banking simplicity
By Brad Powell

A little more than a year ago, I wrote a post that recappped key mobile banking trends for 2015. As 2017 kicks off, several of those trends are continuing to grow in importance, with one in particular standing out: The need for banks to learn from their technology sector counterparts when it comes to customer experience.

Technology has made our lives easier in many ways, of course, but there’s no denying it also has made things more complex. The overall “customer experience” of modern life can be taxing.

Think about the number of passwords you manage. Your bulging email inbox (according to one report, the average office worker receives 121 work emails per day). The fact that it’s so easy for others to contact you, sell to you, and generally insert themselves into your life.

That’s why more and more technology companies are embracing simplicity when it comes to customer experience. It’s an approach banks and credit unions would be smart to mimic.

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millennials banking
By Brad Powell

Those of us who work for and with banks and credit unions have a natural curiosity about the generation known as “millennials.”

As we try to understand more about them, we read (and sometimes make) generalizations. And that carries risk.

For instance, how many times in the past few years have you read an article claiming that millennials (the youngest generation of workers right now) want more “organic feedback” at their jobs? That’s probably true, but you can find Baby Boomers, Silent Generation members, and Gen X’ers who also want and value feedback.

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start 2016 with the best of 2015
By Brad Powell

As we launch into 2016, I wanted to share the five most popular Axiaware blog posts from 2015.

The posts touched on a variety of subjects that I believe are critical for credit unions and banks today.

If you found any or all of them interesting, I encourage you to share them with colleagues and your social media networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook,  whatever. 

Here's the Axiaware Top 5, with a short description for each one:

5. Three Smart Tips for Credit Unions Looking to Attract Millennial Members

How can credit unions add millennial members? Start by keeping your old name, making it easy and managing your online presence.

4. Mobile Auto Lending: Credit Unions' Next Big Opportunity?

Mobile banking is growing rapidly. So are automotive loan applications. What happens when you put these two trends together?

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mobile banking app
By Brad Powell

I’ve spent some time this past year writing about the rise of mobile banking services and what it means for credit unions and banks. Whether it’s Apple Pay, opportunities with auto loans or the emergent alternative lending industry, it’s apparent that financial institutions will be spending more time devising mobile solutions in 2016 and beyond.

It’s an area that changes quickly. So I try to keep up with the news.

Today’s post rounds up three articles I read over the last several days that contained insights about the state of mobile banking at the end of 2015. I encourage you to click through and give them a read, and let me know what you think on Twitter, or in a LinkedIn Group such as Credit Union Insight, Credit Union Times or Bank Innovation. I will definitely respond!

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millennial credit union members
By Brad Powell

There are 83 million millennials in the United States.

That, of course, is why so many businesses are courting these 15- to 33-year-olds. And why so many blog posts are written about them.

I have been thinking about millennials as potential credit union members a bit lately (I’m hardly the only one). Perhaps it’s because, in a survey Axiaware recently conducted for credit union decision-makers, we asked respondents to rate the importance and urgency of adding millennials as members. (Read about the survey results here.)

In the meantime, I wanted to share three tips published recently on attracting millennials that I thought made a lot of sense:

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electronic signaturesBy Brad Powell
But knowing those five things is not enough. Avoiding common mistakes other financial institutions make is just as important – if not more so.

As I said in the last post, there are compelling cases to be made for moving to e-signatures. But it’s also more complicated than some would have banks and credit unions believe. 

My advice is simple: Make sure you know what you’re getting into. Pay attention to the details and make the move for the right reasons. And make sure you don’t commit these costly errors:

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electronic signatures

By Brad Powell

Leaders at banks and credit unions that have not adopted electronic signatures are feeling the pressure.

Maybe the pressure is coming from customers and members. Remember when your neighbor said they would NEVER shop online? Now Amazon boxes arrive at least three times per week. By now bank customers and credit union members are comfortable conducting any and all sorts of business online, so they want to manage their finances via desktop, mobile phone or tablet – or all three – as well.

Or maybe the pressure is coming from their managers, who imagine the efficiencies and risk reduction that electronic signatures could produce.

Or it could be pressure from vendors who aggressively pitch their electronic signature solution – and tell you, “It’s easy.”

In response, I have two words: Slow down.

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By Brad Powell

Some of the most satisfying work we have done at Axiaware started with a simple realization by leaders at a credit union with a significant automotive loan business: Their online auto loan channel was underperforming, and it was hurting them in serious ways.

It was surprising. Somehow, at a time when more and more consumers conducted more and more transactions online, this credit union's branch and phone channels produced two to three times the auto loan business as the online channel. And this low performance created several problems for the credit union:

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By Brad Powell

The last thing a financial institution embarking on a new technology project would want to do is gamble.

That said, a few lessons from America's premier gambling event apply quite well to development projects. I was reminded of this when I saw the latest World Series of Poker Main Event champion had been crowned (23-year-old Ryan Riess won the championship – and $8.4 million last November).

There are many playing styles that work for poker pros like Riess – some fold many hands before the betting turns heavy, while others fold very few. Some are aggressive and some are more conservative. But they all share some attributes that help them excel – and that make sense on a development project, as well.

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By Brad Powell

Rarely has it been written that a financial institution has to be hip to succeed.

Even less common is the idea that all a business needs to get hip is a little perspective.

Yet, in any business category — finance, media, construction, retail, whatever – it can be difficult to assess what's going on outside the walls of your operation. When you are inside, it is hard to get a complete picture of the market.

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