StrategicallySpeakingBanner

UI/UX: What is it and Why you Should Care

Posted on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 @ 09:02 AM

Author: Derik Sutton, DSutton@ProfitStars.com

Part 1:  What is UI/UX and why is it important?

By now you’ve heard of UI/UX.  You may have even referenced it in a conversation about a particular website, app, or other technology interface.  For most people it’s the most technical way they know how to say “I like this” or “I don’t like this.” 

UI/UX belongs to the larger descriptor, design, which further complicates this post because that term is often broadly used and hard to define. 

There will be two parts to this blog.  Today, part one will be used to summarize UI/UX as it relates to online and mobile interfaces, and to begin to understand the impact it is having on financial services.  Part two, which will post next week, will provide some specific online and mobile influences, and lay out some best practices for evaluating the UI/UX of your technology vendor. 

Part 1:  Let’s start with a summary of UI/UX.  

UI = What you see

UX = What you feel 

The role of the UI is to create an enjoyable visual interaction between a human and a computer interface.  The role of the UX is to ensure the human interaction was an enjoyable experience. 

For a deeper dive into the differences between UI and UX, I recommend visiting Just™ Creative. 

The general responsibility of a UX designer is to make sure the product flows from one step to another. UX designers use wireframes, product requirements, and user stories to frame the experience.  A good example for financial institutions is designing the process of new account sign up.

The general responsibility of a UI designer is to produce each element that visually communicates the process laid out by a UX designer.  For new account sign up, a UI designer would be responsible for the graphical layout of the process such as the icons used, typeface selection, input field size, etc.

The importance of UI/UX has risen with the advancement in computers and mobile devices. 

The general evolution looks like this:

  • Command line user interface and keyboard
  • Graphical user interface, keyboard, and mouse
  • Graphical user interface, capacitive touchscreen, and your finger

As technology has advanced, so to has the complexity of what the user sees, and what they experience.  As we start 2015 the importance of UI/UX is at an all time high.  The largest organizations in the world leverage the unique talents and abilities of UI/UX designers to delight and engage customers on a daily basis.  Quite simply these organizations exist because they are experts at driving the consumer experience and changing the world. 

This TED Talk video addresses what companies like Google and Facebook go through in their design process for products that impact billions of users. 

At this point, you may be thinking “that’s interesting, but my financial institution will never even come close to needing a product for that many users.”  

That is more than likely true, but that doesn’t matter.  Your customers are using those services and their consumer experiences are being driven by these organizations. 

Larger financial institutions are beginning to fully understand this impact.  The best example is Capital One®.  Check out these three moves all made since June 2014. 

Now you are probably thinking “well, that too is interesting, but my financial institution will never have the money to buy companies like Capital One.”

That is more than likely true, but the point is that your customers are going to compare your services to large financial institutions like Capital One.  Next week’s post will discuss UI/UX best practices, and what you can do in 2015 to give your customers the experience they expect.

 

Tags: website design, customer experience, mobile app

Cash Payments: Not Just for the Underbanked

Posted on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

Penny_Webb_Headshot_50x50 Author: Penny Webb, PWebb@profitstars.com

If you follow payments news, you have likely seen article after article referencing the un- and under-banked describing how they function in today’s society using mostly cash, prepaid cards and smartphones. Since the mid to late 1990’s, cash payments have been thought of as the bill payment method of last resort since it can’t utilize standard forms of delivery such as mail, lockbox and internet bill payment. Cash has come to be seen as a method of payment for those whose limited banking relationships translate into limited payment choices.

While un- and under-banked individuals do account for a large portion of cash payments, others may also be drawn to the easy to use and convenient cash payment alternative. I live in Nashville, Tennessee, which has always had a thriving music industry. Celebrity chefs are also starting to swarm this town and new high-end restaurants are popping up almost weekly. These influences have infused the area with a large population of musicians and restaurant staff, both of which are more likely to deal in cash than people in 9-to-5 professions. I know Nashville is not unique in this scenario.

In addition, some financial planning programs promote the use of cash as a way to maintain privacy and monitor spending. This leaves a lot of people with ready cash and those people have bills to pay.  In fact, the total amount of U.S. currency in circulation has been increasing year over year, and a recent study by the San Francisco Fed indicated that this trend will continue. In an era where many merchants are working to eliminate cash payments due to processing costs and security risks, this would seem to leave a hole in the payments market.

