The Window Remains Open For Digital Onboarding, For Now

By Marc Rapport

Published on Creditunions.com on November 9, 2016

Much opportunity still exists for credit unions to take advantage of the mobile channel for onboarding members and account and loan applications, but the window won’t stay open forever.

Bob Meara, longtime Celent payments and service delivery channels analyst, says that many retail industries make 15% to 20% of their sales on smartphones, tablets, or computers these days, but that credit unions and banks still lag far behind.

Meara told a recent webinar that — based on Celent research — twice as many people visit a bank’s website as a branch when shopping for a new account and more than half of all transactions are now completed in virtual banking channels.

The disconnect? Fully 85% of new account openings were in the branch. Only 2% were mobile and 6% were opened online. The other 7% were through a contact center. Even fewer non-mortgage loan applications were done on a mobile device: a mere 1%. Eleven percent were done online.

“The fact that banks and credit unions are lagging behind retailers means there is a huge opportunity,” Meara says. “There is verifiable evidence that you can move the needle in a dramatic way by investing in a good customer experience, training front line staff, and integrating digital account technology across marketing channels.”

He cited strong 2Q 2016 results by Bank of America as an example, and left the Bluepoint Solutions webinar attendees with this takeaway: There’s still time for credit unions to catch up with digital account opening but that time might be short, since consumer expectations might finally be driving channel integration.

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