The following post is part of a series of blogs written by MeridianLink Partners who will be attending the MeridianLink LIVE! User Forum in May 2022. To learn more about the event, click here.
Over the past few years, credit unions have faced challenges when it comes to attracting new members. Contactless payment technology quickly became the new norm during the pandemic, and many businesses, especially those in the finance sectors, have been scrambling to implement this new technology to keep up with the needs of their clients.
What does that mean for Credit Unions in 2022?
More and more people are using their smartphones for everything from banking to commerce, so it’s only natural they expect the same level of convenience from their credit union. As a credit union, you are continuously looking for ways to increase member satisfaction while reducing business costs. When it comes to the needs of your members and your business, it makes sense to consider adding a mobile solution to your suite of payment options.
What the Numbers Say
Consumers have always steered toward convenience. That’s why innovation continues to be the number one goal of any business in the banking and finance industries. Mobile wallets and mobile banking have been the main focus for most credit unions since the start of the pandemic. PYMNTS.com’s Credit Union Innovation Study indicated that 26.7 percent of people interested in switching banks were geared towards mobile wallets and payment options. In comparison, 35.4 percent were interested in mobile banking capabilities in general. These figures make a strong argument for decision-makers to start focusing on the member experience and how they can cater to an audience primed and ready for mobile solutions.
That same study stated that physical locations are “no longer important to credit union members. Digital-first services now drive member retention. The pandemic has radically changed members’ banking needs, and this shift is reflected in the types of services that members expect their CUs to provide.” This sums up the expectations of credit union trends in 2022 quite well, in our opinion.
This kind of flexibility does one of two things. Mobile technology, especially customizable user-friendly interfaces, increases brand loyalty and makes your business sticky in the market. Automating payment processes through mobile solutions also reduces costs and the time spent by your staff assisting members.
These numbers seem to skew exponentially as the demographic gets younger. “31% of bridge millennial (ages 26-41) credit union members would at least consider leaving their CUs to bank with competitors that offered more innovative products and services.”
Why Accept Mobile Payments
Keeping up with newer audiences and building your member base is always top-of-mind. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds with trends, but the numbers above make a good case for investing in newer mobile technologies. A few other points that could be made are:
More than half of Americans now use mobile banking, and a whopping 84% do at least some shopping on their smartphones. This means that your members are more likely to have access to the funds they need when it’s time to make a payment – even if you’re not open. In addition, with instant notifications and no long wait times, your members have the freedom to make a payment when it’s most convenient for them.
Reduced business costs:
As briefly mentioned above, one of the main benefits of accepting mobile payments is that it helps reduce your expenses. The majority of credit unions spend on average approximately $875,000 a year in cash handling costs alone! By accepting digital payments through mobile solutions, you’ll save money and offer new benefits for members who are used to the convenience of paying with their phones.
Mobile banking is one of the few areas that can grow as your institution does because of the rapid scalability of online technology. Whether you’re looking to accept payments over the phone, through IVR, or SMS/text, adding these channels to your list of payment options allows you to offload the burden from your staff and keep up with the exponential growth of your business.
BillingTree Can Help
It’s clear that credit unions should consider adding mobile payments as a payment option for both the convenience and safety it provides for members. In addition, mobile banking is already popular among today’s younger generations, so why not offer them an easy way to make on-time, low-cost payments?