As a payments provider, it is important to consider how we could meet the needs of these cash rich individuals and the merchants that need their payments. Individuals with bank accounts that end up with a stack of cash and bills to pay will need to travel to a brick and mortar bank or ATM to deposit the cash, then turn around and make a mobile payment via smart phone. The un- and  under- banked individuals  have to trek to a convenience store, bank or credit union branch to convert the cash into a money order so they can send it via US mail, or make the trip to the company or store to make the payment in person. All of these options introduce additional time and cost to the payer, and do nothing to expedite the payment process.  Wouldn’t it be much more efficient if cash-preferring payers could pay a variety of bills with cash at places they already shop? What if they could simply show the cashier a pre-printed 3D bar code or display it on their smartphone to pay their bill in the same way they pay for any other product in their shopping cart? This may sound a little far-fetched, but there are innovative products in the market today that actually make this happen. These products facilitate the payment and manage settlement between the merchant that takes in the cash and the merchant to which the payment is owed.

While cash payments aren’t going to become the norm for the majority of payers, solutions that automate and simplify paying with cash could be one way for a financial services provider to help business clients collect payments from customers. Such services could make cash a viable option for not only the un- and under-banked but also the growing number of people who consistently have ready cash or choose to rely on cash as a safe, private form of payment.

 

Visit Our Payments Processing Knowledge Center to Learn More

Tags: unbanked, payments processing, bill pay

2015 – The Return of Optimism

Posted on Wed, Jan 07, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

davefoss_50x50 Author: Dave Foss, dfoss@jackhenry.com

It has been a long time since industry experts have described their outlooks as “optimistic” without any type of caveat. We have been working through levels of “cautious optimism” for several years, held there by threats of a fiscal cliff, government shutdown, an unprecedented number of bank closures and other challenges. Today, almost everyone in our industry seems optimistic about the New Year, and deservedly so. 

On December 23, the U.S. reported gross domestic product growth of 5 percent in the third quarter of 2014, our strongest quarter since 2003. In response, investors sent the Dow and S&P 500 to new record highs, increasing 9 percent and 13 percent for the year, respectively. The FDIC posted U.S. bank profits of $38.7 billion in the third quarter of 2014, representing the largest year-over-year revenue increase in five years. James Chessen, chief economist for the American Bankers Association, was even quoted calling the trend of banks relying on revenue rather than cutting loan-loss reserves “terrific.” 

Penny Crosman, editor-in-chief of American Banker, reinforced this positive standpoint recently by crediting optimism about business growth as one of the lead drivers for bank tech spending in 2015. One of the biggest areas of growth for IT spending predictions will be digital banking. According to research firm Ovum, mobile banking and online banking investments are expected to grow 7.5 percent and 7 percent, respectively in 2015. A couple of groundbreaking areas for these channels include:

  • The opportunity to consistently engage customers and prospects with relevant, targeted communications; and
  • The evolution of the branch. Several of our clients are moving in-branch operations work to a tablet environment. They have removed the teller line and mobilized service representatives with touch screen devices, allowing them to conduct business from anywhere in the branch or local business offices.

There is also a strong sense of optimism around Commercial and Industrial (C&I) loan growth, an area that has been reaching record highs. Strategies that many banks are investigating to further strengthen commercial lending in 2015 include:

  • Becoming more creative with lending and alternative financing to keep strong ties with commercial customers. Lender networks and partnerships with qualified alternative lenders enable bankers to identify unique funding strategies for commercial borrowers while maintaining the rest of the relationship. It also positions banks for more traditional lines of credit down the road; and
  • Offering online commercial lending capabilities to win new customers. Borrowers gravitate toward the online experience, automated prices and automated approvals offered by alternative lenders. The speed and convenience of getting a loan can have a stronger influence on decisions than pricing or relationships.

