Is your bank or credit union successful online?

Technology is changing at lightning speed. And so is today’s banking customer. Use of mobile banking has increased 50% since last year and nearly one-third of US consumers (32%) now do mobile banking at least once a month according to a recent Accenture survey.

While it used to be enough to offer geographic convenience, today’s consumer is also looking for digital convenience. It’s not enough to just keep up. The smart marketers will be looking ahead with their digital strategies. Are your digital offerings and digital marketing in line with today’s mobile consumer? 

1.  Do your mobile apps look the same as your competitors? If you don’t have a custom app, at least select an app that allows for significant customization. Branding in your mobile app is as important as in your website.

2.  Are you offering the latest in mobile bill pay and deposit? Most financial institutions are now offering these features. But in a hurry to get to market, they ended up with apps that aren’t as robust as they could be. It’s better to take your time and launch an app that your customers will enjoy, and prospective consumers will want.

3.  Do your customers see your brand in your mobile apps? Your customers are interacting with your mobile app a good amount of the time, so think of your app as part of the brand and not simply technology.

4.  Have you looked at your app store ratings? Have you looked at your competitors?  According to Rajesh Kandaswamy, Research Director with Gartner, “The average of Apple App Store ratings for the mobile banking apps of the ten largest consumer banks in the U.S. is 2.9 stars for all versions.” Know where you stand and strive to be in the lead.

5.  Does your website actively promote the benefits of your technology products? Are you updating your web site to become an information center for your new technology products? Your website is your #1 communication tool – and the first place many will go for answers to their mobile questions. Make sure it’s complete with User Guides, tutorials and answers to frequently asked questions.

6.  Are you looking at the future of mobile banking? By now, you surely have added mobile deposit. But have you considered person-to-person payments, mobile bill pay and mobile funds transfer? What about voice and speech recognition? Research shows that bank customers are more satisfied when their bank offers innovative mobile banking features.

7.  How strong are the mobile versions of your website? Today, every bank or credit union should have responsive design in their website. In today’s digital world, customers are not happy anymore with simplified mobile sites. Your site should offer full content whether it’s on a desktop, table or smartphone.

8.  Are you utilizing social media networks to advertise your products? By 2025, it is estimated that social networks will become the major distribution channel for retail banking products. A recent Accenture survey shows that sales of mortgages via the Internet increased 75%, while sales at branches fell 16%. Online sales of auto loans nearly doubled, while branch sales dropped nearly 10%.   Facebook has become increasingly aggressive, and provides a good ROI against many audiences. Just be sure your online applications are smooth and seamless, or your digital advertising dollars will be going down the drain.

9.  Are you still using traditional media advertising? Salespeople of digital media will have you believe that traditional media is out of date. While the audiences of broadcast media and print have declined, mass media is still is an effective tool for building brand awareness and influencing your image and reputation. Just think of it as a door opener for all of your other efforts.

10.  Does your bank have a unique brand? Banks with a unique, meaningful identity are ultimately more successful, even when faced with tight advertising budgets. And in today’s digital world, it’s important than ever. These days, the consumer is more spread out than ever, making it critical to stand out and be memorable everywhere.

11.  How are you building brand awareness? With the rapid increase of digital media, there are more media options than ever. A good media plan will consist of both traditional media and an increasing amount of online, mobile and social advertising. Traditional media is still your best bet for defining your brand and generating broad awareness. But the digital world offers great opportunities to target your specific promotions demographically, geographically, and behaviorally in a cost-efficient way.