Today’s business leaders are well aware of how consumer preferences and our on-demand economy has shifted the business model of many organizations. Credit unions are certainly no different. As membership demographics shift and borrowers of today and tomorrow continue to demand convenience and self-serve options, the financial services industry will likely continue to see the adoption of mobility, automation, and an overall focus on the digital customer experience.
The desire for that on-demand interaction in essentially every aspect of our lives has manifested itself in a few key areas:
There was a time when pizza was the only type of food that came with the expectation of a delivery option. Nowadays, national chains and mom-and-pop restaurants alike find themselves obligated to offer delivery and/or pick-up options in order to meet the on-demand needs of today’s hungry consumers. Supported by the popularity of our modern gig economy through companies such as Favor, DoorDash, and Uber Eats, the food service industry has risen to the challenge and is thriving in today’s on-demand economy.
Mobile pay apps
Merchant-specific apps have gained popularity with today’s consumers. In-store payments in the U.S. are expected to reach $128 billion in 2021. Interestingly, as of 2018, Starbucks topped the list as the most popular mobile payment app in the U.S. The trends tell us that Americans don’t want to wait for anything—especially not their morning coffee!
Relatively new on the scene, mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay, give consumers the ability to make purchases with their smartphones—via stored card information. While smartphone ownership in the U.S. is among the highest across the globe, the velocity of mobile wallet adoption has been much slower. In fact, it’s only expected to climb to 22% adoption by 2022.
Web-based grocery sales
For some consumers, the thought of driving to their local grocery store and pushing a wobbly cart through aisles of people to purchase groceries is simply out of the question. Thanks to advances in tech, invested grocery store chains, the gig economy, and improved delivery logistics, purchasing groceries online is a new “normal” for many consumers. In 2019, nearly 93 million shoppers purchased their groceries online, and those numbers are forecasted to increase in 2020.
In store self-service kiosks
Aligned with the aforementioned trends, in-store kiosks have become mainstays in grocery stores and restaurants. Customers seeking to avoid lines gravitate toward these computerized self-serve booths. While self-serve kiosks are certainly not new technology, (they were first introduced in the 1970s), the use-case has certainly shifted. Once an interactive way to access maps, information, and schedules, in-store kiosks are now transactional in nature, intended to enhance the consumer’s shopping experience.
For many financial institutions, consumer trends are the driving force behind product and service enhancements and innovation, compelling credit unions and their partners to remain focused on staying one step ahead of technology and the impact it has on the marketplace. The overall theme of this trend of on-demand solutions is self-service.
For credit unions, a continued focus on providing members with omnichannel, self-serve payment and account management options will be the key to thriving in our on-demand economy. Convenience, interface, responsiveness, settlement time, and flexibility of self-serve technology can make or break a consumer relationship. Payment technology, in particular, is not just a tool—it’s a product in the eyes of the consumer.
USALLIANCE redirected more than 3,000 calls per month to their self-serve web application by partnering with SWBC Payments. Click here to read the complete case study.