Regardless of how bright the digital, lending and overall banking outlook, we must be ever diligent in the fight against fraud. The rising sense of alarm for security breaches will continue to grow in 2015 as we see threats to private industry sectors heighten. Jacob Jegher, a research director at Celent, reported “massive” increases in security and fraud prevention spending. In response, many of our financial institutions are opting to move their IT infrastructures to Jack Henry & Associates' secure cloud computing environment, relieving the burden of management and support. That enables IT departments to focus on new initiatives that foster growth by improving channels, customer relationships and revenue generating services.

At Jack Henry & Associates, we share in the optimistic view of growth and success for bankers in 2015. Our solutions, consultants and support can be a catalyst for your accomplishments. Thank you for trusting us to power your profitability and drive our industry to new heights. May your New Year be bright, profitable, innovative, and full of cheer.

Tags: lending opportunities, online banking, Mobile Banking, branch network

Humans Can’t Do Passwords: 3 Tips to Help FIs and Homo Sapiens

Posted on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Lee_Wetherington_New_Headshot2-resized-141 Author: Lee Wetherington, LWetherington@profitstars.com

235. That’s how many passwords I have.

Correction. That’s how many different online accounts I have. I refuse to admit how many (or how few) passwords I have across my online accounts. And that brings us to today’s parting thought for 2014…

Humans can’t do passwords.

We just can’t. How many more breaches, SSL vulnerabilities, and nude celebrities do we need to see for this to sink in?

Humans can’t do passwords, at least not the right way. We’re supposed to make them strong by making them as long, unique, and unintelligible as cartoon cursing. But even if we make our passwords strong, it doesn’t matter, because we can’t remember them afterward when we do.

So we do what humans do. We use one (or just a few) passwords for scores of online accounts. Half of consumers admit to recycling the same passwords. The other half are liars: they recycle passwords too. Yes, I’m looking at you.

It gets worse. According to Javelin, the more online accounts we have, the fewer passwords we employ to protect them. People with up to 20 online accounts typically have one unique password for every two online accounts. People with more than 20 online accounts average one unique password for every three accounts.

So pervasive and worrisome is this phenomenon that the Faster Identity Online Alliance (FIDO), an organization of 150 payments and technology businesses, recently gathered to publish specifications for a Universal Authentication Framework—with the ultimate aim of wiping out passwords altogether.

In the interim, however, our problem is two-fold: not only do we have weak passwords, we only have a few of them guarding our most private assets online.  Not good.

For financial institutions, the human password problem is prickly. First, passwords stolen at other sites can often be reused to access financial sites. Second, fraudsters are now circumventing the strong password policies of some financial sites by targeting email sites instead. From there, the fraudster resets financial-site passwords and uses social media sites to glean enough privately identifiable information to pass knowledge-based authentication challenges.

If you make your password policies too tough and unrealistic, you frustrate end users and practically encourage fewer unique passwords. If you don’t enforce strong-password policies, you leave systems and data more exposed. So, what to do?

  1. Get real. Acknowledge the limitations of Homo sapiens and educate accountholders not only about strong passwords but about easy management and secure storage of those passwords too. Programs like DashLane and LastPass can not only automate the creation and storage of strong passwords but the regular changing of passwords as well. Also, be sure to promote the use of password ciphers, i.e., memorable formulas for creating unique passwords for each site respectively.
  2. Blacklist the dictionary. New breeds of password-cracking software make longer passwords less secure than they once were, especially if those passwords contain common words. Expand your password blacklist to bar the use of words found in the dictionary.
  3. Consider the future of behavioral authentication. While passwords aren’t going away any time soon, monitor the evolution of behavioral solutions. Instead of authenticating using passwords or even physical attributes (biometrics), companies like BehavioSec are verifying identities by passively observing how accountholders interact with their devices.

For more information and suggestions on balancing security and usability vis-à-vis your password policies, see Javelin Strategy and Research’s excellent report, “In Search of a Better Password Policy.”

Happy New Year!

Tags: Mobile security, cybersecurity, online banking security

Pull the String on Your Client Relationship Management Strategy

Posted on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Author:  Barbara Kempf, BKempf@jackhenry.com

A wise and very successful banker in Alaska once said about the bank’s sales and service culture, “If I leave it alone for one day we stop making progress. If I ignore it for even two days we begin to slide backward.”

