“Experimenting with Mobile Banking Apps from Community Banks”

Choosing a primary bank is no longer just about proximity to physical branches, as more people are now prioritizing the quality of mobile banking apps. To cater to this shift in consumer behavior, banks are offering “test drives” of their apps to attract potential customers. These test drives include demos, videos, and cheat sheets explaining key features and functionalities.

Ian Wallace, director of user experience at Fiserv, emphasizes the importance of being able to test drive mobile banking apps in a market where customers have numerous options. Fiserv provides software that allows financial institutions to offer guided virtual tutorials and click-thru demos to their customers.

Northeast Bank in Minneapolis has found success with this approach by providing video demos showcasing the seamless user experience of their online banking site and app. They also offer step-by-step guides on various functions like fund transfers and bill payments. The bank’s digital banking guide on their website outlines all platform functionalities and has proven to be a valuable tool for both customers and staff.

Timberland Bank in Hoquiam, Wash., is exploring ways to illustrate their online and mobile banking applications through tours or simulated test drives. They focus on incorporating “sticky features” like Zelle payments and credit scoring to enhance the customer experience. Chief technology officer Breanne Antich stresses the importance of unified design across all devices to ensure a seamless user experience.

Both Fiserv and Jack Henry provide resources for banks to enhance their digital engagement programs and offer modern design functionality in their apps. It’s crucial for community banks to prioritize excellent digital channels to prevent dissatisfied customers from leaving.

To provide a great user experience, app designers must understand their target audience and their needs. Features like bill pay, card controls, and personal financial management tools are considered essential. Banks are also incorporating open banking APIs to integrate fintech solutions into their apps, catering to evolving customer demands.

In conclusion, offering a user-centric digital experience is essential for banks to stay competitive in the modern banking landscape. By prioritizing mobile app functionality, design, and user experience, banks can attract and retain customers in a digital-first world.

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