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Credit unions must provide technology solutions members expect

Credit union members will expect better integration between mobile and other banking platforms.

The number of internet-connected devices in the average person's life has skyrocketed over the last several years as smartphones and tablets joined personal computers in most American homes. The proliferation of connected items presents a problem for credit union executives who need to allocate their organization's resources. It is difficult to prioritize one device over the others, and historically low mobile banking rates made the value of investment in banking software for those devices uncertain. 

"Consumers expect money management solutions that span all of their connected devices."

This equation seems poised to change in 2015, and new data indicates consumers expect their credit unions and banks to provide money management solutions that span all of their connected devices. This information comes alongside data that demonstrates a wider interest in internet-connected banking software, and demonstrates a need for credit unions to invest in technologies that will strengthen every channel of their banking service.

Shifting expectations and demographics
In a study conducted by Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, 55 percent of American respondents indicated mobile banking was a habitual part of their lives. That number is relatively high, and demonstrates strong demand for this type of service. It's clear that the remaining 45 percent of participants are likely to increase their use of mobile banking services in the near future. Every respondent said they will acquire new mobile devices by 2016. 

The sheer number of devices currently in use is staggering, and connected devices have penetrated every demographic. While mobile banking numbers have generally been quite low among people over the age of 35, new data from the British Bankers Association indicated newfound mobile banking participation from older individuals. Over 450,000 people over the age of 60 have downloaded mobile banking apps in the U.K., and those that download mobile banking solutions use them with the same regularity as younger users. 

As more people use mobile banking apps, the expectation that banking software will be available across all connected devices increases. In the Carlisle & Gallagher survey, the overwhelming majority of respondents indicated they wanted the same suite of capabilities on every device. 

Members value a consistent banking experience.People expect banking services on all their devices.

A plan for credit unions
Credit unions that want to expand their digital offerings should take this customer demand for consistency into account. While the end goal should be to put banking software on every device in a member's life, executives should focus on providing a fully featured experience across devices. Customers want a similar experience whether they visit a credit union branch, log in to their online portal or access their information through a phone app.

While it may take time and a sizable investment to achieve this aim, credit unions could increase retention and member satisfaction by doing so.