For Members, Mobile is a Must

By Steve Hoke

Providing access to financial services from a mobile device is increasingly a critical factor in attracting new credit union members. According to a new survey by Pew Internet & American Life Project, 63 percent of adult smartphone owners now use their phones to go online, and 34 percent of this group say they use their smartphones for the internet more often than their computers.1

When financial institution’s websites are not optimized for smartphone use, they end up missing out on the huge millennial demographic. One in six millennials now say they are likely to seek a new financial provider because of a poor mobile experience2.  If credit unions do not innovate through mobile offerings both members and new customers may go elsewhere. Do you know for certain that your credit union’s website is optimized for mobile devices? Make sure to visit your website from your smartphone to see what your members experience.

Mobile-optimized sites allow smartphone users to shop and browse in an optimal manner, wherever, whenever they want. With mobile media consumption now outpacing all other means for per day average usage, including TV, PC and the rest,3 that means more than ever major purchases, such as buying a new car and applying for its financing, are being done on mobile devices. Sixty-three percent of auto shoppers researched and shopped online using their mobile device while at a dealership.4

In addition to mobile optimized websites, apps are also a primary means of researching and making a major purchase on a smartphone. In fact, smartphone users report spending 80 percent of their mobile time in apps.5

Apps made up 47 percent of Internet traffic and 8 percent of traffic came from mobile browsers, according to a study by Enders Analysis. In that study personal computers clocked in at 45 percent.6   Although total Internet usage on mobile devices has previously exceeded that on PCs, this marks the first time it’s happened for app usage alone.

One such app helping credit union members research and shop for a car is the AskAuto® app available to credit unions through CUNA Mutual Group. With the AskAuto app, your members can scan the vehicle identification number (VIN) of cars they are interested in and get helpful information including the average retail cost and EPA mileage estimates. This can all be accomplished while still on the dealer’s lot. The application saves the information along with notes and ranking preferences to allow for an easy comparison between vehicles. And when the buyer chooses a car they can also apply for a loan from their credit union directly through the app.

The AskAuto app is an example of a tool that can help raise your credit union above the fray and attract new members in engaging ways while delivering on the new member expectation of a mobile mindset.

For more information about the AskAuto app or other CUNA Mutual Group Lending Products, please contact your Sales Executive at 1-800-356-2644.

Steve Hoke is Director of Loan Growth Products at CUNA Mutual Group.

  1. “Cell Internet Use 2013,” Pew Research Internet Project, Maeve Duggan and Aaron Smith, 9/16/2013,
  2. “Consumers Want Better Mobile Banking, Study Suggests,” Lendup Blog, Mitchell LaPoff, 7/11/2013,
  3. “State of Mobile 2013, Digital Buzz Blog,” 2013,
  4. “Mobile Device Use at the Dealership,” Placed Inc, Jan. 2014
  5. “State of Mobile 2013,” Digital Buzz Blog, 2013,
  6. “Mobile Apps Overtake PC Internet Usage in U.S.,” James O’Toole, CNN Money, 2/28/2014,

Strategic Link is the NWCUA’s wholly-owned service corporation, using the power of aggregation to provide the Association’s member credit unions with exclusive, high-quality, competitively-priced products and discounted services. Contact Director of Strategic Partnerships Craig Reed at today to find out how Strategic Link can help your credit union save money while meeting its goals in 2014 and beyond.

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