Will the Ability to Control Cards by Mobile Device Click?

The video should be nothing special. It’s an espresso machine doing what espresso machines do. But to see the Top Brewer by Scanomat is to desire the Top Brewer by Scanomat. Because this machine doesn’t merely brew a beautiful cup: It does so at the push of a button on your mobile device.

Smartphone-User-Photo.jpg

Early next year, credit unions—alone among financial institutions—will be able to offer members their own version of remote control by mobile device: CO-OP Card Controls and Alerts. With it, payment card holders will be able to turn their cards on and off, set spending limits, control the size and types of transactions they’ll allow, and respond to alerts flagging potential fraud—all using a mobile app. The cards themselves won’t change, but their value to card holders certainly will.

What is this trend, exactly? From one angle, it’s another twist in the mobile revolution. We’ve seen the introduction—and adoption—of mobile banking and features like remote deposit capture, mobile P2P payments, the advent of digital wallets and mobile shared branching. In the broader picture, not only do 95 percent of us keep our mobile devices on and with us 24/7, but we also appear eager to use those devices to control—frankly, everything. Regular folks can now use their mobile devices to program and activate their home thermostats, receive alerts from their refrigerators that the milk is running low and, soon, install smart locks that make lost keys a thing of the past.

Running in the background is an equally important trend for financial services—control. Where great service used to mean doing more for our members, it is coming to mean empowering members to do more for themselves. Though there are significant efficiencies to be had here, this is not about saving money. Members who are comfortable working automated tellers and self-programming every aspect of their lives want the opportunity to push their own buttons.

Let them have the remote.

Lois

Lois Hansen is vice president of product development for CO-OP Financial Services, Rancho Cucamonga, California. She can be reached at lois.hansen@co-opfs.org.

Posted on November 18, 2013 .