Part 3 of 3-part series
Within two years, more than 50 percent of all banking transactions will take place on mobile devices. This means that a majority of your member interactions will happen over a mobile phone or tablet – and you need to be ready.
“Google originally coined the term ‘multi-screeners’ to describe a shift in consumer behavior that is playing out in the marketplace today,” said Stephen Bohanon, founder and chief strategy and sales officer for Alkami Technology, Inc. “The life of a multi-screener is all about speed, convenience and constant connection. The average multi-screener juggles a variety of devices throughout the day and expects the experience you provide digitally to be consistent across all of them.”
Delivering Functionality Across Devices
According to Bohanon, meeting these expectations within a digital banking application requires a highly flexible, extensible platform that delivers dependable functionality in every possible context.
“As a credit union, you never want to deny your member a product simply because that member is using the wrong device,” he said. “If a member wants to open a loan from a smartphone, you need to be able to accommodate this request or you are driving that business right into the hands of a competitor.”
Bohanon emphasizes that mobile technology may be playing a greater role in the member experience today than many credit unions realize, and this trend is only going to accelerate in the future.
“Ten times a month the average credit union member logs in to a digital banking system, and most of the time they are on a mobile device,” he said. ‘If your mobile functionality is limited, you are limiting your opportunities to serve – and sell to your members.”
What Digital Consumers Expect
While offering a mobile banking app is a great first step toward serving today’s digital consumer, the quality of the mobile experience you provide is equally important.
“Your mobile application should have a native feel,” said Bohanon. “This means that everything a member views and does on the mobile device should appear like it was purpose-built for mobile.”
Bohanon notes that integration across devices is also about more than easy navigation – its real value goes directly to your service proposition. “Information needs to be synced in real time across channels or it may appear to members that your right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing,” he said. “For example, if a member applies for a home equity loan in a branch, and the next day logs into the digital banking system only to find that the application has not been recorded, the member’s confidence in your credit union can be compromised.”
And even subtle disconnects are not lost on today’s consumer. “The branding elements must be impactful and applied across all devices,” he said. “Consumers really can tell when that is not the case. From the typefaces to the naming conventions, graphics and navigation, consumers value quality brands and are very savvy about recognizing them. Apple is a great model for credit unions. No matter which device you are using, or which studio made the movie or album, the iTunes experience looks exactly the same. And Apple goes one step further to extend that brand continuity across all of the company’s products, packaging and stores.”
To prepare credit unions for the digital member of the future, Bohanon advises them to consider one simple question. “If all of your physical branches were hypothetically shut down tomorrow, what would members be missing in the digital experience and especially on mobile?” he said. “For many members, the only reason they go to the branch today is because you don’t offer the product or service they need digitally.”
He continued, “Branches add tremendous value to your service model and are here to stay. However, to be successful in the long run, credit unions need to deliver every product and service across every channel their members access, and they need to make the experience as seamless and engaging as possible.”
For expert insights on how to take digital banking to the next level, read “Modernizing Your Digital Banking System: A Blueprint for Success,” a free white paper available exclusively from CO-OP Financial Services.