For a few years now, CO-OP has been exploring the mobile wallet space – first as a matter of intelligence, and also with a digital wallet product, Sprig by CO-OP. Since we jumped into the mobile wallet space, plenty of things have happened: Google Wallet, Starbucks cards, Apple iBeacon, Isis, Paypal, Square Cash. The roll call is long.
Though we hear constantly that mobile wallets are the payments of the future – and the time to jump in is now – opportunities for credit unions aren’t always advantageous. So, on the eve of releasing a new, upgraded version of Sprig by CO-OP, we wonder: Should credit unions hurry or wait on mobile wallets?
Go now. There’s just no question that your members want mobile – and that means mobile everything. Mobile banking. Mobile alerts. Rewards on the fly. And definitely mobile payments. If you aren’t building toward a robust, multifaceted mobile future, you are going in the wrong direction. What can you do right now?
- Get Sprig by CO-OP. You knew we’d say that, but it’s an obvious win. With mobile banking across multiple credit union accounts, fast transfers, remote deposit capture and pay-anyone P2P, the new Sprig by CO-OP offers mobile features members want now. Did we mention it’s free to users of CO-OP Shared Branching?
- Get your cards top of wallet. You earn interchange on payments made through other companies’ mobile wallets. Is it worth incentivizing members to use your cards on the Starbucks app? We don’t see a downside.
But wait. If mobile wallets are the future, why not go big? Right now, there are several (if not millions) of opportunities for credit unions to join mobile wallet programs and really “get out in front” of this trend. Problem: You could be getting out in front of a moving train.
Before you dive in, check your stake in interchange. Will you make money on these transactions? Is the technology a lock – and, if it doesn’t pan out, will you have the flexibility and resources to find a new solution? Are merchants – and members – on board?
Mobile wallets are a dynamic trend. That suggests opportunity, but also a great deal of movement. Credit unions need to act now, to find the solutions that will help them stake a claim in this space. But they also need to pause and reflect: Will the solutions they embrace today serve them well organizationally and in the future?
To find out more about Sprig by CO-OP, click here.