By Robert McGarvey
New research out of Javelin, sponsored by identity specialist Jumio, makes plain multiple facts and the central one is that digital banking rules and it does so across generations. It’s not just a Millennial thing anymore.
Another key takeaway: most financial institutions – eyes on you – stumble in many key places, particularly in deploying mobile banking. This is eroding member loyalty: they will sometimes simply flee to another institution.
And security concerns continue to be a bother for many users, according to the Javelin research. Despite the fact that generally a mobile banking session over a cellular network is much more secure than one over an online network. No matter. A lot of users remain very worried about safety and digital banking and the smart institutions are addressing these fears.
What all this means is that mobile banking – increasingly the channel that matters in banking – is where credit unions have to double down on efforts to compete with the money center banks and the fintechs that continue to nibble at the user base of smaller, legacy institutions (talking about you, Amazon).
Al Pascual, SVP, Research Director and Head of Fraud & Security at Javelin Research elaborated: “To capitalize on the growing demand for mobile banking as millennials grow in spending power, financial institutions must simplify user experience and address ongoing concerns around security and fraud.”
Dive deeper into the report and the results can surprise. For instance, although 76% of Millennials now regularly use digital banking, 77% of Boomers do – and, yep, that says Boomers have greater acceptance of the channel.
But Millennials are way ahead with mobile banking. 62% use it monthly, compared to 34% of Boomers. Also, claimed Jumio, “millennials report stronger satisfaction with nearly all aspects of mobile banking, compared to Generation X and Baby Boomers.”
Millennials definitely have fewer gripes about mobile banking. 25% of them express concerns with the channel, compared to 33% of Gen X and 35% of Boomers. What kinds of concerns? 28% grumble about “hidden fees,” while 53% complain about ease of use.
The study uncovered valuable findings when it focused on abandonment issues – why do we just close out when midway into a task in a digital banking session? 36% said they did so because “the process [was] taking too long.” 20% complained about authentication “being too time consuming.”
Waste a consumer’s time – and the consumer is the judge of this, not a cautious credit union manager – and they will blow you off. Just that fast.
Here’s the kick in the head: “One-third of consumers respond negatively to their FI after abandoning a mobile banking activity,” reported Jumio. Understand: 7% decided to open an account at another financial institution. And 13% shared their grumble about the experience with family and friends.
That’s word of mouth you don’t need.
In this regard, the Javelin research shows that account opening tools must cater to Millennials, mainly because they are the leading cohort when it comes to adding new accounts and services. Their chief complaint: it takes too long. The antidote: speed it up.
And make it easy to complete the tasks on a mobile device. That is becoming a crucial battleground.
When it comes to authentication, Millennials in particular prefer biometrics, especially eye scans and facial recognition, according to the Javelin data. Farther down the list are legacy modes such as QR codes. Very probably institutions that want to stay on the cutting edge of Millennial acceptance need to roll out multiple biometric modalities.
Another, key piece of advice from the research is: “Put security first (and make sure your customers know it).”
“But… weave security into the customer experience in smooth, fast, intuitive ways.”
Don’t make security into hurdles members have to jump – how many routinely forget passwords? – but do let members know that security protocols are always there, always protecting them. They want that reassurance even if they don’t want the hassles of dealing with in your face security challenges (what street did your father live on at age 6?).
Sift through the Javelin findings and there is much to cheer credit union leaders. There is no way they can compete with money center banks in terms of branches – but they don’t need to. What a credit union needs is top grade digital experiences, online and mobile, that include easy account opening and build in seamless security that will protect members.
None of that is easy.
But it all is doable at credit unions that embrace the digital mandate.