Even if mobile malware proliferates, says Dye, the mobile platform offers unique, yet cost-effective, opportunities to enlist the members themselves in managing fraud and other risk.
For example, mobile banking apps often feature alert notifications, which send notices or text messages based on criteria the members select. Members can set filters so their app notifies them if they exceed spending limits on certain cards or if their cards are used in unauthorized transactions. Members who limit online purchases to one credit card receive an app notification if someone tries to place an online order in their name with another card.
“If something is happening that doesn’t look familiar, I find out and can respond to it immediately,” explains Dye. “The marketing term we use for it is ‘deputizing your members.’ That serves two purposes, because I’ve kept them informed and I’ve also kept them in a very inexpensive channel, in terms of support. If you can stay in the mobile channel, you can do all this and control your costs.”
Members seem to see and respond to notices on their phones sooner than they would to e-mails or even phone calls, Dye adds. “The interesting thing about mobile is that it’s with most of us most of the time, and we’re all used to using it to take care of things on an immediate basis. We get a piece of information, we respond to it, and we go on with our day.”
This behavior pattern, Gray notes, presents another opportunity. Credit unions can use the same notification features they use for fraud prevention for marketing. Push notices can alert members to falling mortgage rates or car loan specials. If current behaviors bear out in mobile banking, app notices stand to be an effective means of direct communication with members.
Those opportunities aren’t lost on Craig, who’s excited to harness the potential that mobile banking offers for member retention and business growth.
“We’ve been tracking traffic to our site by device,” he says. “I’ve wanted to go mobile for a long time but the members weren’t there. We’re finally seeing the traffic of mobile devices to our site to make it worth the expense to roll it out.”
The credit union’s timeline was controlled more by demand than by risk, Craig explains. “Until now, we didn’t think we’d get enough traffic to make it worth the investment.”
He advises other credit unions to weigh the costs and benefits of adding the technology. But he cautions against holding back on mobile banking out of fear, alone. Even boomers and seniors are using physical branches less, and younger generations are quicker to adopt new technology.
There isn’t a single market that won’t be in the mobile space in the next 10 years, he predicts, “and I seriously doubt it’s going to be something you can ignore forever.”
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