MADISON, Wis. (4/19/12)--Credit unions that seek to meet members' needs for electronic account access must keep pace with the emergence of the mobile lifestyle, according to a new CUNA Technology Council white paper.
The paper explores the mobile lifestyle, in which consumers shift from one electronic device to another as they move from place to place and task to task. Industry experts say credit unions who fail to meet the needs of these members may risk losing their relationships with members.
The report identifies account access options that credit unions should be prepared to offer now and in the near future. Online banking is already an essential service, for example, while mobile banking is likely to become a necessity soon, says the paper.
The experts who shared their opinions and research in the white paper predict that game-changing technology will continue to emerge, which means credit unions cannot afford to become complacent.
Daniel Steere, director of consumer insights at Fiserv, Brookfield, Wis., said Fiserv research into consumer behavior reflects broad trends in three categories that impact the financial sector, especially financial institutions. They are:
Consumer electronic behavior is evolving. "Think about the proliferation of devices: iPhones, iPads, smartphones, tablets, PCs, plasma screen televisions," Steere said. "That's driving so much new and different consumer behavior." As consumers explore their electronic options, their behavior is likely to continue to be shaped by the capabilities of their devices.
Internet connectivity is becoming inescapable. "There's a blurring of lines between being online and being offline," Steere said. "There's going to come a point in time where you're never really offline. Everyone is going to be connected to something that's connected to the Internet."
Societal trends and electronic connections are changing human interactions. Conversations are changing from face-to-face, handshake encounters to electronic interactions through Skype, texting, video chat, Web conferences and other electronic conversations. Digital relationships can become as important as friendships that rely on person-to-person contact. Credit unions need to monitor these "macro trends" as they ponder their products and their connectivity.