Stars Align for Mobile Payments

Global mobile commerce will surpass $1 trillion in 2017.

August 21, 2013
KEYWORDS credit , mobile , payments , unions
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

Mobile payments have gone from a novelty to a game-changing customer interface in just a few years, according to the 2013-2014 CUNA Environmental Scan.

In fact, IDC Financial Insights predicts global mobile commerce will surpass $1 trillion in 2017.

The stars are in perfect alignment for mobile payments to continue this growth. Smartphone sales are outpacing sales of feature phones and personal computers—a trend that emerged near the end of 2010 and will only continue to grow.

Through 2016, smartphone growth is expected to continue at an 18.3% compound annual growth rate.

The popularity of iPads and similar devices provides further support for the mobile payments trend, particularly among younger consumers—credit unions’ future members.

According to the CUNA Environmental Scan, credit unions thinking about increasing their involvement in mobile payments should consider their:

Commitment. Senior management must have more than a passing interest in mobile; it must show a strong commitment.

If your credit union doesn’t have in-house expertise, it should seek that expertise from a trusted third party.

Strategy. Executives must decide how to integrate mobile payments into their overall strategy because mobile devices ultimately will become the primary way for members to interact with their credit unions.

As a cross-channel enabler, mobile will influence every other delivery channel—branch, contact center, ATM, and online banking.

Your strategy should leverage the power of mobile to deliver personal financial management tools and relevant ads and offers at the point of sale.

Priorities. Mobile payment options can be grouped in three priorities: credit union-branded, retailer-branded, and third-party intermediaries. All three are likely to co-exist.

Credit unions should focus first on their own branded service for member accounts in their own mobile banking app.

Only by enrolling members and promoting this service early can credit unions gain member engagement and loyalty to the credit union brand.

Partners. Investigate a vendor’s vital signs to make sure it’s well-funded and will be around for the long-term.

Also, make sure the vendor’s business model and philosophy aligns well with your credit union’s overall strategy and reinforces its brand.

An inflection point

Credit unions find themselves at an inflection point in the payments industry.

New technologies have made it possible to replace the current payments infrastructure with mobile devices and low-cost, off-the-shelf hardware and open software solutions.

This inflection point creates an opening for credit unions to redefine the payments infrastructure in a way that eliminates or reduces third parties’ control over the infrastructure deployed in their members’ hands and used at retail locations.

As credit unions help redefine payments, they can reduce costs, increase new revenue streams, and create a better experience for members.

Consult the 2013-2014 CUNA Environmental Scan Report for more information.

Post a comment to this story


What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive