Credit Unions Are Getting 'Smart' and Going Mobile
By Cyndi Cohen Credit Unions Online
In today’s busy, tech-driven society, everyone is on the go…working, raising a family, socializing, going to school, traveling, sporting events, music lessons, you name it! We have meetings, events, deadlines, to-do lists…it never seems to end. Bottom line - we’re mobile and we need a financial institution that’s right there with us.
The US Federal Reserve in its recent Board Survey has found that one out of five US consumers used their mobile phone to access their bank account, credit card, or other financial account in the 12 months ending in January 2012, highlighting the future of mobile banking. In its study, the central banking system said that an additional one out of five indicated they would likely use mobile banking at some point in the future. The study also highlights that mobile banking usage is expected to increase in the forthcoming years, as it said that 33 percent of mobile phone users will use mobile banking by 2013.
Credit unions recognize this. Over the past several years, many credit unions have come to realize the importance of mobile accessibility and online presence. They have come to embrace evolving communication styles and methods, which are based in the ever-changing world of technology. They now understand that mobile devices, social networks, and e-mail are the present and future means of communication.
Mobile Banking Brings Members Ultimate Convenience
Credit unions know that their members are looking for convenience and efficiency in every aspect of their lives, especially when it comes to banking. They want members to take advantage of all they have to offer and to have peace of mind in doing so. Mobile banking has allowed credit unions to provide their members with the ultimate in convenience and control when it comes to their finances, and as with all credit union perks, the service is safe and free.
PSECU, (Harrisburg, PA) has been offering its members mobile banking services since 2001 and recently launched the 4th, and best, version of their original platform. The program is powered by Vertifi Software, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eastern Corporate Federal Credit Union. According to PSECU President, Greg Smith, this is the credit union’s most exciting and flexible version of mobile banking to date. It is designed so that in-house PSECU developers have the capability to customize the platform according to the credit union’s unique needs. “We have a great group of developers here at PSECU, and it is incredible all of the things that are going to be available on the mobile platform,” says Smith.
PSECU members can access their accounts almost anywhere with PSECU Mobile for free. With the new and improved downloadable app for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android devices, some of the latest features include:
Accessing multiple PSECU accounts on more than one device
Scheduling and paying bills on the go
Moving money between PSECU accounts
Locating nearby ATMs
Remotely depositing checks
A couple of new features have been introduced within PSECU Mobile as well. Members can now receive their monthly FICO score on their mobile devices. This service, in which the CU contracts with Experian to bring members this valuable info, was originally offered via PSECU’s online banking but moved to mobile banking as well in April. PSECU Mobile also features Remote Deposit in which members have the ability to conveniently deposit a check with their mobile device – they simply endorse their check, take a picture of the front and back, and then upload. “Remote deposit has been wildly popular and will kill branch traffic,” explains Smith. In the coming months, they also have plans to release a mobile platform for Amazon Kindle Fire.
Smith says that the response to PSECU Mobile has been terrific with 42,000 accounts enrolled, 32,000 active unique members in April alone, and 400,000 logins last month. “People accessing the Internet are doing it more over mobile devices than PCs…mobile is the future and it’s where credit union activity is going to go,” contends Smith.
Members of Coors Credit Union (Golden, CO) are able to check their balances, view transaction history, transfer funds, find branch locations, locate ATMs through mobile web, and use text (SMS) banking or Mobile App with Mobile Banking. According to Keri Rupp, VP of Marketing, members enjoy being able to access their account anytime, anywhere by using their phone and have responded very well to the service with more than 2,800 users signing up since it launched less than a year ago. “We are very pleased with this service that we offer our members - the growth is the fastest of any delivery channel in credit union history,” says Rupp.
Advantis Credit Union (Portland, OR) launched its mobile banking application for all Apple devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) and Android phones in April 2011 offering a free app that allows members to manage their accounts wherever they are, 24/7.
With the Advantis mobile banking app, CU members can:
Locate an Advantis ATM or Branch and get directions
Contact Advantis for quick assistance
According to Wendy Edwards, VP of Marketing & Human Resources, the ultimate benefit the Advantis mobile banking app provides to members is convenience. “It provides our members with real-time access to their accounts and Advantis services in the palm of their hand.”
Members have responded enthusiastically to the credit union’s introduction of mobile banking. Edwards reports that within four days of the original launch date over 850 new members downloaded the new mobile banking app. “In just over a year since its introduction, over 5,150 members, or 11% of our total membership, are using mobile banking and over 74% of users are active users, meaning they login at least once per month from a mobile device.”
Advantis introduced mobile banking to their membership utilizing multiple media, including a newsletter announcement, email message, statement inserts, homepage flash banner, and a dynamic web landing page that shows the mobile app features. They continue post-launch reminders to members about the benefits of mobile banking through regular display banners on their homepage, in online banking and through statement inserts. In addition, the branch staff encourages every new member to sign up for mobile banking during the account opening process, providing them with a take-one of the multiple benefits.
“Our members want to do more things remotely, and they expect ease-of-use and seamless communication across all of the channels they use to manage their finances - we must continually improve our technology to meet their needs or risk losing them to tech-savvy competitors,” explains Edwards.
To find out what type of Mobile Banking services are being offered by your CU, read your newsletter or check out their website and social media channels for details. If you’re not a credit union member, but would like to be part of a financial institution dedicated to bringing you the latest technology for maximum convenience when managing your finances, find a credit union and join today.