To App or Not to App: One credit union’s answer

When Apple launched its app store several years ago, perhaps even the tech wizards in Cupertino did not foresee how this new mobile technology would take the world by storm. The popular commercial has it right — whatever you are looking for, “there’s an app for that.” From movies and entertainment to exercise, news and sports information, there are apps for every purpose.

According to a Forbes article, the overall apps economy is staggering. By 2013, apps downloads surpassed 13.4 billion across the four major stores (Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store and Blackberry World). Total revenue generated in the apps economy topped $2.2 billion.

Banks and credit unions are definitely getting into the app world, as well. As more consumers request mobile technology to access their finances, financial institutions are increasingly called to provide it. We have already passed the tipping point where consumers expect their financial institution to offer a robust app just as they would expect checking and savings accounts. If you don’t have one, you’re at a distinct disadvantage.

Mobile technology, including apps, requires a commitment of time, staff and money. For small to midsized banks and credit unions, diving into the app world is a leap of faith. Educators Credit Union in Waco, Texas ($353 million assets, 38,000 members) is a good example of a financial institution that decided the time was right to take such a leap.

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