Mobile banking apps are becoming expected by consumers, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose your financial institutions personal flair. After all, one of the biggest things community financial institutions have going for them is their customer service.
But even if more people are turning on their phones rather than heading into the branch for their daily banking needs, you can still deliver a signature touch.
In fact, a strong mobile app combined with stellar in-person services can really help your financial institution outpace the competition.
Ready to find out how you can optimize your mobile app to deliver hands-on service? Let’s get started.
Help Customers Understand App Benefits
Explain Your Mobile App Perks
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it actually helps two segments of customers. On the one hand, it’s important to explain the value and convenience of your banking app to customers who may be resistant to using their phone for financial services. On the other hand, some people may be wary of data being pulled from their phone.
Take a few measures to draw in these customers and win their loyalty. First, assure them that their information is never sold to a third party. Also explain the security measures that are put in place to protect their information. You can also outline why certain features require access to their mobile data so that they see the benefits and give the necessary authorization.
Segment Your Customers
Tailor your financial institution's app features for each type of customer based on their age, income level, and how they use the mobile app. There are countless ways you can do this, from pushing custom products to listing out their most common actions within the app.
If a customer, for example, is about to reach a balance limit or hit $0 on their checking account, the app can send an offer to sign up for overdraft protection. The key is to enable a chain reaction so that your app is always one step ahead of each individual customer’s needs.
Create a Genuine User Experience
Offer No-Login Access
Logging into a mobile banking app can take a few moments, and in today’s fast-paced world, every second counts. That’s why it’s helpful to allow certain app features to be accessed without having to complete the full sign in process. For example, you can make it easy for customers to swipe to an ATM or branch locator. After all, if you need cash quickly, you don’t want to be standing on a sidewalk entering in a password.
You can even allow customers to take a quick look at their account balance without seeing all of the sensitive information. They can simply see a quick list of each account along with the associated available balance. If they’re in a store trying to decide on a purchase, it’s incredibly convenient to make an informed decision.
Keep a Simple Interface
Just as your branch lobbies are neat and tailored to direct your customers to the right place, so should your app interface. Because you can’t rely on a team member in the lobby to directly approach each customer who walks in the door, it’s important to try and recreate this personal touch through your app.
Looking at the actual interface is a good start. Make the buttons large and the text easy to read. Don’t overload the home screen with tons of options; instead, keep it simple so that users can quickly find what they’re looking for. Being bogged down with too many choices and digital clutter may result in exiting the app before the customer has even done anything.
Encourage Customers to Visit In Person
Reach customers directly by enabling geo-fencing in your app. This monitors your customer’s physical location and sends a push notification based on when they enter a specific area. So if they’re close to a location, you can send a reminder to come in and talk to someone. If you see that a customer is arriving at a branch, the staff can use geo-fencing to identify and personally greet that person.
If you partner with local businesses, you can also program your app to send push notifications with offers and coupons for retailers or restaurants that are closeby.
Offer Person to Person Payments
The right mobile app features can help to one-up certain aspects of in-person banking. So even if you can’t offer your customer a free lollipop, you can offer app-unique services. Person to person payments is a great idea for accomplishing this. Visions Federal Credit Union, for example, makes it easy to send money via its banking app.
It’s a one-stop destination whether you want to send money to a family member directly from your account or split a bill for the table at happy hour. Since cash is becoming increasingly cumbersome, person to person payments is a safe and secure way to send money all through your financial institution's mobile app.
Make Paying Bills Easy
By this point, mobile check deposit is considered a basic service. The next step up is to implement mobile bill pay. With this feature, the customer uses her phone to simply take a photo of a bill. The app then automatically analyzes the information to set up either one-time or recurring payments.
Again, the idea is to create quick, easy service that makes the customer’s experience as streamlined as possible.
Make Customers Feel Safe
Enable TouchID security
Mobile security is a huge concern, especially for banking apps. After all, who wants their bank account information compromised after leaving a phone in a cab or having a purse stolen? A great way to get around this and give customers their peace of mind is to implement fingerprint authentication.
