What makes your credit union’s mobile banking different?

To quote the legendary Bob Dylan, “The times they are a-changin’.”

That sentiment is even more true today than ever before, especially in the financial industry. Gone are the days when customers visited their local branch every Friday to cash a check. And remember when financial institutions were the sole issuer in the payments game? Well, it was a good run.

Mobile: The Landscape of Tomorrow Today

Today online and mobile are increasingly important, and mobile is the fastest growing banking channel. But you didn’t need us to tell you that. Let’s look at some numbers:

  • 39% of Americans with a smartphone and financial account use mobile banking, an 18% increase in one year1
  • Meanwhile, branch activity is declining 4-5% per year on average, and between 8-10% at many institutions2
  • Less than 30% of Americans say they visited a financial institution branch in the past six months3

Of course, these trends are increasing year after year as smartphone prevalence becomes the norm.

A 2015 study by the Federal Reserve found that 87% of American adults have a cellular phone, and of that amount, 71% are smartphones1. And according to ComScore.com, between December 2010 and December 2014 mobile device usage to view media increased by 394%4. Those are both substantial numbers and statistics that show the prevalence that mobile devices have.

So to sum up these statistics: While currently not everyone is using mobile banking today, it is the fastest growing banking channel and it shows no sign of slowing down.

However, simply implementing mobile banking for the sake of having it is the wrong approach, as you’ll eventually be outclassed by others if you’re just doing the bare minimum. Let’s look at how you can separate yourself from the increasing competition.

Your Mobile Banking Needs to Do More

Consumers use smartphones differently than desktop computers. So simply putting online banking in a mobile platform isn’t anticipating consumer behaviors and desires. Which is why financial institutions (and non-bank competitors encroaching on payments revenue) are increasingly upping the ante with features to create rich mobile experiences.

Transaction history, ATM finders, and making payments are the aforementioned bare minimum.

So what makes your mobile banking different?

Budgeting tools and spending trackers are great starting points catching traction. As is a person-to-person payment system. Functions like these, and helpful push notifications, can help your app stand out from others.

Making your app the one-stop-shop for all of the members’ needs is a great way to keep them from opening up financial apps that aren’t yours. Mobile banking integration with cardholders’ daily lives can be a game-changer.

One App to Rule Them All

To see how an app can change the way members view you, take this story for example:

Fort Community CU wanted to innovate their business. They didn’t want to be one of those institutions that felt limited to merely the brick and mortar model, so they changed that. Fort Community tapped Malauzai Software to develop a mobile banking app that would soar beyond the basics. A primary component was the seamless integration with FCCU’s Buzz Points rewards program. This release drew great reviews from their members and helped secure them Credit Union Journal’s 2015 Best Practices Award.

The beauty of the Buzz Points rewards program is in the simplicity of how it works in conjunction with the mobile banking app. The software implementation kept the cardholder in mind, making it so they don’t have to log into the rewards program separately; it’s all done from the mobile banking app.

Without logging back in or out of separate apps, FCCU’s cardholders can check their accounts and their rewards, make purchases while redeeming rewards, and even find better rewards based on their physical location. Push notifications can even alert cardholders to a special offer or reward nearby that they didn’t even know about.

If these “non-banking” features seem beyond the realm of what credit unions typically provide…that’s the point! And with 54% of consumers wanting their financial institution to proactively locate discounts on purchases for them5, it’s fast becoming a necessity.

The integration of the Buzz Points rewards program is an example of the spark you need to put your mobile banking platform ahead of the competition. The program encourages members to “bank local, buy local” and has a proven track record of increasing debit card usage by 65% when compared to the national average.

Mobile banking is fast growing and here to stay, so your next goal is finding a new way to position your mobile platforms for greater success.

The times they certainly have changed.



1 Federal Reserve, “Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2015,” March 2015

2 Peak Performance Consulting, “Retail Banking at Inflection Point,” 2015

3 Bankrate, “Financial Security Index,” 2015

4 comScore, “Media Metrix Multi-Platform & Mobile Matrix,” 2014

5 Accenture, “2015 North America Consumer Digital Banking Survey,” 2015

Todd Swoope

Todd Swoope

Todd Swoope is a marketing professional and content creator living in Austin, Texas, who hails from the mountains of Pennsylvania. With Master’s degrees in Communication and Public Relations, Todd ... Web: https://www.buzzpoints.com Details