Using mobile banking to reach the underserved

Those living in urban areas may take mobile banking for granted as the conveniences gained have become commonplace. Attending CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference this week in Washington DC, I noticed the boundless opportunities to use an ATM or visit any number of financial institution branches, including brokerage houses. Depending on where you live, you may not be so lucky, many people do not have an ATM or branch located within their community. Those consumers living in rural or semi-rural areas can face financial burdens due to geographical challenges.

Or do they?  A recent article in CreditUnionTimes highlights how one CU in Mississippi was able to bridge the gap of geographic and financial hurdles by going beyond the physical branch walls.

They determined that despite the many challenges their market faced, the one thing their consumers had in common was a mobile phone. Their mobile app is one of their fastest growing services, and the leverage needed to meet their members financial needs and improve their financial lives was through mobile banking.

As this particular credit union executive noted “… the No. 1 thing that people use mobile banking for is for checking their balance, which if you think about it is an important feature when it comes to making sound financial decisions. We know that members are looking at their balance before making transactions. And the second most frequently used mobile app feature is internal transfer. These are good things because members are actually using the mobile app to make good financial decisions. We see this as a service to empower our members to better manage their finances.”

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