REPORT: Credit Unions Go The (Social) Distance With Mobile Banking Tools

The pandemic continues to affect almost all aspects of consumers’ lives, and their banking interactions are no exception. Consumers are increasingly seeking contactless ways to interact with their financial institutions (FIs), leading to a 200 percent jump in new mobile banking registrations during April. Foot traffic at bank branches fell by roughly 50 percent during the same month, illustrating just how many consumers are flocking to digital channels.

Not all FIs are equally prepared for this shift, however. Recent research reveals that credit unions (CUs) are still lacking in providing many mobile app features that their members desire. While members have expressed overall satisfaction with login processes and the speed CUs’ apps offered, other areas receive less-favorable reviews. Only 49 percent believe such apps keep their information very secure, for example, while just 24 percent said these solutions provided the guidance they were seeking.

Despite these hurdles, members’ adoption of mobile apps and other digital tools shows no signs of slowing. It is thus incumbent upon credit unions to listen to members’ feedback as they work to enhance their mobile and online offerings — or else risk losing them to competitors who provide superior experiences.

Around The Credit Union World

Mobile-based services are picking up steam at credit unions across the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. New York-based Ocean Financial Federal Credit Union, for one, recently noted that it saw mobile check deposits triple from $565,000 in March to $1.3 million in July. The CU attributed this spike to the growing number of users who are choosing to bank from home to avoid the risk of contagion, illustrating a nationwide trend that has seen consumers make the leap to digital and mobile channels to stay safe.

Some CUs are forging partnerships to roll out robust digital and mobile offerings that can satisfy members. Oregon-based InRoads Credit Union recently announced a collaboration with digital solutions provider IMM and video banking solutions company POPio to offer digital banking tools to its members, including live video services and eSignature features. The credit union stated that members’ desires for remote access to many services that they previously sought at branches was critical in driving the move.

Other credit unions are rolling out innovative digital offerings that target younger consumers, who have become a key demographic for CUs as their membership bases grow older. Texas Trust Credit Union turned to a “Game of Thrones”-inspired loan offering in an effort to appeal to younger demographics, for example. Its aptly named “Game of Loans” solution allows players to unlock prizes such as 90-day loan reprieves if they meet certain in-game goals. The CU said the game helped it originate 25 percent more loans through its digital and mobile channels in one month than it did over the course of the same month during the previous year.

For more on these stories and other credit union headlines, read the Tracker’s News and Trends.

How CUs Can Make The Most Of Mobile To Enhance In-Person Banking, Draw Younger Consumers

Credit unions across the U.S. are turning to mobile and contactless technologies to aid consumers going digital during the pandemic as well as to appeal to younger, tech-savvy demographics. While this shift may seem at odds with CUs’ traditional focus on personalized in-branch services, several tools can help them bring the best of both worlds to members. In this month’s Feature Story, Joel Swanson, chief member experience officer at Florida-based VyStar Credit Union, discusses how CUs can leverage innovations that allow them to attract a younger audience while safely satisfying members who still seek in-person services.

Deep Dive: Why Improving Mobile Banking Offerings Is A Must For Credit Unions

CUs have historically been all about customer satisfaction, and many have focused on offering superb in-person experiences to keep their members satisfied. The ongoing pandemic is pushing credit unions to reexamine their operations, however, especially as branch-based banking continues to face restrictions. The Tracker’s Deep Dive examines why CUs are turning to mobile and digital tools that can help them deliver personalized customer experiences without relying on face-to-face interactions.