By Jami Jennings
Smartphones fundamentally have altered the way humans socialize, work and conduct business transactions. Whether FaceTiming a loved one or connecting with a startup through their app, smartphones provide opportunities to communicate like never before.
Recognizing these efficiencies, 77% of Americans have integrated smartphones into their daily lives. According to a study conducted by Statista, the average American spends more than two and half hoursonline via their smartphone every single day. In today’s modern economy, individuals and businesses use smartphones as a more productive means by which to interact and enter into transactions. In a 2015 Federal Reserve survey, “the prevalence of mobile banking…. reach[ed]….53% of smartphone users with bank accounts.”
A Saturated Landscape
Credit unions and banks alike have met this rise in demand with an increased supply of mobile banking options. A 2016 survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston showed that 97%of their respondents would “have mobile banking services by year-end 2018.” With such a saturated landscape, how are credit unions supposed to distinguish their mobile offerings from competitors?
To begin, they must take into account the below principles when updating their mobile banking strategies:
Retaining Core Competencies
As mobile technologies continue to grow, credit unions will face difficult choices determining which activities must be retained or replaced. When making these decisions, credit unions should always account for their core competencies and how a particular mobile banking strategy could alter or eliminate “access to a wide variety of [consumers].”
For example, credit unions have to be tactical in how they preserve their superior service while also incorporating the convenience of certain mobile banking features.
Prioritizing User Preferences
When updating their mobile strategies, credit unions need to prioritize satisfying users’ preferences and needs. For example, “over 95 percentof mobile banking users log in to check their balances or transaction history.” Furthermore, “[o]ver halfof the mobile banking users made a mobile P2P payment in the last year, primarily through a nonbank service provider.”
These types of trends and preferences should strongly be considered when providing new functions or redesigning a mobile site or application.
Appealing to Millennials
Millennials have shown a distinct proclivity for using smartphones. In fact, over 90%of Millennials own smartphones. In addition, nearly halfprefer mobile banking with their smartphone. Therefore, any short- or long-term mobile strategy must consider the needs and desires of millennials.
Fighting Technological Complacency
Mobile banking provides credit unions with a variety of substantial benefits. According to a Bain & Company report, “[r]outine transactions that require bank staff….cost 20 timesmore than those done online or through mobile.”
It would be very easy to become technologically complacent with these types of cost savings. However, mobile banking isn’t going to be the trend forever. Consequently, credit unions should be making conscious efforts to look forward to other technologies that could change the industry. You must be proactive, not reactive, in adapting to technological shifts that are on the horizon.
Overall, credit unions should adopt the above principles to help differentiate their mobile banking services from competitors. Through retaining their core competencies, credit unions solidify their base to make additional investments in mobile banking and technological innovations.
By prioritizing user preferences, mobile banking will become an easier, more seamless experience for members. Credit unions that focus their mobile banking around appealing to millennials will be more likely to prosper in both the short - and long- term.
Finally, financial institutions that fight momentary complacency and look to the future beyond mobile banking will have a leg up on differentiating their services to the evolving demands of consumers.
Jami Jennings is director of Digital Channels at EPL, Inc. For info: www.eplinc.com.