That’s how culture change works. It’s something that requires consistent, everyday focus. Whenever something gets in the way of the leadership team’s commitment to CRM everything stops. When the CRM strategy is eliminated from each day’s conversation, it stagnates. If senior management fails to promote, discuss, and display commitment to CRM for two consecutive days, the entire strategy begins to decline.

Focus Every Single Day
It’s not easy to consistently demonstrate the importance of excellent CRM every single day. Some days there really are other very important things to be handled. What’s a manager to do?

Enlist others in the organization to be part of your every-single-day communication strategy. Identify the ways that each member of the management team can consistently communicate the organization-wide importance of the CRM strategy.Training

CEO – The CEO is the primary service and sales leader. Without highest level definition of the CRM strategy and without consistent highest level demonstration of the value and importance of the CRM strategy, all else will fail. CRM is not a grassroots strategy. It is definitely a trickle-down strategy. When every member of the organization sees every day that the CEO believes in the CRM strategy and is walking the walk, every member of the organization will do the same.

Operations – The EVP-Operations is in an excellent position to reinforce the CEO’s CRM message or to negate it. To send a clear message to every employee, operations leaders should consistently work to review and revise client process to make "the way we do business" increasingly client-friendly. That message: I agree with the CRM strategy and am working to make every operation part of the solution for our clients, not part of the problem. When the CEO must shift focus away from CRM for a few days the EVP-Operations’ support of the CRM strategy helps to fill the leadership void for those days.

Lending – The EVP-Lending gets a bad rap in some organizations. Lenders can be the prima donnas who resist changing the way they work with the client and changing the way they document their work to share information organization-wide. Great lending managers accept their role as CRM leaders by helping to forge the CRM strategy to best serve their clients and to support how their lenders work with clients and prospects to build and grow relationships.

Outstanding lending managers clearly communicate that the bank will make loans and grow broad relationships with clients and prospects. The bank identifies ways to expand relationships, even beyond lending to include deposit, trust, investment, and insurance products. Members of the manager’s team must stay focused on CRM every single day.

Branch Administration – The EVP-Branch Administration often accepts the first-line CRM cheerleader role after the CEO. The retail associate’s role as service provider and sales person is often most clearly defined. The branch administrator’s greatest challenge may be to share CRM leadership duties with every front-line branch manager. Branch administrators must be certain that every manager in the system is clearly communicating every day that the CRM strategy is alive and well and they’ll implement it today and every day to give clients the best service possible.

Every Manager – The CFO, the IT Manager, the Marketing Manager, and the HR Manager are CRM leaders, too. Every day, without fail, they must find a way to communicate the critical value of excellent execution of the CRM strategy. Without their support and participation, management gives an inconsistent message. Without every mid- and senior-level manager’s support, the few skeptics on the front-line will see cracks in the organization’s commitment to CRM. Senior-level inconsistency will be read as uncertainty.

Pull the String
Bring your management team together today to very clearly identify the ways each team member can and will walk the talk and demonstrate commitment to the CRM strategy. Without conscious daily commitment, the front-line rightly believes “this too shall pass.” You can’t push a string. Get out front and pull every day.

 

Tags: strategic marketing, customer relationship management

6 Steps for Loan Officer Success in 2015

Posted on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

pattrue_50x50 Author: Pat True, RTrue@profitstars.com 

If you ask financial institutions from across the country how loan demand is going, the answers will vary greatly based on the location and the industries that support the region.  Some institutions have seen significant growth in both real estate and commercial lending, while others are still struggling to expand their portfolios.  While average portfolio balances have grown across the country this year, your financial institution reflects the local market rather than the national market.  In order for your institution to be successful, your lenders must retain existing relationships and win new ones, regardless of local conditions.  There is a great quote from the British historian, Edward Gibbon, which expresses this well.

“The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator.”

The question for you is – how can your lending officers become the ablest navigators?  How can they succeed in spite of local market circumstances?  How can they protect relationships and grow portfolios even when others struggle?  Here are six action steps your lending officers can take today to engineer success in the coming year.

