To Link Or Not To Link: Addressing Expectations For Mobile Apps

Multiple apps can help build a singular experience for digitally demanding credit union members.

Now more than ever, members expect their credit union to have robust digital offerings. From online banking to mobile applications and more, digital is the new norm and one of the first avenues members turn to when interacting with their trusted financial provider, leading to a heightened focus on usability for credit unions.

While member tolerance for navigating multiple applications varies, the desire for greater consolidation is there. Before making the decision to consolidate your app into a one-stop shop, credit unions should consider whether the ability to self-serve or having one application is more important.

Linking Across Multiple Apps

The activities and complexity of what your members regularly seek to achieve through your mobile app could help determine the best path forward. The value of multiple apps dedicated to certain activities comes into play when an app is already crowded with capabilities and needed functionality is buried, making it inefficient for users to conduct routine activities.

Leveraging multiple apps requires highlighting how the specific feature set of each app complements core mobile banking functionality. Benefits of multiple apps include the extension of features that create peace of mind for members when managing finances and maintain engagement with the credit union’s products and solutions. In addition, using multiple apps allows credit unions to bring additional features and functions to market sooner, instead of relying on other vendors to develop or integrate. Partnering with a CUSO, fintech, or other provider that can help your credit union embed additional functionality can also provide added value.

It is important to consult with your partners to review options for integration. Integration could mean a SSO (single sign-on) or the use of APIs for native features built into existing apps. Or, it could simply mean connecting, or linking, to an additional application to bring a distinct set of features to your members. This is called app-to-app linking. Credit unions can implement app-to-app linking to achieve the usability and seamlessness members expect from a singular app. Think of it as being similar to the Facebook-to-Messenger experience, but for your credit union app. When combined with biometrics log-in, app-to-app linking can provide a unified log-in and navigation experience across multiple apps at a fraction of the cost of other options.

Connecting To Your Digital Strategy

Finally, make sure all mobile apps and other digital offerings support your overall digital strategy, which should include key focus areas that solve problems internally and externally for members. For example, enabling members to set up travel notices moves that function from the branch or contact center into the member’s hands, reducing internal costs and increasing member satisfaction.

Consider these questions as you explore your overall strategy:

  • Where do members experience friction in their journey with your credit union?
  • How can you drive efficiency internally while empowering members to self-serve?
  • What are your online and digital goals?

Surprisingly, having one app might not ultimately be the answer to all your mobile app needs. Carefully considering these questions will help ensure each solution gets you one step further along the path to meeting your overall goals.

Cindy McGinness is Vice President of Digital Experience at PSCU. She directs PSCU’s initiatives to empower the company’s Owner credit unions with innovative and engaging digital solutions. Cindy leads an experienced team dedicated to delivering PSCU’s B2B and B2C solutions in the mobile and online channels, in addition to online bill payment services.

August 30, 2021

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