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Watch out, banks: Large CUs keep pace in mobile services
LOS ANGELES (4/4/14)--Wipe out the image of doddering credit unions when it comes to mobile services. The largest credit unions are keeping up with the banks in this important service area, according to GOBankingRates.
 
The personal finance site assessed the 50 largest credit unions by assets in the U.S. and found nearly all have the same features as what consumers expect from banks.
 
"Big banks need to watch out," said Jennifer Calonia, GOBankingRates senior editor. "Customers who were once hesitant about credit unions are now realizing the technological advances these institutions provide at a huge value."
 
She added, "It's the intimate customer service experience their parents praised, fused with the innovations younger generations crave--a one-two punch."
 
At 36%, the most popular feature cited by the 1,500 respondents was the ability to make balance inquiries, followed by an ATM/branch locator at 19%.
 
The other three most-desired mobile banking solutions are money transfers, remote check deposit and account activity alerts.
 
The Federal Reserve Board recently reported that the number of consumers who used mobile banking rose 5% to 33% in 2013, and 51% of smartphone owners used mobile banking applications (News Now March 26).
 
"Members expect to connect with their financial institution anytime and anywhere," Sonya McDonald of Randolph-Brooks FCU, Live Oak, Texas, told GOBankingRates, adding, "They want to be able to access their money when it's convenient to them and through the channels that are most convenient to them."
 
The vice president of planning and market development at the $5.7 billion-asset credit union said, "With the proliferation of smartphone and tablet use, consumers want to be able to use their devices to access everything, and their financial institution is no exception."
 
Forty-two of the top 50 credit unions provided all five services: balance inquiries, ATM/branch locator, money transfers, account activity alert and remote check deposit.
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