10 Aug New Smartphone Mobile App Empowers Credit Unions and Financial Institutions
In the arcane world of internet technology, where mobile marketing growth is exploding and smartphone apps are popping up like mushrooms, suddenly arrives a very different app that’s fast, flexible, multi-talented, affordable –and, amazingly, lives up to its promises, according to credit union and financial institution leaders who have been bold enough to add the newly developed Member Service Solutions product—CU Mobile Apps—to their arsenal.
Seeking a competitive edge that’s essential in an increasingly beleaguered field, these pioneers have not been disappointed. Joseph Ditta, Vice President of Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union in Pasadena, Texas, flipped the switch on his new app after a few days of staff orientation with the system–and discovered the next morning that 192 eager Gulf Coast members had signed on overnight.
“‘User friendly’ doesn’t begin to describe the ability of this program to grasp, customize and implement the ideas of a financial institution’s back office operators—who need not be geeks to tweak its strings and achieve immediately rewarding results.” says Rick Hargis, owner/partner of Member Service Solutions, LLC, and its newest solution—CU Mobile Apps.
The product allows subscribers to easily upload images, choose colors, customize items displayed, and add or change content at any time—with the results accessible to their members and customers within 60 seconds.
The product’s unique “App Engine” platform works with both iPhones and Android devices, and its future-forward design allows it to seamlessly accept and integrate newer technologies as they become available, without costly and inconvenient restructuring/redesign delays—and without additional subscription charges, vows MSS partner Tom Gray, a trainer, consultant, and creator of tailored profitability solutions for client companies nationwide.
“Creating or signing a contract for even primitive apps can cost companies tens of thousands of dollars,” he points out. “Most small to medium-sized credit unions or financial institutions don’t have the infrastructures to afford any kind of app. By providing them with a nominally-priced, yet sophisticated and professional high-performance app, we help our subscribers to be more competitive within their markets, creating a professional image that impresses their members and attracts new ones.”
“I really appreciated the opportunity to try out the app, with no future obligation and no contract required,” said Ditta. “I really don’t like contracts! The price was very reasonable, and their presentation was excellent. I was able to see exactly what we’d be getting for our investment, since screen shots of the app at work were displayed as they were being described. No one else made it this easy to understand—this clear and specific.”
Gray’s presentation, a state-of-the-art webinar that studiously avoids “geek-speak”, clearly demonstrates the product’s features and their value, increasing client comfort levels and confidence; and Gray’s follow-up service and mentoring is no less conscientious, observes Wayne Hope, CEO of Enrichment Credit Union, serving the greater Knoxville area.
“Tom Gray’s webinar on the CU Mobile App was great,” says Hope. “Typically, new product representatives answer your questions with ‘Well, we’re working on that—’ or ‘That’s in the development stage—’ or ‘I’ll have to get back with you on that.’ Everything we asked Tom got a genuine, ‘I’m glad you asked that!’ response—and a direct answer. I was totally impressed.”
And, in a field where the tide changes quickly and the difference of one day can provide a priceless advantage, credit unions and financial institutions are finding that the Member Service Solution app can be installed in record-setting time:
“Besides being very knowledgeable about the product, Tom Gray got us up to speed very, very quickly for this new product!” claims Hope. “From the time we demo’ed it, we had a contract within the hour. And there have been no surprises. Turnaround has been quick—within days, this application was being fleshed out, ready to roll.”
“Our goal is to enable our clients to easily own a mobile application, manage their brand, and deliver an exceptional user experience through a low cost subscription pricing model based on the size of the institution,” Hargis agrees. “So we are committed to keeping this product the lowest-priced app available—despite the extensive menu of features not offered by competitive apps.”
Those features include the ability to quickly create and send alert notifications, special offers, or loan or account rate information to members’ smartphones, as well as on-line banking capabilities that allow users to access their web-based account information securely through their mobile app—just as they would on their home computer. The app’s QR technology allows the user smartphones to recognize thumbprint codes—even posted on printed materials—that can link the user to web pages, photos, or video messages selected by the subscriber credit union or financial institution.
Information about business hours, phone numbers and locations for each branch location and ATM is easily accessible through the app—along with a pinpoint map tracking tool that guides users to any branch—or dials its phone number with a tap of the user’s finger.
“We were committed to partnering with another mobile banking provider,” noted Josh McAfee, Leaders Credit Union, Jackson, Tennessee, “but once we saw CU Mobile Apps in action, we were sold. The breadth of modules they provide in addition to their content management system separates them from any other provider in the marketplace.”
Melissa Watkins, VP Marketing at Enrichment, agrees. “I’ve been an I-phone user for years and I download apps all the time. I absolutely love this one! I’ve seen other financial institutions that claim to have a mobile app, but it’s really nothing more than a link to on-line banking services—not really an app.”
Subscriber institutions with Facebook and Twitter accounts can also choose to display their wall posts and tweets on-screen through the app.
More than five billion mobile phones were in use in 2010—and more than 59 ½ million iPhones had been purchased, as well—most of them regarded by their owners as essential accessories always carried on their person or within easy reach, points out Hargis, a veteran with more than 35 years of experience in serving the needs of credit unions and their members..
“Adopting your own institutional app not only puts your credit union in every member’s hands, but allows you to reach them virtually 24 hours a day, with messages they won’t miss,” observes Hargis, a key organizer in developing 11 Credit Union Services Organizations (CUSO’s) across the nation.
“And since all activity is hosted through the subscriber credit union or financial institution’s servers, there’s no member exposure outside their system—and consequently no potential additional risk for security breach—as is possible through other apps,” stresses Hargis. “Losing a phone may be an annoyance, but it won’t be financially disastrous, since no sensitive account information is stored on the phone or the app itself.”
Cynics are bound to trot out the “too-good-to-be-true” maxim—but users of the super-app are discovering otherwise, and are happy to say so.
“I can’t say enough good things about the CU Mobile App,” comments Hope. “What’s
the downside–? There really is no downside!”
CU Mobile Apps is the most recent product offered by Member Service Solutions, LLC, a respected provider of insurance and financial solutions for credit unions and financial institutions. Their headquarters is located in Franklin, Tennessee. Additional information is available at www.cumobileapps.com and www.memberservicesolutions.com , or by calling (800) 537-9035, Ex. 105.