If you were a matchmaker looking to connect with the perfect partner, where would you look? There are only two answers: (1.) Anywhere they are; which is (2.) Everywhere. And where’s the best place for a bank or credit union to meet its next new accountholder? Same answer.

Online, in-branch, on their mobile devices, or out in the community—your next customer or member isn’t going to hunt you down. They’re too busy. They don’t need another hassle. And they have a dozen different options for financial services, many of which are alternative financial providers.

You know the advantages your institution already offers that they won’t get elsewhere. If you can offer them convenience, and give them the specific services they want to use, you’ll engage them and earn their business. But first, you have to meet them—personally, virtually, or a combination of both.

You have to get that first date.

Mobile First Dates

More and more often, “anywhere they are” is mobile. Your potential new accountholders rely on their phones and tablets for help in every area of their lives: health, shopping, work, scheduling, and dating. And, of course, finances. Mobile-savvy users cross all the generational and geographic lines.

  • Mobile “addicts,” defined as people who check their phones 60 or more times a day, multiplied 60% this past year, according to a survey conducted by Yahoo.
  • Over half (57%) of the 2015 “Black Friday” shoppers made purchases or checked prices while in a store on their mobile phones (Statista, 2015).
  • 70% of all consumers say they would rather open a checking account through a digital channel instead of going to a branch, and account opening did actually jump 60% in 2014 (Javelin, 2015).

Offering the ability to sign up for an account from their phone or tablet is one of the simplest ways to gain new accountholders. Consumers love the idea of doing business wherever they are, with little required except an Internet connection and their favorite mobile device. Chances are, however, if it’s too difficult, time-consuming, or confusing to open an account with your institution, your potential new accountholder will make a date with someone else. And research shows that 80% of those who start an application on a mobile device abandon the attempt.

To roll out a successful mobile welcome mat, provide an easy-to-maneuver process that takes less than five minutes and requires a minimum of data input. Make sure the user can open and fund an account in one step, or can start the process on the phone and finish it seamlessly through another channel.

Not All First Dates Are Mobile

Here are more places to “meet” prospective new accountholders and catch their eye:

  • Online. Offering the ability to open an account directly from a home or office computer, with no paperwork to print out, provides the ultimate in comfort and convenience. With just a few simple clicks all on your secure website, you’ll be gaining new accountholders by the hundreds.
  • In-Branch. Financial institutions are experimenting with myriad ways to combine branch and self-service options. Customer service staff with tablets may roam branch lobbies, or tablets on display can directly provide self-service option to sign up for a new account. No need to wait in line, but staff members on hand to help or answer questions, in person or perhaps via video link.
  • Community events. Attending local festivals, events and even shopping venues is a great way to meet potential new accountholders. Offering the ability to sign up for an account on the spot through a computer, tablet or mobile phone makes it quick and simple—especially if you require no follow-up paper forms or visits to the branch to complete the process.

The key to turning potential accountholders into loyal, long-time customers and members is to make the “first date” as seamless and convenient as possible. Offering multiple meeting places will make you stand out in a crowded field.

Learn more in a new white paper, “Advanced Technology for Romancing New Accounts,” just released by Bluepoint Solutions. How can you leverage technology that’s available today to meet your new account goals? What does an omni-channel account opening system need to do, to turn your next first dates into active relationships? How will it fit into your existing environment? Find answers here.

Read this article on CU Insight.