Digital banking technology is like manna from heaven to those who thrive on instant access to their account information. Today’s omni-consuming members wield their mobile phones like gods, managing all of their financial affairs on these devices, from anywhere, at any time.
Still, these gods of the mobile-verse are not easily pleased. In the rush to develop mobile phone apps for our market, too many solutions have given the tablet far less attention than it deserves.
Consider that all devices are NOT created equal. The great advantage of a mobile phone is its portability, its compact simplicity. Nothing could be better for checking balances, transferring funds, or making a payment. But what about reviewing a new member application, a member statement or a loan document? There is a reason why God put his commandments on tablets. It was just the right size screen. (Moses might have opted for an iPhone, but he likely struggled with the small fonts after having stared into the burning bush.)
A tablet’s strength is not so much in its portability as it is in comfort and convenience. According to recent Forrester Research, “Tablets are being used primarily at home, with 67% of U.S. tablet owners accessing them in the living room, and 57% in the bedroom.” In other words, a phone is great on a date, but a tablet is simply better in bed. I’m not quite sure how the gods feel about that, but credit unions should take note. Tablets are not only better suited than phones to deliver certain features, these devices are also used very differently by your members. Financial institutions should lean toward those mobile solutions that recognize and exploit these differences.
Tablet apps now extend beyond the mobile banking solutions domain. They are beginning to liberate tellers from their counters and loan officers from their desks, expanding the reach of the credit union into members’ homes and offices. As this trend continues, mobile users will see features expand to the point where tablet apps don’t just matter, they may someday be all that matters.
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