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Study CUs lead in mobile satisfaction
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (11/30/12)--Credit unions are at the top of a mobile satisfaction index that measures satisfaction of consumers' experience with apps and websites from credit unions, banks, credit cards and brokerage companies.

Credit unions, measured in aggregate, scored 80 on the 100-point scale of the ForeSee Mobile Satisfaction Index. The results are based on 4,500 consumers' experience with mobile apps and websites of 17 major financial services companies.

Only credit unions met the threshold for "excellent," said ForSee, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based technology-driven customer service analytics firm.

After credit unions, American Express and Wells Fargo each scored 79 in the banking industry section. Also, American Express and Discover topped the credit card industry with the same score, 79.  Charles Schwab, at the top of the brokerage industry, also scored 79.

The overall aggregate score for the financial services index is 77.  Mobile banks and credit unions scored 78; credit cards, 76; and brokerages, 77.

Another key finding:  Apps provided a superior experience when compared with mobile websites.  Apps may be the key to competitive differentiation and growth, said ForeSee. However, it noted all companies have some distance to go before providing a compelling mobile experience. Traditional websites (on personal computers) still provide the best customer experience for financial services companies, ForeSee said.

"As consumers put the power of the Internet in their pockets and purses in record numbers, there is no doubt that the future of customer engagement is mobile," said Eric Feinberg, ForeSee's director of mobile, media and entertainment. "The mobile experience represents the biggest opportunity--and the biggest challenge--for financial services companies because consumers are getting more comfortable managing their finances via mobile devices." He noted that the company that best understands how to meet mobile consumers' needs will succeed, "and that's going to require the right kind of insight. Right now, it's anyone's game.

The study also compared highly satisfied users (those who scored their experience 80 or above) of mobile websites and apps to less satisfied users (69 or below). It found that highly satisfied visitors are more likely to prefer the brand, recommend the mobile channel, use that channel again, or use the mobile channel before any other information resource.

"Apps are an important tool for serving financial services customers, but the mobile website is going to be more important as a mobile channel for serving prospective customers," said Larry Freed, ForeSee president/CEO.  He noted this underlies the importance of measuring customer satisfaction to help improve customers' experience.

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