Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dive in to Mobile at Your Credit Union


If your credit union is still dabbling or just tipping its metaphorical toes into the world of mobile, it’s time to dive in. With just a quick look at my Twitter newsfeed this morning I came across several articles and stats focused on the importance of mobile – mobile banking, mobile advertising and mobile data. Here’s a brief look:
  • Mobile Banking
    Digital security leader Gemalto released study results showing that (no surprise) young people love mobile banking. 77% of the young adults surveyed (ages 25-34) use online banking services with 42% using them five times or a month or more. And 27% never visit their branch in person anymore.
  • Mobile Advertising
    The number of smartphone and tablet users keeps increasing – and so does mobile advertising dollars. Net U.S. mobile advertising is expected to increase to $28.48 billion this year, according to eMarketer. Also, mobile search ads will be $12.85 billion by the end of the year, which is over 50% of the search market. Interestingly, Android users are more likely than iOS users to click on mobile app ads, according to a Kenshoo study.
  • Mobile Data
    A revealing way to gauge mobile usage is by reviewing data traffic. A Cisco Systems study found that mobile data traffic grew by 70% in 2014. Cisco projects that smart devise will increase their share of mobile connections by nearly 127% between 2014 and 2019.

Wondering what these statistics mean for your credit union? 

  • That your members don’t just want access to mobile banking – they require it.
  • That if you’re not using your mobile app or site to cross-sell your credit union’s products and services, you’re missing a vital and growing opportunity.
  • That mobile usage is only going up and now is the time to jump in with both feet before it’s too late!

CU Solutions Group can help your credit union with its mobile needs. Whether it’s a mobile app, mobile site or a comprehensive mobile banking app that offers cross-selling opportunities, we have what you need. Contact us today.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Take a Closer Look at Your Credit Union's Job Descriptions

by Joyce Marsh, SPHR, Sr. HR Consultant

Job descriptions. They’re something every credit union human resource person and manager know are important, but keeping them current and pertinent can sometimes slip through the cracks.

Having the most accurate job descriptions for your employees not only ensures everyone is on the same page on duties and responsibilities, but they can help protect your credit union from facing disability discrimination claims.

Six Steps to Assist

If your credit union has at least 15 employees, you need to ensure that your job descriptions correctly identify what all the essential job functions are of each position – and list any specific tools or resources needed. Here are six steps to  help ensure that all of your current and potential employees have the most comprehensive job descriptions:
  1. Collect Information and Analyze
    Why not start at the source? Interview your employees and managers about the various positions. Use questionnaires. You might even want to take some time to casually observe your employees in their positions to confirm that your descriptions are correct.
  2. Use Visual Aids
    If an employee needs specific resources or equipment for their job, include a photo of what they are. Or, depending on the position, you could videotape the individual performing their job.
  3. Identify Hazards
    Include any hazardous exposure disclosures that safety laws require.
  4. Describe the Environment
    Is the position indoors or outdoors? Is there easy access from one floor to the next (stairs and/or elevator)?
  5. Mental and Physical
    Be sure the job description includes employer expectations outlining mental and physical requirements, education and training plus any attendance or schedule requirements.
  6. Making Distinctions
    As with anything, there’s a difference between what’s required and what would be “nice to have.” There’s no place in a job description for the latter. Only include what an employee needs to get the job done.

Writing Those Descriptions

When it comes to sitting down and actually writing the job descriptions, you’ll want to: use simple and concise language with active verbs; try not to include any industry jargon that outsiders may not comprehend; use a consistent format throughout all your job descriptions; and have supervisors and employees verify the information. Combine these and the six steps above and you’ll have comprehensive job descriptions to keep everyone on the same page at your credit union and the Americans with Disabilities Act satisfied.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spreading the Word about Your Mobile Banking App - Part 2

By Amy Neale

This is the second half of a two-part blog.

The best approach to take when promoting your credit union’s mobilebanking app? A holistic one. It needs to fire on all channels of member engagement for the greatest impact:

  • Website It’s not enough to just mention you offer mobile banking, create a whole page on your website stating that you have it, how to get it and how to use it.
  • Social mediaWhatever social media platforms your credit union uses, post a reminder about once a week that you have mobile banking with links to the app stores. Most people check their Facebook status, etc. on their smartphones, so it’s a natural place to tell them about your app.
  • Email and direct mailDon’t just email your members about your mobile banking, use a descriptive postcard to get the word out.
  • In-branch – From lobby posters and frontline staff to your branch ATMs, these are all valuable channels to let members know about your app and how easy it is to use.
  • Video What better way to walk your members through how to get and use your mobile app than a straightforward video tutorial?

The key to successfully promoting a mobile banking app is to take a comprehensive approach and not stop once it’s launched. 

If you need assistance at any step of the way, CU Solutions Group can help the credit union develop its own mobile banking app as well as a marketing plan to spread the word.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Spreading the Word about Your Mobile Banking App - Part 1

by Amy Neale

Below is part one of a two-part blog. Check out next week's blog for the rest!

Has your credit union jumped on the mobile banking bandwagon yet? According to a recent study from Malauzai Software, 65 percent of credit unions nationwide have a mobile banking app in the Apple App Store. That’s compared to only 51 percent of banks that do.

