of entry hits coming not from desktop sources, but from tablets and cell phones. Consumers no longer just expect – they demand – the brands with which they do business to offer mobile services.

What does this include? Pretty much everything you can do for members currently in a physical location. However, there are a few things that are particularly important that you can offer as part of your mobile services. These include:

  • Remote deposit capture. Members should be able to easily and quickly snap and upload a picture of a check for quick deposit to their accounts. While remote deposit capture definitely means another ding to your in-branch traffic, it’s simply what members want and expect.
  • Mobile loan applications. Nobody wants to walk into a branch and talk to a loan officer anymore. They want to do it on their phones or tablets. If your credit union wants to stay in the loan business, you need to make loan applications via mobile devices quick and easy for your members.
  • Interaction via social media. Few people are going to call to praise or complain about your credit union these days. What they will do is get on social media and tell all their friends. Your credit union must have a vibrant and real-time social media presence. And you can’t just use the social media presence to try to sell things. Your goal in social media is to actually interact with members, ask and answer questions and put out the occasional fire. Social media is not just another sales tool and treating it as such is unwise.
  • Real-time account activity notification. If a member uses his or her debit card, they would like to see that transaction reflected in their account immediately. And trust me, they will check. If you have a lag of several (or more) hours before members can actually see account activity reflected on their mobile device, you are behind the curve.
  • Blocking cards. With online security an increasingly important topic, consumers are appreciative of credit unions that look out for their privacy and money. One great way to help them accomplish this is by offering card-blocking services via mobile devices. For example, if a member fears that they have lost their debit card, they should be able to get onto their smart phone or tablet, access their credit union and temporarily block the card. If they happen to find the card again, they can simply switch it back on. This way, members are empowered to take more control of their financial security and, in the event they find their card, they don’t have to wait weeks for a new one.

Mobility is important. Just ask a wounded deer surrounded by wolves. Three legs is no way to try to make it through life in the wild. And that’s exactly what credit unions that refuse to embrace the mobile revolution face — a pack of hungry wolves (in the form of other banks and credit unions) nipping at their heels, more than happy to snatch away members dissatisfied with their slow adaption rate and performance.

Jeff Kjoller

Jeff Kjoller

Jeff has extensive experience in branding, art direction and graphic design, having served employers and clients in a creative capacity for more than twenty-five years. After graduating from the University ... Web: Details