Online and mobile bill-pay an opportunity for CUs.
By Jason O’Brien
Sponsored by SWBC
More and more, financial institutions are focusing on becoming service-oriented businesses. This means credit unions are placing a greater emphasis on serving their members, which translates to meeting or anticipating member needs. One of those needs includes providing payment solutions.
To get a better understanding of what consumers truly want and need from their financial institutions’ banking platforms and mobile applications, we talked with at least a dozen financial institutions and conducted consumer focus groups and interviews. We found that 35 to 45 percent of their account holders are not leveraging their bill-pay solutions today. So, at any one financial institution, a sizable portion of account holders either rejected bill-pay or never got engaged. This is an opportunity for credit unions, especially as they evaluate their services to ensure they are offering effective options to members.
People today expect to be able to choose from a variety of payment options based on their unique needs. According to Pew Research, 64 percent of American adults own a smartphone and 57 percent have used their smartphone to bank online. Consumers expect effective and efficient payment services across whichever channel they choose, whether that’s in person, over the phone, or on a computer, tablet or smartphone app. Consumers tend to hold funds in accounts across multiple financial institutions. Not having a payment solution that is representative of all the funds they have is an inhibitor to paying their bills, including their loans, on time.
In the “always-on,” connected world we live in, people want the least-fun task in their monthly routine—paying bills—to be as painless as possible. Offering payment solutions for members beyond the traditional and allowing for payments via a smartphone app and through third-party systems is a growing trend for financial institutions to gain back their share of engaged users. You want a credit union-wide payments strategy that allows for consistent, high-quality, intuitive service on all fronts.
Jason O’Brien is SVP/payments for CUES Supplier member SWBC, San Antonio, Texas. Check out the company’s latest ebook, Meeting Consumer Self-Serve Payment Demand, to learn valuable and timely information on current trends in the payment industry, tips on how to meet regulator and compliance demands, and specific steps your credit union can take to engage with your digital users.
CUES School of IT Leadership teaches how to sort out the changing technology landscape. Join us in September in Orlando.