  1. Protect your turf.  Reach out to all business clients in the portfolio during the next 60 days, even if it is just to say hello and see how things are going.  If your lenders are not calling on current customers on a regular basis, you can rest assured that someone else is.  You might be surprised to see how many cross selling opportunities come from these goodwill visits.
  2. Develop a Center of Influence (COI) network.  This would include networking with local market CPA’s, attorneys, business consultants, CFO’s for hire, SCORE representatives, and many more.  A strong, sales oriented lending officer sees the COI market as the feeder pipeline for new relationships.
  3. Ask for referrals at EVERY VISIT.  Numbers 1 and 2 above are critical, but during all of the conversations that take place during those calls, your lenders absolutely must ask for referrals.  If someone is not willing to give a referral it means that either, a: they do not know anyone (which is highly unlikely) or, b: they are unhappy with the service they have received.  If it is b, your lender needs to get to the root of that issue.  Don’t be afraid to ask for more business.
  4. Become a student of the game.  Your lending officers should know which industries are dominant, and which areas you would like to grow your portfolio.  Help them create an environment where they can look like experts in those areas.  Sources such as First Research provide excellent sales call questions and industry insight.  Find an information source you like and arm your lenders with this tool for success.
  5. Know the rules of engagement.  In order to be successful, your lending officers must have a clear line of communication to management.  More importantly, they must have a clear vision of corporate goals and objectives.  Take the current rate environment as an example.  Your lenders need to know the institutions strategy for winning rate sensitive deals.  If they do not, then they will be at a disadvantage.  You would not send a soldier into the field without proper ammunition and guidance – so don’t send your lenders.  Make sure they know they are critical members of your team, and arm them with all necessary information.
  6. Consider a joint calling strategy between two product lines in your institution or between your lenders and third party vendor relationships.  Very often, lending officers who are reluctant to make cold calls can do much better when sharing the effort with another sales professional.  Some product vendors, such as the ProfitStars Lending Solutions team, make joint calls with their clients to build new relationships.  Within larger financial institution, this is also a great way to network two or more sales teams through in-house referrals.Shaking_hands

Not every lending officer is a great salesperson – but if managed and trained properly, they can become proficient at growing your portfolio.  With guidance from your management team, your lenders can work to become the “able navigators” they need to be in order to succeed in 2015.

Visit Our Lending  Knowledge Center to  Learn More

Tags: lending opportunities, loan growth

Keeping the Holiday Bright and Online Banking Fraud Free

Posted on Wed, Dec 10, 2014 @ 08:35 AM

Author: Allen Eaves, Jr., allen@gladtech.net 

The holidays are here and with all the cheer and bustle of the season’s festivities comes an ugly annual uptick in fraud instances. Often the scurry to find the best gifts at the best deals creates the perfect environment for the cyber equivalent of the Grinch to do his worst.

Online Banking FraudOnline shopping continues to trend upward as Santa is looking for the very best gifts for each boy and girl on the nice list. This abundance of searching and price hunting often results in exploited vulnerabilities in systems not patched with the latest releases as shoppers unknowingly visit infected sites. They then logon to their community bank to check balances and pay bills, frequently doing so from compromised workstations.  The malware running on these systems provides many tools for the thieves to wreak havoc on the festive spirit.

Nearly every online banking fraud event involves a malware infection at some step the heist. Blogs and articles regularly warn of the new ways malware is being used to infiltrate victim’s accounts.  Several recent surveys reveal that the problem may be compounded as the barrage of attack and malware news has desensitized many people to the evolving risks.

With malware’s increasingly sophisticated ability to conceal the identity of a fraudster, we must continue to monitor activity throughout the online banking session. Some attacks today do still utilize key loggers to capture the credentials of an online banking user, and then use them to access the account from a different machine. Detection of these types of attacks can take place very early in the sequence of events, from the malware infection to the malicious collection of the user name and password, to suspicious details of the authentication attempts - such as connections from proxy sites. 

Unfortunately, the very best authentication mechanisms and monitoring options of the logon will not provide adequate protection against many of the advanced attacks that occur when the victim’s machine is fully compromised. In these instances, the fraudster is able to connect to online banking through the same system and session as the valid user and makes them appear exactly like the legitimate user. Watching the behavior of the activity within the session is key, since at some point ultimately fraud scenarios involve money going to an unauthorized destination, which is the abnormal action we can focus on.

