Mobile On My Mind

This week, explores different approaches credit unions are taking in the online and mobile realms.

Applications for car loans and credit cards are an easy port over to the mobile environment. Mortgages, not so much.

That’s what some tech-savvy credit unions are finding as they build out their mobile presence into a holistic business enterprise.

From Washington-based BECU to North Carolina’s Coastal Federal Credit and so much in between such as BCU in Vernon Hills, IL credit unions are transforming into next-generation mobile financial service providers.Learn more this week in Honey, I Shrunk The Credit Union.

Build it and they will come even if you haven’t yet told them it’s there. That was the experience of Utah’s America First Credit Union after building a mobile app that supports five kinds of loan applications including auto and RV, signature, lines of credit, and credit card on Android, iPhone, and iPad platforms. The credit union also runs a cards rewards program through the app.

Although not wholly attributable to the app, America First’s ROA of 1.66% in the first quarter of 2015 was the eighth highest among the 237 billion-dollar credit unions nationally, according to data from Callahan & Associates. Learn more this week in One App To Bind Them All.

Mobile security is an opportunity wrapped up in a problem. That’s because it isn’t just one more link in the transaction chain like a new branch or a unified fleet of ATMs. Rather, it’s a conglomeration of hundreds of different devices from different manufacturers, including both smartphone and tablets, all of which are further modified and customized by the end user.

Consumers love these tools in part because of that customization, yet for a credit union that delivers services through these channels, the environment poses significant implications for compliance and cybersecurity.

When you’re dealing with PCs, they’re basically the same regardless of manufacturer, says Kris Kovacs, senior vice president of operations at Coastal Federal Credit Union. But each mobile device can be different, so we have to test different configurations between the device and any native apps we release.

Learn more this week in Banking’s Newest Compliance Enigma Comes With A Data Plan.

The Apple Watch is here. Long live the Apple Watch! Or is it just a fad?

Technology is developing faster than credit unions can respond, and determining what new mobile touchpoints are here to stay can be tough. As Joe Mecca, marketing and communications strategy manager for Coastal Federal Credit Union, explains, some of the offerings in this space are merely fads, but access to data and services is not. Not making mobile-based innovation a priority, he says, would be like a frog sitting in a pot with the water slowly boiling. Learn more this week in What’ll They Think Of Next?

Happy Reading.

July 6, 2015

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