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Ushering in a New Digital Era: Multi-Device Banking.

Byline: Murthy Veeraghanta

The shift in demographics and rapid growth of mobile devices has resulted in a meaningful increase of not only digital banking, but multi-device banking. Consumers today are increasingly jumping from device to device throughout their entire day, often using several devices simultaneously.

Multi-device banking has become the new normal, and to remain relevant, credit unions must invest in a digital banking platform that is device agnostic and features a responsive design, all while eliminating the need for separate platforms for Internet banking, tablet banking and mobile banking.

The growth in electronic and mobile payments coupled with the fact that millennials -- the most tech-savvy generation in history -- are quickly becoming both customer and employee, financial institutions are under substantial pressure to consolidate all digital channels. This year, millennials have taken over the American workforce, accounting for more than a third.

Additionally, economic forecasts project their spending in the United States to grow to $1.4 trillion annually and represent 30% of total retail sales by 2020, which coincides with the trend toward non-cash transactions. This demographical shift demonstrates the importance for financial institutions to adapt to the evolving technology landscape -- fast.

Historically, multi-channel banking was efficient, leading financial institutions to believe they were taking complete advantage of all the devices and services their members preferred. Starting with the ATM in the 1970s, the development of call centers in the 1980s, the Internet in the 2000s and the mobile device in the 2010s, multi-channel banking has dramatically changed.

Contrary to traditional multi-channel banking, an omnichannel banking platform streamlines multiple banking channels under a single access point. Members can easily conduct transactional and non-transactional tasks using the device of their choice, but enjoy a consistent, intuitive interface that ensures a positive experience while delivering the convenience today's consumers expect.

It wasn't until this omnichannel banking concept evolved that financial institutions and solution providers realized the capabilities the future holds. Now there is no question that users -- particularly tech-savvy millennials -- expect their financial institution to keep pace with the latest trends in technology.

Omnichannel banking takes full advantage of the evolving technology landscape by enabling credit unions to easily adopt new products and services as needed or as they are developed. As a result, credit unions remain relevant today and in the future. This is critical in a time when the growing majority of consumers are more likely than previous generations to switch financial institutions.

In fact, 18% of millennials switched their primary institution within the past 12 months, compared to 10% of people ages 35 to 54 and 3% of people ages 55 and older. Additionally, a report from Mercator Advisory Group found that consumers are switching their primary financial institution at a faster rate because they want more robust digital banking services.

Consumers also want improved usability and functionality as well as a better user experience across all devices. According to Mapa Research, the majority of desktop services now lag behind in terms of overall design and experience, largely due to financial institutions focusing primarily on mobile and tablet over the last several years, which can be dangerous for member retention.

With an omnichannel approach, the platform's responsive design provides an optimal layout regardless of the member's preferred device. Members simply log into either their credit union's homepage or mobile application and the experience is seamless anywhere, anytime and on any device.

Beyond the member experience, there are other significant advantages. By eliminating the need for multiple deployments of online, mobile and tablet banking products, credit unions benefit from not only a tremendous cost savings and improved operations, but also streamlined vendor management responsibilities. The phrase "one throat to choke" becomes a reality for not only achieving greater internal efficiencies but also from a regulatory due diligence standpoint.

As millennials quickly become the majority of account holders and shape consumer expectation, credit unions must invest in an omnichannel banking platform to remain relevant and competitive. Millennials are much more likely than previous generations to switch financial institutions, making it imperative to provide an experience that not only delivers complete convenience through any device, but can keep pace with the rapidly evolving technology landscape and adopt new products and services. Failure to do so means getting left behind in this new digital era of multi-device banking.

Murthy Veeraghanta is chairman and CEO of VSoft Corporation. He can be reached at 770-840-0097 or marketing@vsoftcorp.com .
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Publication:Credit Union Times
Date:Nov 30, 2015
Words:735
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