Small Financial Institutions Gain Big Ground with Mobile Banking
You’ve likely seen the headlines: U.S. malls are disappearing. But retail isn’t dying, it’s simply been disrupted by technology and online shopping. Much in the same way online shopping disrupted traditional retail and brick-and-mortar stores, technology continues to disrupt the banking industry and how customers choose where to put their dollars.
Here’s three ways technology continues to “even the playing field” for small banks:
“Anytime, Anywhere” Convenience is Truly Just That
The rising popularity of mobile banking is primarily due to consumer demand of an “anytime, anywhere” banking experience. While 67 percent of consumers say having a branch nearby is the top priority, 43 percent state online capabilities as the most important, and this number is expected to grow as mobile usage rises.
Because of the small “local” nature of credit unions and regional banks, these organizations do not have to pass along fees to account holders for upkeep of many brick-and-mortar locations. Smaller banks have always been known for better rates and superior customer service, but may have previously lacked technological capabilities to keep up with the tech-conscious consumer; now small banks can offer technology and low fees.
What Once was a Negative is Now a Positive
Although large banks claim the largest portion of millennial users (half of those under 29 bank with a large national bank,) the top 4 leading banks are among the top ten least loved millennial brands. So, why do they choose to bank there? Likely for the same reasons members of all generations choose where to bank – convenience– meaning more locations, more ATMs, and better security.
Now, with higher mobile adoption, locations and ATMs mean less and that convenience takes on a new definition. Instead of convenient locations, customers want convenient account terms – like no minimum balances, better interest rates and zero fees.
As trends continue to shift into even higher mobile usage, this will benefit smaller banks who can offer the same online convenience as large banks, but offer lower fees and additional incentives to new customers.
Small Banks Should Capitalize on High Levels of Customer Satisfaction
There is a huge upside to mobile banking for smaller banks because they can now offer the same tech as the large banks, but retain what has always made them special – outstanding customer service.
Technology = Brand Trust?
Offering outstanding mobile banking capabilities further strengthens brand trust, and it seems to be paying off: of the 18% percent of millennials who switched their primary bank in the past 12 months, 5 percent went to local/community banks, and 3 percent went to credit unions.
A small bank likely won’t be able to compete with a large bank in terms of branches and ATM locations. As more consumers move to online only and community banks, however, technology becomes the industry standard across institutions of all sizes which is better for everyone.
Let account holders know about your financial institution’s best-in-class mobile deposit technology. Harland Clarke offers turnkey direct mail programs for financial institutions looking to grow mobile banking usage and increase mobile deposits among customers, members, and account holders.