Ensure Your CU Is As Smart As Members' Cell Phones

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ONTARIO, Calif.-As mobile phones have gotten "smarter," so must credit unions in providing services via those phones, said one person.

That's the outlook from Nathan Rogers, VP of marketing for FSCC, who noted the recent announcement that the iPhone will be coming to Verizon will mean millions more consumers-including credit union members and potential members-will be wanting to do at least some of their banking on their beloved smartphones.

However, Rogers warned, the old saying "If you build it they will come," is definitely not the case with mobile banking or its sister product, remote deposit capture. Therefore, credit unions should be careful in determining how or if they will enter the mobile world, he said.

"Shared mobile banking platforms versus full-scale deployments could really make the difference for credit unions looking to dip their toes in and test the waters. I do not believe mobile banking will actually change members' use of other channels all that much in the near future, but it is a product that has been proven to work as both an effective marketing and retention tool-just look at BofA."

Retention "really is the key this year," Rogers continued. He believes CUs have made some "big strides" in membership growth over the last couple of years due mainly to bailout backlash, but added credit unions cannot afford to let those gains erode as consumer anger subsides and "new technology fever" takes over again.

According to Rogers, FSCC's principal method for helping its credit union clients grow is through innovation. He said the company is continually looking for new ways to collaborate with like-minded organizations to bring low-cost implementations of high-profile technologies, including social savings, mobile deposits, and advanced function ATMs and kiosks to its partners.

"We are the provider of the first, and still the only, national shared call center providing member service for credit unions who can't justify operating an individually branded 24/7/365 call center," he said. "We now offer this service to any credit union participating in shared branching. In 2011 we plan to add to that collaborative innovation model for credit union technologies by adding several new shared access products for credit unions to offer to their members.

"It is our goal," he continued, "to help small and mid-size credit unions compete with the big banks through collaboration. We believe collaboration is one of the greatest credit union differentiators in the financial services marketplace."

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