Maximizing Mobile Solutions

hands interacting with a mobile phone at night
Stephanie Schwenn Sebring Photo
Contributing Writer
Fab Prose & Professional Writing

3 minutes

5 steps to take to help minimize friction, produce value and drive habitual engagement

David Dean, SVP/marketing solutions & business development for CUES Supplier member CU Solutions Group, Livonia, Michigan, says credit unions are really in the same boat as everyone else when it comes to mobile: “Users today complain of app fatigue and express less and less interest in trying (and especially downloading) new applications. The goal is to minimize friction, produce value, deploy simple (yet beautiful) user interfaces and sticky solutions that drive habitual engagement.”

To maximize these solutions, Dean recommends that credit unions:

  1. Put the member's needs first, always. “Your credit union has all sorts of strategic and operational goals, including a desire to interact with members via mobile,” he notes, “but those goals have to take a backseat until your member gets his or her value up front.”
  2. Deliver contextual value. A mobile device is different from a computer or tablet in that it carries with it an “implied duty” to provide value when and where that particular value is needed. The device is smart; it knows where it is, what time it is, and remembers the user’s past behavior. The user expects the applications on their devices to leverage these unique advantages and deliver relevant value as a result.
  3. Consider a web app instead of a native app. Web apps can be accessed via any web browser and technology enhancements over the last couple of years enable web apps to do virtually anything a native app can do, explains Dean. “And unlike native apps, there is no need to download a web app from one of the stores, which is more challenging to get users to do. Also consider password-less authentication if you can; minimizing this friction is key to success.”
  4. Streamline all applications. Today’s monolithic applications (that include everything plus the kitchen sink) can overwhelm the user and induce analysis paralysis. “Instead, think of your mobile app like a marketing message—with a simple, clear call to action,” adds Dean. “Studies show that users decide on an app within the first three to five seconds of usage. If you haven’t clearly shown how your app will improve the user’s life in a meaningful way during that window, you can kiss the hoped-for interaction goodbye.”
  5. Finally, consider a wallet application. Credit unions notoriously want all their mobile functionality integrated into a single mobile app—and for good reason when it comes to challenges like support, marketing and driving downloads. But Dean says that at the same time members are showing a lot of interest in emerging fintech apps—like P2P, fractional-share investing, card controls, gamified savings, goal incentives, direct messaging, mobile payments and robo financial advice.

“And much like a physical wallet makes it easy to tote around payments products and related items, a digital mobile wallet app enables you to provide easy access to a host of diverse offerings in a single container, without needing to pack all that functionality and UX (user experience) into an intimidating or ‘monolithic’ mobile banking app.”

A mobile-first strategy has never been more important, offers Dean, and credit unions should perform a strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats analysis on their current mobile offerings. “See where you can improve during this time of innovation and opportunity; then seek flexible and maybe even atypical partnerships to get you there.” cues icon

Stephanie Schwenn Sebring established and managed the marketing departments for three CUs and served in mentorship roles before launching her business. As owner of Fab Prose & Professional Writing, she assists CUs, industry suppliers, and any company wanting great content and a clear brand voice. Follow her on Twitter @fabprose.

CUES Learning Portal