BY GENE PRANGER
A frazzled mom drops by the credit union to apply for a car loan. Her 4-year-old twins race across the room and loot the lollipops. She shrieks as one of them smashes a snow globe.
The trailblazing team at Pioneer Federal Credit Union in Mountain Home, Idaho, can chuckle at chaotic scenes like this. Instead of making everybody cram into the branch, Pioneer offers mobile video banking with the help of POPin Video Banking Collaboration. Through the platform, members can use their smartphones to check account balances, change PINs, apply for loans, sign documents, transfer money, and more—all from the comfort of their living rooms.
“It’s so fun to watch them on-screen while you’re helping and know their kids are happy and it’s a stress-free transaction,” says Tracey Miller, Vice President of Branch Operations for Pioneer Federal Credit Union.
Mobile video is the future of banking, and the future is now. Two-thirds of Americans rely on digital banking as their primary channel, according to an American Bankers Association survey conducted last year. Mobile banking is also accelerating among millennials, showing that traditional branches must continue to evolve to serve members on their terms.
“The fact that we can service the hours we do at a credit union our size is pretty remarkable,” Miller says. “Our members have really become accustomed to the convenience.”
Miller recounts how a Spanish-speaking member recently visited the branch, but Pioneer didn’t have a Spanish speaker on duty. No matter—the teller used her own phone to contact somebody in the video call center who spoke Spanish and was able to provide immediate assistance.
“The member was absolutely blown away,” Miller says. “Now he knows he doesn’t have to come into the branch. He can reach a Spanish speaker on his phone. The mobile video platform has made it so much easier for our members, and it’s made it easier for our staff, too.”
Miller expected millennials and military members to embrace this exciting new technology. But she was surprised to also hear from elderly members, who cherish the ability to handle their banking from home and would rather not have to ask for rides to the branch. After the introduction of POPin, Miller recalls one such member commenting on her renewed independence, saying, “You’ve given me my life back.