The Harris Poll conducted a survey of more than 1,600 digital banking users at the end of January. They found that 32% of respondents said they are willing to leave their current banking relationship for a better digital experience. While there has been a lot of discussion surrounding mobile banking and all the new conveniences it brings to the credit union industry, it's time to step it up. Simply having a mobile banking app is no longer sufficient. Members want more and more out of their in-app experience but how do you raise the bar? Digital banking has opened the door for credit unions to enjoy efficiencies and cost savings by moving transactions to a self-service medium but it has to be done right.
In fact, a recent study further equated the benefits from a cost savings perspective and how mobile banking apps directly impact a credit union's bottom line. They found that when a member chooses to perform their transaction in-branch, it costs $4 on average to complete, however that same transaction will only cost $0.10 if completed digitally. There is also the obvious appeal to the Gen X and Millennial banking population, who seem to gobble up new tech advances. Despite all these benefits, recent surveys have shown that mobile banking app usage is trending down, with sources citing that members still tend to just use the app mainly for basic tasks such as checking an account balance or viewing transaction history. Data shows that many leave the more intricate transactions for a branch visit.
There have been various reasons noted for this decline but many of the frustrations seem to stem from tasks becoming too complicated to complete and the overall app layout not being user-friendly. To be successful, an app's ability to perform basic transactions is most important, bringing added value to the member and the reason for downloading it in the first place. It needs to be intuitive in accomplishing a task or performing a transaction. Aesthetics and screen simplicity (User Interface) are also important, with visible branding and a layout similar to the credit union's website, adding to the app's credibility and authenticity. With these ideas in mind, here are some of the more commonly reported frustrations with mobile banking apps:
Speed - Apps that quickly accomplish what they are supposed to do have the highest usage and ratings. Apps that time-out or are frequently 'temporarily down for updates' are likely to lose usage. Invest in reliable technology that can handle all the traffic and provide smooth system encounters.
Ease of Use - According to the Harris Poll previously mentioned, 68% of Americans who have used digital banking in the past 12 months were frustrated with the experience. Mobile banking apps need to be user-friendly, with navigation that is easy to understand, and provides clear direction on where to go to accomplish tasks. Logging in should be simple (TouchID) and the app should have the ability to remember devices, simplifying account access.
Fraud Notifications - This is a benefit frequently touted as a reason to use a credit union's app. The ability to be in informed of suspected fraud on your account is a comforting feature. Additionally, it adds a layer of security and protection to member accounts that make them feel like they are in control. However, notifications lose their value when the account owner cannot easily find it within the app, or can't figure out how to set it up.
Statement Access - This is one of the main reasons many users engage their mobile banking app - to see their monthly activity, review recent transactions and check on the status of loans or certificates. Not being able to access statements or having difficulty locating them within the app can leave members discouraged and frustrated.
Bill pay that requires a separate sign-on - Having to sign into a feature when you have already signed into the app defeats the app's convenience. While this is probably done because a third party is linked to the mobile app, there is also a way to offer a simplified sign-on. Check with your mobile banking provider to see if they offer a Single Sign-On (SSO) or a whisper integration that passes the user's verified credentials from the initial sign-on to the 3rd-party service, in this case, billpay.
RDC acceptance rate - Remote Deposit Check has become one of the basic tasks members have come to rely on, especially small business owners, enabling them to deposit funds directly into their account using their mobile device. Though the initial days of offering this capability saw an increase in associated fraud, measures have been taken to prevent double-dipping on these checks. Some credit unions now struggle with the acceptance rate of check images. No member wants to waste time trying having check images being rejected due to the poor quality the check image detection software. Ask your mobile banking provider what their RDC acceptance rate is. A good rate should be above 85% percent. Additionally, train your members to use the remote deposit feature in a well-lighted room with a consistent or solid background to the check.
There's no question mobile banking is here to stay, bringing convenience and efficiency to your members and their financial needs. Ensure they are getting the most out of your mobile app by providing the best technology possible.