By Brad Powell

Out of curiosity, I compared two search terms on Google Trends recently: “mobile banking app” and “bank branch near me.”

It’s been widely reported that banking on mobile is overtaking branch visits in popularity. So trends in search should reflect that, right? Here’s what Google Trends showed for the past five years:

bank branch near me vs mobile banking app

In fact, searches for “bank branch near me” have skyrocketed since mid-2015, while “mobile banking app” search traffic has remained flat.

Does this mean the conventional wisdom is wrong, and bank and credit union customers/members still prefer transactions in branches over mobile banking apps?
I would say “no.”

Here’s the reason search volume for “bank branches near me” has increased in recent months: Search queries with the words “near me” in them are the searches people perform when using a mobile device. Earlier this year, Google reported that mobile searches containing “near me” had risen 146 percent year over year.

What this chart truly demonstrates is that people are using – and searching on – their mobile devices more and more. If you need more evidence, here are the Google search trend lines for “near me” searches in industries that have been disrupted by digital competition – music, books and department stores:

music store near me

bookstore near me

department store near me

I would not say, however, that this search data is evidence that all is well when it comes to mobile banking products.

Is search volume for “mobile banking app” flat because customers don’t believe the features they need are available on mobile? Banks and credit unions could accelerate the trend by creating products and features customers will love once they try them.

And encouraging adoption, of course, is crucial. A recent Fiserv post estimated that a 30 percent mobile adoption rate would lead to a 12 percent reduction in overall customer attrition, including a 20 percent reduction in attrition for credit unions.

It won’t be easy – a recent survey by the Federal Reserve pointed to a leveling off of mobile adoption rates (security fears being a big factor). But the gains mobile banking can lead to are too important for banks and credit unions to ignore.


Compliance and Your Credit Union

Does your credit union:

• Face an daunting burden of regulatory requests?
• Struggle to manage the multiple experts inside and outside your organization who must respond to exam requests?
• Use email for regulatory communication -- possibly opening yourself to legal discovery?
• Receive the same request more than once but provide a different answer each time?

If these challenges sound familiar, Axiaware's new credit union compliance software product, Redboard, could help.

Learn More About Redboard