SAN FRANCISCO (7/2/14)--Credit unions are beginning to realize the importance of mobile lending, but many haven't figured out how it fits into their strategic plans, a CUNA Mutual Group lending specialist told attendees of the Credit Union National Association's America's Credit Union Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.
Before getting into mobile, a credit union should determine if their goals and strategy are related to mobile, advises Robert Israelite, CUNA Mutual Group lending and compliance specialist. Israelite spoke during one of the Discovery breakout sessions at Credit Union National Association's 2014 America's Credit Union Conference Tuesday. (CUNA Mutual Group Photo)
"A credit union has to go back to its vision, values and mission in determining its future in mobile. Mobile is a strategy," Robert Israelite, CUNA Mutual Group lending and compliance specialist said. "It has to start with why you are in business. Before getting into mobile, a credit union should determine if their goals and strategy are related to mobile. If there's no purpose to be on mobile, it's worthless because it has to be connected to a strategy."
Israelite said if a credit union's vision is to provide personalized, one-on-one, face-to-face consultative services to a segment-based group, they may determine they don't need mobile. "But, if a credit union wants to be a full-service provider to members in the member's delivery channel of choice, then the credit union needs to have a mobile-first mindset across their entire business," he added.
Many veteran CEOs have expressed disbelief that members are applying for loans on mobile devices, and boards are even further removed, Israelite said during his Discovery breakout session.
"Most credit union staff have never applied for a loan in a member channel, and that's a problem," Israelite said. "They have internal ways of doing it. Staff need to put themselves in the shoes of a 'real member' or potential member who doesn't have strong ties to the credit union."
Credit unions that decide mobile is essential to their business need to know and experience every online member-facing channel. Israelite urged attendees to "go through every link on your site, and if you don't control it, talk to business partners who do to get it optimized for mobile. You need to understand what your members are experiencing."
If a credit union determines mobile serves its mission and value, "you'd better get moving because you're already late to the party," Israelite added. He said credit unions late into the game have already lost more members than they'll ever know about. Those members, he added, have moved on, and they'll never come back.
"We lose a credit union every day with the merger pace continuing," he continued. "There is urgency if your credit union has determined it needs to adopt mobile but hasn't yet. You are setting up your legacy for your credit union to be around. If you miss this, you won't fulfill your legacy."