Connect to the Future of Credit Unions with Mobile Banking

There are currently more than 5 billion mobile phone subscribers in the world, with penetration having now surpassed both the number of internet users and television viewers. Moving forward, mobile banking is set to be a natural extension for credit unions and their members. Mobile banking isn’t the new technology—it’s the “now” technology that members expect.

Nearly a decade ago, prior to the smart phone revolution, mobile banking began and ended with short message service (SMS) and text messaging. Today, however, most of the large issuers are already offering mobile banking via text messaging, mobile browsers and downloadable apps for iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones.

In addition, mobile remote deposit capture is gaining traction, especially with JP Morgan Chase’s latest advertising campaign. Today’s consumers want to be connected to their accounts at all times, and demand for these services is continuing to grow. Soon these services will become table stakes in the financial services industry, and credit unions can embrace mobile banking services knowing that they can help meet member needs and enhance relationships.

Much of the ground work has already been laid, and the time is right for consumer adoption. According to Javelin, mobile phone usage is at 84 percent among all consumers, and smartphones are now being used by more than 35 percent of mobile users. One in every four mobile users is downloading at least one app a month to their phones.

Connect with Mobile Payments

The latest buzz in financial services the industry has been centered on mobile payments. Mobile payments cover many different payment types, such as mobile bill pay and person-to-person (p2p) payments, as well as payments made at the point of sale (POS). For now, it appears that most financial institutions, including most credit unions, are focusing on mobile bill pay and p2p payments, and taking more of a “wait-and-see” approach to mobile POS payments.

However, the beginning of 2012 has seen numerous announcements of acquisitions, pilots and initiatives in the mobile POS payments space. With mobile bankers making up 18 percent of all mobile users, this tech-savvy group is poised to be early adopters of new mobile payments.

Earlier this year, Starbucks introduced a downloadable app that enables consumers to use their mobile phone to purchase coffee and other goodies. Their pilot utilizes a closed loop gift card system and 2-D barcodes at the point of sale. While the pilot has been successful in this closed-loop environment, its use of 2-D barcode scanning makes it an impractical solution for most other applications because the penetration of this technology is so low.

As major players in the technological industry are beginning to play in this space as well, the feasibility of 2-D barcode scanning appears to be growing. In recent months there have been several reports that giants Google and Apple are working on incorporating near field communication (NFC) into future phone models, and PayPal is rumored to be building mobile capabilities into its proprietary system. Isis, a mobile payment network joint venture formed by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, also recently opened its model to the networks and has inked deals with Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

With mobile payments expected to globally reach more than $150 billion by the end of 2011, and with a compound annual growth rate of 30 percent, mobile payments are expected to reach more than $556 billion in 2016.

Looking For That ‘Killer App’? Connect With Mobile Remote Deposit Capture

When the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) first launched mobile remote deposit capture, it turned the tables on traditional brick-and-mortar financial institutions, because it allowed USAA to become the financial institution for many of its members. Since then, USAA has seen its deposits go up, membership grow and costs go down.

A study done by the Federal Reserve in 2010 reported that despite growth in remote deposit capture, 87 percent of checks were still physically deposited. With an estimated 23 billion checks being written each year, this represents a huge cost-saving opportunity—especially considering recent information from the Tower Group regarding processing costs. According to the group’s 2010 study, the average cost of processing a transaction at a branch is $3.75. When moved to a self-service transaction at an ATM, the equivalent cost is 60 cents. But the mobile channel is the most cost-effective, averaging just 14 cents.

Consumers seem to be attracted to mobile remote deposit capture as well. According to a recent Javelin report, one-in-four consumers and one-in-two mobile bankers want to skip brick-and-mortar branches and ATMs and use their mobile devices to deposit checks into their accounts.

Offering mobile deposit capture now will position credit unions as industry leaders. For more information about implementing a standalone app to complement existing mobile banking solutions or an all-in-one mobile solution that includes remote deposit capture, contact Strategic Link business partner Card Services for Credit Unions (CSCU) at 888.930.CSCU, ext. 304, or by visiting


Strategic Link is the NWCUA’s wholly-owned service corporation, providing the Association’s member credit unions with exclusive high-quality, competitively-priced products and discounted services. Questions? Contact Sales & Marketing Associate Craig Reed: 206.340.4789,

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