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It’s Personal: Who Needs Mobile?
Monday, July 13, 2015 6:25 AM

Who Needs Mobile?

In a market as pervasive as mobile, it’s impossible to nail down a meaningful demographic. Are mobile users, as we are often told, young? Saying so excludes the millions and millions of mobile devotees who are various shades of older—parents, for example, or midcareer achievers.

In reference to a recent global survey on retail banking, Cisco made a similar observation. “Segmenting by age is an outmoded strategy and could alienate valuable sets of customers,” said Cisco Vice President Joseph Bradley. “By focusing on digital behavior (which more and more transcends age), banks can better implement Internet-of-Everything-enabled concepts that resonate with each customer.”

What are the individualized drivers that make mobile money management a necessity in 2015? Here are four personality types and their specific mobile needs:

  1. Pay Today—Or Else

Profile: People who need to pay right now. Their bills are due today. They owe friends for their share of the last 12 dinners out.

Typical quote: “Mother’s Day is today?” 

Pro: These are gateway users to new payment methods like P2P. Anything that facilitates easier, timelier payments is appreciated and used. And don’t get us started on real-time payments; these folks need real-time yesterday.

Pitfall: With a relatively high desperation factor at any given time, these folks are especially susceptible to alternative payments. Failure to provide speedy, convenient mobile payments could mean ceding ground to apps like Venmo and Square.

  1. The App-Licator 

Profile: Uses apps for everything. Unable to run even smallest component of life without the aid of an app.

Typical quote: “An app that tells me where my car is in a pirate voice? Yeah buddy!”

Pro: These users are very likely to download your app. Do you offer multiple apps? They’ll try those too.

Pitfall: More clutter means they’re less likely to actually use—or keep—your app. Catering to app addicts actually means taking a less-is-more approach. Make sure your app is useful, with power-packed features and everyday utility. Then, even if they find 14 other apps that do the same things, they might stick to yours on a regular basis.

  1. Help Wanted

Profile: People who need information and advice in a mobile format and who will switch financial institutions to get it.

Stats: 75 percent of global respondents to Cisco’s retail banking survey say they would move their money for one or more of these five items:

  • virtual financial advice
  • virtual mortgage advice
  • automated investment advice
  • mobile branch recognition
  • mobile payments 

Pro: Delivering mobile and automated digital help is a relationship builder and highly consistent with the credit union promise. Translate the member-focused approach into a digital experience, and you have a big winner.

Pitfall: Achieving this goal isn’t dead simple. However, if you don’t figure out how to bridge the gap between a personal in-person relationship with members and your digital experience, that personal connection is going to fade out. Look for ways to integrate, so that your experience across all channels is consistent and real.

  1. Security Blanket

Profile: People who worry incessantly about security. Some won’t use mobile for fear of security problems. But many use mobile in spite of concerns about security.

Stats: 46 percent of people who don’t use a mobile wallet cite security as the reason, according to ThriveAnalytics. 

Pro: Many people who are holding back on using mobile to manage their money actually want to use it. They need reassurance—and actual security—to encourage them to take the leap. If you can offer them a secure experience and leading-edge security products, they may even trust you.

Pitfall: You can cater to a security-phobic consumer segment with very little mobile capability, because they’re easily dissuaded from using mobile. But in the long run, mobile is hard to resist. And if you don’t offer secure mobile products—and you aren’t perceived as secure across the board—your long-term position is tenuous at best. Trust is everything.

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CO-OP Financial Services is an endorsed business partner of Credit Union Resources, Inc., and an industry leader in access and convenience products for credit unions. With over 30 years of credit union service, CO-OP connects credit union members to their accounts through network services, payment processing, e-commerce, CO-OP shared branching, and call center services. A total of 3,500 member credit unions, 30 million cardholders, nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs, more than 5,000 shared branch locations, and 200 million-plus monthly transactions make CO-OP Financial Services the nation's largest credit union service organization offering resources that enable deeper member engagement to help credit unions prosper. To learn more visit