Mobile Banking Advantages

In the continuing evolution of the banking industry, consumers are replacing some functions of online banking and ATM’s with mobile banking applications. Mobile banking provides the ability to obtain account information and to complete certain financial transactions using a cellular connected device. With an increasing number of institutions providing banking apps, mobile phones and tablet PC’s are being transformed into portable banking centers.

Mobile Banking Services

There is a variety of common services provided through mobile banking, including:

* Transfer of Funds.

* Accessing current account balances and/or historical account information.

* Identification of branch and ATM locations.

* Secure bill payments via pre established payment protocols.

* Verification of transactions.

* Important alerts such as overdrafts, questionable activities, and promotions.

Security

Some concerns for those considering banking through mobile are the security of the connection and personal account information. Since mobile banking is implemented on a wide variety of platforms across numerous devices, it is difficult to compromise security on an individual basis. It is also worth noting that current limitations on the type of transactions available with mobile banking nearly eliminate the chances for a malicious attack.

Advantages of Mobile Banking

For members of specific unions, banking through mobile can offer numerous advantages in terms of convenience and banking options. The most important benefit of such banking is the ability to establish connectivity from virtually any area of the country. Compared to traditional online banking that requires an internet connection, the versatility of banking through mobile is unparalleled.

Members who engage in such banking appreciate the time-critical response of the format. While receiving SMS text messages relating to transactions and upcoming financial obligations, account holders can avoid late payments and service charges and can make time-critical transfers virtually anywhere at anytime.

In situations where immediate alerts are critical, banking through mobile affords almost instantaneous transmission of vital information. This can be especially important in a suspected identity theft or unauthorized use of a credit card. Members also benefit from learning about the latest credit unions promotions, interest rate changes, and other information without having to log onto the Internet or wait for traditional mail.

As more members subscribe to banking through mobile, account holders may see some banking fees reduced. Credit Unions and their members benefit from such banking through diminished operational expenses as a result of reducing work that requires human interaction. It is evident mobile banking has become a time saver and convenience for all credit union members. As mobile devices continue to grow in popularity, the applications and functionality will continue to evolve.

Benefits of a Credit Union

A credit union is a cooperative financial institution which is controlled and owned by its members, operating solely for the provision of credit, promotion of thrift, as well as different financial services to its members. It is a democratic institution with member owned financial cooperatives, allowing members, regardless of the sizes of their accounts, to also run as a volunteer on the board and able to cast their vote during union elections.

Operating as financial intermediaries, credit unions finance its loan portfolios with the mobilization of member savings and shares within the union, instead of using outside capital resources. This ensures opportunities for members for many generations.

Compared to a bank which are owned by various shareholders, that does not necessary belong to the specific bank in question. They are paid board members and boards of directors and will make decisions that are good for the small group of shareholders as oppose to the average members of the financial institution. A credit union allows all its members to have a voice in the financial institution, regardless of the size of their portfolio.

Operating as a non-profit organization, a credit union uses excess earnings of the financial institution to offer its members better and more affordable loans, lower fees as well as higher return on their savings. Members from all walks of life are welcome to join and in order to find out if you qualify, it is simply done by contacting the desired credit union interested in as there is literally hundreds available for the individual.

In order to apply for membership of a particular credit union there is some important information for the individual to know about the procedures for opening an account. It is specific identification procedures and requirements which was mandated by the Patriotic Act of the USA. This Act was established to fight funding of possible terrorism as well as money laundering activities within the unions in the USA.

The federal law requires from all financial institutions the obtaining of all the information which identifies every individual opening an account. The acquired information needs to be verified and recorded within the financial institution. However as with all financial institutions, the provided information is guaranteed to be protected by federal law as well as the union’s privacy policy.

Credit Union Branch of the Future Must Integrate High Tech and High Touch

With mobile and online banking becoming increasingly popular banking institutions, especially credit unions, are advocating for branch design strategies with contemporary concepts and financial technology that is pointed at improving the member experience without losing that all important human touch.

The need for the personal touch in the financial services industry continues to be met by credit unions. As members continue this quest for digital channels and the old banking model changes into a retail model, the design of the branch must conform. Banking can no longer occur in a fortress style environment. Technology has inspired consumers to take charge of their finances as they shop online for the best deal. So, credit unions must capture the opportunity to develop and nurture an environment for their members that demonstrates the “people helping people” values and beliefs. This high tech, high touch atmosphere is the branch of the future.

Credit unions must reinvent themselves and create value and a reason why members want to come to the physical location. It is important to create an interactive environment and redefine the behaviors that should be occurring in the branch and understand that the new design must support person-to-person relationships.

Some Dos and Don’ts to think about

Don’t try to out do your competitors in your high-tech savviness. While it is positive to take the lead in the war of the high-tech toys, it’s important to not take the approach of technology for technology’s sake.

How about providing free Wi-Fi to members that allows them to continue using their own personal devices. Or, instead of providing magazines and newspapers to members while they wait for an appointment, provide an iPad for browsing.

Many members are not comfortable with discussing their finances in an open space. Integrate private offices into the new branch design, creating a comfortable environment for member engagement.

Think about integrating a video wall into the new branch design. This video wall will showcase dynamic motion graphic content ranging from brand-building messages, to local scenery, to current campaign promotions.

An informal community meeting space would be a positive addition to the high touch design.

The goal of the high tech, high touch branch is to simplify the customer experience and allow time for staff and the members to really connect. The new technological features will allow staff to spend additional time finding solutions to meet member financial requirements.

As you consider the new branch design, it is important that you become a true financial partner to your member. Make sure to transform the branch from just a servicing environment to a consultative atmosphere where you can collaborate with the members to determine their needs and recommend financial solutions.

The core functions of the credit union of the future is about anticipating the member’s needs and presenting simple and targeted promotions using traditional and digital solutions. Combining technology, innovation and the human touch will play a key role in the branch of tomorrow.

What does the branch of tomorrow look like? It would be open and accessible to all, combining virtual sales and promotion into one space. It would be staffed with employees that could guide the member to smart financial decisions while making their banking entertaining and captivating.

Most importantly, when creating that high-tech, high touch branch, I have learned that it is the employees that make the difference, not the technology.