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Catalyst: All CUs--Even Smaller Ones--Should Move On Mobile
PLANO, Texas (8/20/13)--All credit unions should move forward with a mobile strategy, because 32% of U.S. adults now bank using their mobile phones, said Brad Ganey, chief operating officer of Catalyst Corporate FCU in Plano, Texas.
Ganey made his remarks to about 50 credit union leaders at a recent Shapiro Summit in Ontario, Calif. The summit, sponsored by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, provides education for credit unions with assets of $50 million and less.
Ganey's presentation featured a case study of a $35 million Texas credit union that launched mobile banking and mobile capture services to its membership in April. After four months, the credit union is experiencing a monthly growth rate in active users of 42.2%.
Ganey mentioned key considerations the credit union faced in its due diligence process, including determining whether the service would align with the credit union's overall strategy, Ganey said.
"The first question the credit union had to answer for its board was whether its membership really needed mobile banking," he said. "The CEO made the case effectively that without mobile, the credit union was not likely to attract new members in the 50-and-under age range and would risk losing current members anxious to take advantage of mobile banking services."
Other strategic decisions, Ganey said, focused on the cost effectiveness of mobile. "Part of this credit union's decision-making process was to determine whether mobile banking could serve as an alternative to branch expansion or to spending $20,000 to upgrade to an image-enabled ATM," he said. "For many members, their cell phones never leave their sides. By incorporating mobile capture into this service, these members are able to deposit checks at any time, without locating a branch or an ATM."
Ganey offered several strategies for "mobilizing" credit unions:
  • Understand your membership--use frontline staff;
  • Establish buy-in from your board through industry and mobile usage data;
  • Establish baseline requirements and longer-term goals for functionality;
  • Ensure alignment with overall strategy and philosophy (member demographics, branch and growth strategies);
  • Set vendor selection criteria (their vision and yours, integration with other systems, training and ongoing support, implementation assistance, analytics, cost); and
  • Determine if mobile can be justified financially (with revenue and/or growth opportunities, expense reallocation and expense reduction).


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