ESL Federal Credit Union, for example, uses TouchID to basically use each customer’s fingerprint as a password. It’s an extra measure that keeps customers’ information safe while also elevating your financial institution to a whole new level.
Another option for mobile security is by requiring a gesture-based password. You can create any shape to replicate on your touch-screen in order to enter the mobile banking app. This free-form option creates limitless opportunities that can’t be easily replicated by anyone but the actual customer.
If you can’t have a stout security guard watching over your customers’ funds, an extra-secure password system is the next best thing.
Turn Cards Off and On
In addition to a user-unique password, consider having your banking app control whether or not debit cards can be used. A customer can keep the actual account open while disabling a specific debit card. So if their wallet has been stolen or they accidentally left their tab open at a bar, the customer gets to be in control.
That way, there’s no extra hassle of calling customer service, cancelling a card, and waiting for a new one to come in the mail. Instead, it’s just an easy swipe to turn off the card, then another swipe to turn it back on when it’s been located.
Stay in Touch
Text Securely with Customers
Even if your bankers don’t see customers in person on a regular basis, you can still make it easy and convenient for them to keep in touch. You can setup free SMS texting so that customers can quickly ask questions or get information related to their account.
Eastman Credit Union makes it extremely convenient. Here’s a list of commands that customers can send to receive certain types of information.
The service is generally free for customers to use, unless their cell phone plan charges for texts. Still, it’s a great way to promote ongoing communication so that your clients feel like they can count on you.
Find Out When Customers Travel
Another way to stay up to date with your customers is to keep tabs on their travel plans. Instead of having to call in and notify the financial institution about upcoming trips that could affect their card usage, you can simplify the process through the mobile app. You can create a one-swipe notification so that customers can tell you that they’re hitting the road. That way all of their debit and credit cards can function without any worry. When they get home, it’s just another quick notification that life has returned to normal.
Help Customers Open New Accounts via Mobile
You might think that you can’t replicate the human process of opening an account, but you’d be wrong. Your bank app can now let customers take a picture of their driver’s license to open a new checking or savings account directly on their smartphone. So instead of countless customers having an idea on the back burner thinking, “I really need to go into the branch to open a new savings account,” they can do it right from home.
Provide Extra Value
Give Better Transaction Details
You know what an online account screen looks like: you see the transaction date, a long explanation of the vendor, and the amount spent. Your financial institution's mobile app, however, can give extra information you wouldn’t find by just logging on to a computer. For instance, it can include a map of where the purchase was made. Think of how much this can help a customer quickly identify card theft or even just help place a forgotten purchase.
It’s a nice cherry on top that gives a personal touch even without interacting with a teller at the local branch.
Help Customers Manage Their Finances
A personal financial management tool helps customers stay on budget, track their expenses, create spending alerts, and more. There are tons of apps available, like Mint, all of which claiming to have the best budgeting solutions.
But as a financial institution, you can capitalize on being the ultimate financial planning expert because you already have the customer’s account information. They don’t have to worry about linking their accounts to a third party and they don’t have to manage multiple apps to manage their finances. By including this feature within your app, you can help streamline your customers’ experience and improve their overall experience.
Include a “Safe to Spend” Limit
This is inspired by Simple Bank’s feature that analyzes a customer’s regular expenses and deducts them from their visible balance. So rather than seeing an “available balance,” customers can take better care of their discretionary spending by looking at their “safe to spend” balance.
It’s another simple tool that offers the ever-important customized service along with an innovative idea to help them effectively manage their money. And at the end of the day, this kind of resource instills trust in your customers that you ultimately have their best interests at heart.
Offer Free Credit Monitoring
Not only does this help customers track their credit, it can also tie in nicely to cross-sells and upsells. For example, if a customer has a credit score boost, you could offer an auto loan refinance so that they can qualify for a better rate.
This is also a timely offer in the wake of the recent Equifax data breach. Credit scores and identity theft prevention are at the forefront of everybody’s mind. Anticipate this concern of your customers by offering a solution right off the bat.
Ready to take your financial institution's mobile app to the next level? Achieve Marketing is here to help. Reach out to me directly and we’ll get you started on your upcoming project, however large or small.