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Still Fearful of Online Services

By on March 20th, 2011 in Technology

Is there any doubt that a growing number of consumers prefer AND expect to do business online? Then why are so many banks and credit unions still fearful of offering online services?

A small minority of financial institutions have truly embraced e-commerce: opening accounts online, making loan decisions online, enabling mobile banking and mobile alerts — more than just the standard home banking and bill pay solutions.

On the far end of the spectrum are the institutions that offer free online banking, offer (but charge for) bill pay, and expect their account holders to visit or call the bank for other transactions.

Those days are over. Period.

And have you seen some of the really bad bank and credit union web sites? Oh my! I wish I knew how many potential account holders never even give a bank or credit union a chance because of their web site. (Don’t get me wrong, any site can be improved – but there are a select few that are truly horrible. You’ll know one when you find it.)

I’ve heard every excuse in the book – our members/customers are not internet enthusiasts, our web site gets very few hits, a small percentage of account holders use online banking or bill pay each month, we’re worried about online security, and the number one excuse — compliance.

Those are ALL excuses and none are legitimate reasons to stay away from improving and adding electronic banking services.

My advice — start small, but make it part of your strategic plan to continue to develop your electronic services. This is the only way you will compete in the future. Ask the travel agents that relied on their loyal customers to keep calling and visiting their offices for travel plans. How many are left?

Don’t have the budget to implement these types of services? Work for it. Justify it. Get it. You can’t afford not to.