Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: app, credit unions, piggymojo, savings, shari storm
Today’s blog comes courtesy of Shari Storm, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Verity Federal Credit Union. Shari is the author of the new book ‘Motherhood is the New MBA”, available here.
I’ve joked for a long time about my husband and my different spending habits.
When Jim Bruene, at Net.Banker wrote about PiggyMojo , a spending tracking platform for couples, I was instantly interested.
So I signed up. The way the program works is when one person is faced with the opportunity to spend money and resists, they text it to PiggyMojo and it tracks all those small decisions and adds them up for you. For example, if a co-worker is on their way to Starbucks and asks me if I want my usual, and I say no, I text “4 coffee” (meaning I just saved $4 on coffee) to PiggyMojo.
You tell the program what you are saving for and it tracks your actions against your goal. I said we were saving for a better TV (our current TV actually has to “warm up” circa 1978 before the snow goes away and the picture comes in). I said I wanted the TV by my husband’s birthday in October. PiggyMojo calculated that we’d have to save $65 per week to make that happen.
And so once a week I got a reminder email that I needed to save $65. To be honest, my interest in the program started to wane after getting three weeks worth of emails reminding me that I needed to save $65 per week in order to get a new TV by October.
Then one day, my husband set me an email that said, “I just fixed the weedwacker myself. Send me positive reinforcement for saving us $50!” (If you knew how opposite-of-handy my husband is, you’d be very impressed with this email).
I texted PiggyMojo “50 weedwacker”. I suddenly realized how absolutely right Jim was in his post. If my text had actually made a transfer from my checking account to a hard to touch savings account, this would be brilliant. My husband and I would have the instant gratification of knowing that we were $50 closer to a modern TV.
The thing with savings, the founder, Jayson Halladay, told me when I met him in New York a few months ago, is there is no instant gratification. That is what PiggyMojo is trying to instill – that sense of immediate satisfaction when a buck is saved.
Jason and PiggyMojo are looking for a financial institution to partner with – ideally a credit union – to create a mobile app that actually transfers real money when a savings success happens.
I think this would be a great project for an i3 group or some other innovative CUSO or credit union. I’d buy it from you.
Filed under: technology, Uncategorized | Tags: app, credit unions, ipad, iphone, ipod
By: Robert Rutkowski
Much has been written about grabbing the Gen Y audience and otherwise leveraging technology to reach out to new and existing members. Looking at the app store for iPhone/iPod/iPad, it shows that many financial institutions (including credit unions) have apps that offer a variety of services. On the more extreme end, a credit union could run a billpay app or something more pedestrian such as finding locations or checking account balances.
In deciding whether or not to take the step of actually creating a credit union app, the first question is how much would it cost? I have heard the number $30,000 thrown around as an example. Really it depends on what you are trying to do. If you want to show your members where you’re located, there are app creators out there that would help a credit union create an app for very little. On the other hand, interfacing a bill pay system through an app would be complicated and accordingly, expensive.
Expense is only one factor, however. Would your members even use it? If your membership base (or your potential membership base) is not tech savvy or not very interested in using apps or internet related products, creating such an app would probably bring a low return on investment. On the other hand, if your targeted member medium or existing member base is young and tech savvy and more importantly, interested in technology, an app could be very exciting to these people. Anything that establishes a communication base between you and a significant number of your members has value. How many of your members use bill pay now? How many of them are potential iPhone/ iPod/iPad users? How many people would ultimately end up using this type of product? This may be hard to identify, especially for a smaller credit union. Perhaps a membership survey would be of some value or even something more informal on the credit union’s website.
Finally, is it even possible for your credit union to interface its data processing system with an app? Ultimately, that is a question for your data processor. Certainly, if you have a bill pay product now, that sort of thing is possible. Depending on how your data processor handles its products, it may or may not be able to help you in this endeavor. I recently gave a seminar where one of the Credit Unions identified the fact that there data processor actually ran the credit union’s bill pay through ATM processing thus, placing its bill pay service within the new Regulation E changes. Such a bill pay system might have trouble getting linked to an iPhone/iPod or iPad via an app. On the other hand, the system using the ACH process probably would link more easily. The credit union wishing to develop an app should involve its data processor, involve its data processor at the very beginning.
For the right credit union with the right membership base, an iPhone/iPod/iPad app would be a good investment to offer enhanced member services and reach out to potential members.