Despite the constant flow of new realities and retold stories of familiar attacks, we must remain in tune with the latest threats and remain diligent in upholding security best practices and procedures. It can be easy to be distracted by the season and difficult to stay on top of best practices when many offices are thin with staff, as team members are on vacation to be with family and friends. Along with the critical functions at banks and credit unions, the compliance and risk management functions must remain vigilant to keep the holiday bright and fraud free.  Happy holidays!

 

Learn More About ProfitStars Information Security & Risk  Mgmt Solutions

Tags: malware, online banking, fraud prevention

6 Tips for Shipping Data Securely

Posted on Wed, Dec 03, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

BrianSneed Author: Brian Sneed, bsneed@profitstars.com

I saw a news story the other day about the amount of money we spend during the holiday season. Everyone is out buying presents for loved ones. The story reminded me how important it is to protect yourself against fraud while holiday shopping.  But it also made me think - what about data security at your work place? It is easy to let your guard down because in most cases the data is not actually your personal information. It is important to ask yourself, “How would I protect this data if it were my own money?”

One story recently came up about a widely used encryption software called TrueCrypt. Many companies and individuals used this software to encrypt data. Some of the reasons why it was so widely used are because it was free, easy to use, and encrypted data well. However, in May 2014 the software company announced that it was no longer supporting TrueCrypt and users should find another avenue to encrypt their data as there could be issues with using it securely. If you were using the software, the news really sent chills down your spine. You can read the full story here. TrueCrypt was used by many to not only encrypt data on a laptop, but when shipping data as well.

If you haveSecurity a large amount of data, often the fastest way to get it from one end to the other is through a shipping service. This will save time and effort compared to copying over the Internet. What are some guidelines to protecting your data when it is “out in the open”?

  • Use reliable encryption software. BitLocker® is a great option for Windows users. It is becoming more of a standard part of Windows with each new release. File Vault® 2 is a great solution if you are using a Macintosh operating system.
  • Send your password separately from the data. This sounds easy enough to remember but it is critical that if someone intercepts your data, they can’t unlock it!
  • Once you are done with your data, make sure to completely format the drive. There is a quick option for formatting drives that is not recommended because all it does is make it look like you have deleted your data. Make sure to perform a complete format of your drive. It will take longer, but you can be more confident that the data is completely erased.
  • Send your data via overnight shipping. The quicker it gets to its destination, the shorter it will be sitting on a dock somewhere.
  • Use an extra layer of protection by putting the drive in a Pelican case or other secure enclosure that locks using a pad lock.
  • Don’t ship the data in the external drive’s original manufacturer packaging. It is a dead giveaway there could be important data within.

There is no way to fully protect ourselves from an attack, but we should all be mindful of protecting data when we need to ship it. In the future, I hope this assists you in taking proper precautions while encrypting and shipping your data.

Tags: Information Security & Risk Management

The Future of Patient Payments in Healthcare

Posted on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

MMessick Author: Mark Messick, MMessick@profitstars.com

While on vacation recently, I had a moment to reflect on my benefit elections for the upcoming year.  For the last several years, we’ve chosen to elect a high deductible plan and put money into an HSA each pay period.  It has helped us control costs, but we’ve also been lucky.  Lucky that we’ve had no major medical issues or expenses that would have depleted the HSA and left us with a big bill.  It got me wondering what I would do if the bill was bigger than what I could immediately pay.  I’d probably ask the healthcare provider or the billing/collections company if I could make payments.  And if I could have this problem – so could others, and what about all the people who don’t have an FSA or HSA to turn to?  And even if they did, what’s the likelihood the bill is larger than what they have saved in one of those accounts?  What about all the people who actually want to pay their bill, but need a flexible way to do it?

HealthcareHaving worked in this sector for a while, I have access to more information than most.  I know, for example, that this growing problem of a patient’s ability to pay their bills is the number one obstacle for most healthcare providers.  I’ve heard them say it out loud.  There are entire conferences and tradeshows dedicated to the issue and finding ways to solve it.  I attended one this summer and was shocked to hear large, national healthcare systems distressed about how to deal with it.  Like most people, I thought it was a problem for the smaller providers who want to provide care but couldn’t financially bear the weight of extended payment terms.  I also know that when patients don’t understand what they owe, they don’t pay.  And when the bill is too large and a payment plan doesn’t exist, they don’t pay. 

