Mobile-phone banking is providing consumers yet another option to manage their personal finances. According to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Board, nearly half of all smartphone owners nationwide had accessed a banking application or mobile website in the past year. Although online desktop banking remains prevalent, the gap with mobile users is reportedly narrowing. Credit unions like Randolph-Brooks FCU (RBFCU) are seizing the opportunity to fully leverage mobile banking.
In this edition of the LoneStar Leaguer, Sonya McDonald, senior vice president of planning and market development at the Universal City-based credit union, shares their experience with mobile banking.
Question: How has mobile banking helped the credit union differentiate and build its brand?
McDonald: Our focus on mobile banking has made RBFCU a leader, not just in South Central Texas, but throughout the financial industry. RBFCU’s tagline is “Save Time. Save Money. Earn Money.” and the mobile application helps our members achieve those goals and manage their finances anytime, anywhere.
Question: How is mobile banking helping the credit union to cultivate relationships with members?
McDonald: Mobile banking gives us another touch point to engage with members. The average consumer has their mobile device with them all the time – it’s the first thing they look at in the morning and one of the last things they check before they go to sleep at night. We want to make sure their access to their credit union is just as convenient, intuitive and instantaneous as the other mobile apps they download.
Question: Mobile apps have been called the new “network TV” – how effective has mobile app advertising been for the credit union?
McDonald: Our mobile apps have been very attractive to members, and they provide unique services like remote deposit that attract members. While online banking is expected by most consumers, a convenient, engaging app is an attractive and still-unique benefit that draws interest from members and non-members alike.
Question: Some consumers worry about the security of mobile banking, how does the credit union alleviate those fears?
McDonald: We remind members that the safety and security of their assets and information is our highest priority. We employ the same stringent security measures on our mobile banking sites that we do on our traditional site, so that our members can feel just as safe accessing their accounts through their mobile devices as they do through their traditional computers or their branch visits.
Question: Overall, how has your mobile app helped grow members, expand product service offerings and generate more loans?
McDonald: First, our mobile app strengthens member loyalty, because it gives them convenience in their daily business dealings. Our members are busy, and we strive to make financial management something that integrates seamlessly into their day, instead of a headache. Our members can make deposits, transfer funds, view balances, and more from our RBFCU Mobile app.
To answer the second part of this question, members who use our app also receive RBFCU-related advertisement. We use in-app ads that give members information about products that may fit their needs, and then give them the opportunity to add services to their accounts or to apply for the loans or credit cards they desire. As we create awareness among our members, we’re also increasing their loyalty by giving them seamless, hassle-free options to embrace our products and services.