Having an Online Application Doesn’t Mean You’re Accommodating Smartphone/Tablet Users

Consumers continue to migrate from desktop and laptop computers to mobile internet devices to do their banking. If you want these devices to increase loan traffic and non-interest income—in addition to simple account queries and transfers—it will take more than basic online loan applications to get that done.

Consider these strategies for making the most of lending opportunities that come to your credit union through smartphones and tablet computers:

Offer loan applications formatted for mobile Web

Take a close look at your online loan applications on an iPhone or iPad screen. Users of these—and a quickly growing array of similar mobile devices—are looking for online services formatted for their device’s screen size and operating system. An iPhone screen is roughly one-tenth the size of a standard laptop screen. Users should be able to read your applications clearly and navigate through them easily.

Present payment protection options upfront

Members applying for a loan via a mobile device should have the same opportunity to protect their loans as any other eligible applicant. This is an important source of financial security and peace of mind for members, and an important source of non-interest income for your credit union.

The most effective way to present payment protection options is to quote monthly payments that include the premium amount, with an explanation that the products are voluntary.

Waiting until applicants contact you to close the loan to address payment protection will be more difficult than if they’re informed upfront. Therefore, smartphone/tablet users need to be able to easily read the product explanations and disclosures.

Provide a secure platform

Fiserv’s 2011 Consumer Trends Survey report confirms that mobile web banking is increasing significantly. But the results also show that concerns about security are creating a drag on this channel. When consumers who use mobile web devices were asked, “Why have you not used mobile banking?” the most common answer (41 percent of the respondents) was, “Concerned about the security of financial information.” Also, one in five respondents was worried about losing the mobile device.

One way to address security concerns is to use a Web-based platform instead a downloadable app. It may seem counter-intuitive, but entering financial information directly onto a loan application that resides only on the Web— not on the user’s smartphone or other device—is more likely to be secure.

A mobile device can be hacked or lost, giving thieves easy access to loan application data. In contrast, if your loan processing provider offers Web-based loan applications formatted for mobile devices, the applicant’s financial information should be uploaded securely, directly to the provider’s server.

When using a Web-based platform, lenders can also work with the provider to be sure required disclosures are current, compliant, and state specific. With downloadable apps, the lender must not only ensure the app is updated regularly to be in compliance, it must ensure that members download the most recent version of the app.

In the end, convenience and security are critical for smartphone/tablet users. And it’s up to credit unions to provide that while giving members easily readable information they need to make informed decisions.


Strategic Link is the NWCUAs wholly-owned service corporation, providing the Associations member credit unions with exclusive high-quality, competitively-priced products and discounted services. Questions? Contact Sales & Marketing Associate Craig Reed: 206.340.4789, creed@nwcua.org.

Posted in Business Solutions.