The accelerating cost of health care and the growth of higher deductible plans have made this very issue worse.  In fact, in the last ten years, the patient responsibility portion has grown more than 150%1.  As a result, the industry has seen a proliferation of technology solutions designed around helping providers collect more money faster.  These platforms enable providers to more efficiently offer payment methods to take care of the bill.  Electronic statements and portals for electronic payments have been emerging while other solutions have created easy-to-understand paper statements.  Many are already helping to make a significant impact on the bottom line.  Unfortunately, that only solves part of the problem.  Because what happens to the provider’s cash flow when the patient chooses “payment plan” as the payment option, or needs extended terms.  They wait for months and years for the actual bill to be paid in full. 

This is where financial institutions can and should step in.  Healthcare providers are tired of being the “bank” for their patients.  In the past, most financing has come in the form of guaranteed issue.  That means that an individual must be underwritten for both income and credit score.  Unfortunately in today’s economic climate, very few applicants actually get approved in that model.  But now there is a new model that enables the FI to leverage the payment stream and have the provider guarantee the payment.  The platform works in conjunction with other services already offered so that the provider gets access to cash flow, the patient gets terms they can live with, and the provider gets a reduced workload. 

Learn More About  BusinessManager  for Healthcare

1Health cost increases in 2013 were lowest in decade: Aon Hewitt. October 17, 2013. Insurance Journal. At http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2013/10/17/308500.htm.

Tags: healthcare financing, healthcare market

5 Tips to Increase Your Mobile Banking Adoption

Posted on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Lauren_Gleim_Headshot_50x50 Author: Lauren Gleim, lgleim@jackhenry.com 

With Thanksgiving one week away, it’s that time of year we share our appreciation for those around us. Your friends and family will gather together to share in holiday traditions, maybe watch some football and feast on delicious food. Since I am such a sentimental gal, I’d like to share my appreciation by helping you with a little mobile marketing.

Here are 5 tips to help you increase your institution’s mobile banking adoption:

  1. Provide a mobile banking app rich with features that will simplify life for your customers. Of course I like an app that I am able to check my account balances. However, if I can pay my bills, transfer money, send P2P payments, and make check deposits with that same app, even better! I just came back from a 5 day trip to Mexico, and while I was in the Charlotte airport I realized I needed to pay our Verizon bill. Luckily, I was able to access my account and pay my bill directly from my mobile banking app in about a minute. One less thing to worry about while on vacation.
    Mobile_Banking
  2. Get your employees engaged with your app. Your first line of communication with your customers is your staff. Use this opportunity and engage your employees with your mobile banking app. Train them and encourage them to use it. Your employees can promote the benefits and ease of use when they call or visit your branch. For your customers who prefer a little more hand-holding, your employees can be your best advocate to raise awareness of your mobile banking app, to walk them through how to use the app, and to reassure them of any security concerns.

  3. Cross-promote your services. Your institution has internet banking. Use this to your advantage. Encourage usage by displaying a banner ad within internet banking about how easy it is to use your mobile banking app. Add a demo on how to add a payee or pay a person. If you send a monthly newsletter to your customers, add a section about how secure it is to use your mobile banking app.

  4. Use social media to your advantage and reach a wider audience.  Whether you are trying to gain younger customers or retain your older ones, many customers use social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.  Share a demo or a FAQ page about your mobile banking app. Let your customers know they can check their account on Black Friday right from their phone.

  5. Utilize push notifications. Have you ever downloaded an app, but then never used it because you weren’t sure about all of the features? This is where push notifications can be useful. Highlight your P2P functionality. With winter approaching, you can send a little message about snow delays or when your branch is closed. Remember there are numerous avenues to reach your customers. Make use of them.

Happy customers, leads to customer retention. Remind them why they bank with you and increase your mobile banking adoption while you’re at it.

Need ideas for marketing your mobile banking app? Our iPay Resource Center offers FREE mobile banking marketing materials. Share your app and show how your customers can use it.

iPay Resource Center

Tags: Mobile Banking, mobile marketing

Subscribe to Email Updates