How Not To End Up Killed By Killer Apps

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LAS VEGAS-Mobile banking is more than just the "next big thing" in financial services. Rudy Pereira believes it will change the environment and the manner in which credit unions offer products and services to their members.

Pereira, SVP of operations and technology for $7.2-billion Alliant CU in Chicago, also serves as chair of the CUNA Technology Council. During the council's annual meeting here, he warned CUs they can no longer ignore mobile banking.

"If they don't have plans in the next six to 12 months, they will be behind the curve," he declared. "Credit unions will need to offer mobile banking in the next 24 months."

The Killer App Of 2011

Mobile deposits are going to be the killer app of 2011, he predicted, because "anyone who can take a picture with a cell phone can deposit a check. This is a powerful metaphor for crossing all age groups. My mom has no problem taking a picture with her mobile phone, so once you show someone once how to do it, it will change things."

The next step, Periera continued, is for CUs to consider how they will be able to cross-sell effectively after people no longer have to go into branches to deposit checks.

The councils listserv is a "safe place" for CU's to ask questions and learn more about these issues, Periera said, noting that the council also regularly releases white papers, and hosts round tables, webinars and conferences, including one it held at the behest of NCUA. "This was important because credit unions have fallen behind banks on online banking, especially bill pay," Periera said. "Remote deposit capture also was discussed, along with attracting Gen Y."

Another important concept for CUs to keep their eye on as 2010 becomes 2011 is "channel normalization." If a member begins filling out a loan application online and has a question, when he or she telephones the call center there should be no need to start over at the beginning because the information is saved in the member's file.

"This allows members to see all points of contact as one channel," Pereira said.

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