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Written by Cyndie Martini
on September 20, 2016

As consumers become more technologically savvy, they expect their financial institutions to keep up. Credit unions and banks all over the country are beginning to offer their own branded apps that allow consumers to deposit checks, make transactions and check account activity.

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It's important that credit unions work to provide these capabilities to their members, but it's equally critical that these apps are high quality. There are five characteristics all credit union mobile apps must have:

  1. Security

Financial apps must be, above all else, secure. A mobile app that allows members to make transactions but doesn't guarantee that their information or money is secure won't attract many people. Some top security features include:

  • Mobile location confirmation - using location data to reduce fraud
  • Two-way fraud alerts - being able to communicate via text with the credit union about potential fraudulent transactions
  • Card control - being able to turn a card on and off
  1. Communication

When it comes to their own money, everyone likes to be in the loop. Most consumers want to be alerted when there is irregular activity on their account or when they have a low balance. These notifications can help them catch fraud when it occurs, or prevent members from overdrafting from their account.

Members also want to be able to access information when they need it, such as where free ATMs are located.

  1. Payment

Consumers are turning to their phones rather than their wallets more and more when it comes time to make a payment. Credit union apps should have the payment capabilities that members like. There are three main categories:

  • Bill pay - more than half of consumers want to be able to pay their bills from their phone
  • Proximity payments - consumers can use their phones to make in-store payments
  • Mobile wallets - consumers can make purchases without having to enter their information every time
  1. Money management

One of the most important capabilities a mobile app must have is the ability for members to manage their finances through their phone. Members want to be able to deposit checks, check their account balances and move money from one account to another.

  1. Convenience

In today's hectic world, members want to be able to accomplish tasks from wherever is convenient for them. This means that mobile apps that give people the ability to open new accounts or apply for loans without making a branch visit can improve the relationship between members and credit unions.

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