A colleague of mine recently had an experience with a billion dollar financial institution which is too unbelievable to not share. She decided to take the plunge into mobile banking, so she downloaded the app according to the instructions on the website. She was unable to login. After carefully reading the instructions again, then searching other web pages for more information, she used a link on the mobile banking web page to e-mail mobile support. Six days later, (Yes, six days!) she received a response with new instructions that still didn’t work. More e-mails were exchanged and she finally got access to the mobile site, but had to login in from her computer first. This is the abbreviated version of the story, but you have enough details to know this billion dollar financial institution clearly got it wrong.

My hope in sharing this story is that everyone who reads is will stop for a minute and truly ponder what doing business with your financial institution is like for your members. How does it make people feel when they walk into a branch, surf the website, apply for a loan or try any number of services available to them? The answers to these questions are what define your financial institution’s user experience (UX for short).

The user experience is everything – in-person contact with your employees, online services, the products you offer and even the look and feel of your facilities. It not only defines your brand – it actually trumps it. If your products and services don’t make people feel a certain way, they will never believe your brand promise.

InTouch Credit Union ($800 million) (Plano, TX) gets it and has taken great measures to enhance the user experience for its members. Business is just different there. Each member is greeted at the door by a personal financial assistant. Instead of teller lines, InTouch has towers or stations where members handle all of their business in one place – loans, deposits, withdrawals, new accounts, etc.

“Our concierge business model is all about providing one stop shopping for our members,” said Tim McCoy, vice president of marketing and ecommerce for InTouch Credit Union.

It doesn’t stop in the branches. InTouch is a big proponent of single sign on for its on services.
When members logon to home banking, they also have access to other services like e-statements, Encompass (personal financial management tool) and popmoney (lets people send money to anyone).

This credit union even uses tools like Google Analytics to improve the web surfing and other digital experiences for its members. And, these are just the basics.

You can read the in-depth story about InTouch Credit Union in the July 2013 issue of my e-newsletter.  You’ll also find tips for enhancing the user experience at your own financial institution.