With the average consumer looking at their cellphone 150 times per day and mobile Internet usage surpassing desktop usage last year, it’s inevitable that the percentage of mobile banking apps in the App Store will increase exponentially in the years to come. Whether you’re among the 65 percent that already offer a mobile banking app or have one penciled into your 2015 strategy, there’s far more to offering an app to your members than just putting it in the app stores.

A COMPETE study found that 57 percent of U.S. consumers use mobile banking features with 35 percent of them accessing it once a week according to Millennial Media. For those consumers that don’t already use it, a Federal Reserve study discovered that 75 percent responded “I don’t see any reason to use mobile banking” and 17 percent stating “It’s too difficult to use.”

Changing the Tide

At face value, these objections may seem like extra speed bumps to conquer on the road to mobile banking. But it pays to be proactive and look at these comments as valuable insight into the mind of a credit union member. The takeaway should be that you need to better show the value proposition of your mobile banking and better explain how simple it is to use.

Onboarding members to mobile banking has historically been an Achilles heel for credit unions, as has seeing mobile banking as the perfect cross-selling channel. Mobile banking opens the door to expanding member relationships and fostering member loyalty by cross-selling mobile banking engagement services. If your credit union implements a solid onboarding process for new checking accounts, it can improve member engagement, curtail attrition and set the tone for cultivating even stronger member relations.

Most credit unions focus the marketing of their mobile banking on their websites and in their branches. While this is a good start, this is missing the mark by not looking at the big marketing picture. Recent research by Maxymiser found that U.S. consumers trust the promotional content they see on their financial institution’s website or mobile site enough to click on it. When you specifically target the message to their needs, the odds of them clicking increases: 25 percent were very likely to click, 28 percent likely and 30 percent somewhat likely.

Check out next week's blog to find out the best approach to take when promoting your credit union’s mobile banking.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Top 10 Credit Union Website Must-haves for 2015

With all of the technological advances that keep coming at us, it's hard to know what ones to focus on or what ones are best for your credit union's website. We thought we'd sift through the current website trends and share the top ten with you:

1. Responsive Design Required

Having a responsive website is no longer a “nice to have” it’s a “must have” for any credit union. According to Global Web Index, while 91% of Internet users surf using a desktop or laptop, 80% use smart phones and 47% use tablets. That means you never know how people will be reaching your site, you have to make sure it looks good whether it’s a computer or iPhone.

2. Typography and Fonts Take Front Stage

Typography and fonts are for more than just plain text these days. Websites are using different typefaces to better express moods, brand personality and can even replace images if done right. Plus, it can cost your credit union much less than using stock images or paying for custom graphics.

3. Scrolling Not Clicking

Clicking from page to page on your website is so 2014 (or earlier!). Check out the newer websites from innovative brands and you’ll discover you have to scroll to view their website, not click. Not only is scrolling easier to navigate, it’s more fun and intuitive – plus you have more room for creative page design. Go one step further and add parallax design to give the images more depth and opens the door to creativity further.

4. Bigger Background Images

While lots of white space is still desirable on websites, so are large background images. There’s no better way to position your credit union on first impression than by making a big statement with a big image. It immediately sets the tone for your credit union’s personality. And be innovative with the images. Don’t just use images of smiling families, piggy banks, cars or houses. Try images that more personally represent your credit union or the community it serves.

5. It’s in the Cards

Cards are more than what you can get at Hallmark or a small piece of plastic to shop with. The most well-known example of website cards are what you find on Pinterest. Cards are a fun, graphic way to be able to fit a lot of visual content on one page that will easily work on various platforms.

6. Declutter with Ghost Buttons

When a website button not a typical website button? When it’s created to be a ghost website button. They use the same amount of website territory but in a much more minimal, less intrusive way. Want to make them more interesting? Animate them or have them change color when clicked on.

7. Video and More Video

From YouTube to Vine to Instagram Video, the moving image is growing in popularity – even if it’s sometimes shrinking in length. Online video is getting easier to create and upload. Not to mention that visitors to your website will stick around longer and you’ll more easily reach a younger demographic. Whether you use intro, promotional, instructional or special event videos, they’re an easy way to bring your website into 2015.

8. Putting Digital Branding First

When potential members are researching credit unions, what do they see first? Not your branch or marketing materials – chances are they’ll come to your website first. As they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Your website is the perfect place to create and position your digital brand.

9. Be a Storyteller

We’re not talking the “Once upon a time” kind of story. We’re talking the story of your credit union, its members, its community and its brand. The fonts and images you use to the website’s overall layout all add to your story. Is it saying what you want it to say? Whatever story you tell, just make sure it’s something your members (or potential members) can relate to.

10. The Website Revolution

The future of websites isn’t all website-related. (Confusing, I know.) Think about it … When you shop online at stores you frequent, check your account balance, look for coupons, etc. do you use a website or an app? I know I tend to use apps more, and so do many of your members. Sure, responsive design helps reach mobile members, but a credit union app can complement your site and enhance your members’ online experience. Just make sure your app offers more than just mobile banking and something your website does not. 

Need helping bringing out the best in your credit union's website? CU Solutions Group has the website talent, insight and tools to make it happen. Contact us today to learn more.