March 4, 2013
Three Ways to Improve Loan Origination with Mobile
Mobile should be considered as the next critical method for improving loan origination, and with the variety of customer engagement technologies that are available through a mobile device, there are many ways to differentiate a banks experience whether through new apps or existing messaging technology. The following is a quick run-down of mobile technologies that can be applied to bring customers into the sales funnel, improve engagement, and ideally improve conversion.
1) Mobile provides access to QR codes
QR codes are an incredibly effective way to gather customer information, and also a quick and easy way to provide the customer with access to coupons, tickets, and a host of money saving content. QR codes, when scanned by a mobile device, provide a path from a physical marketing asset like a poster to web based content that can serve as a critical first step to engaging customers and helping them pick their next loan. QR codes can also connect customers with bank resources to engage in conversations, provide coupon that load directly into the phone, and help a bank gather important data along the way. As scanning QR codes becomes more ubiquitous, the possibilities for marketing to co-signers, borrowers, and colleagues become more and more interesting and valuable.
2) Mobile provides access to conversational messaging
Mobile provides multiple mechanisms for messaging, which allow banks to engage in one way and two-way conversations with customers and prospective customers. Conversational alerting is already in use by a number of banks, often to help identify suspicious transactions or fraud cases, by sending the user an SMS or push notification to the mobile device that the user may respond to. The application of conversational messaging is of high value to banks that recognize when customers should be considering new loans based on life events or based on timing throughout the calendar year.
Additionally, if a bank considers combining technologies, QR codes may be combined with conversational messaging to provide a rapid capture strategy for banks looking to originate new loans and serialize loan purchases for existing customers. By responding to a customer who has scanned a QR code with a message that initiates an immediate conversation, the bank is now able to combine technologies for much more compelling engagement.
Imagine that you are a freshman in your Spring Semester, and you have not yet figured out your loan situation for the upcoming year. On-campus QR marketing could be an effective on-ramp to serializing loan purchases. If you scan a QR code that leads immediately to a conversation using messaging, the bank is able to provide important and relevant information that can help you to begin making a decision regarding available products for the next semester. This is a massive step forward from traditional methods given that banks can now make customers aware of products based on a customer’s mobile request (the QR scan), and also move the customer down the sales funnel as a more informed and engaged consumer.
3) Mobile provides geo-location information / geo-fencing opportunities
If a customer shares his or her physical location with a bank, the bank can provide an even more context rich service. This is true for scanning specific QR codes, as discussed above, but it is also true for simple location of the mobile device. Imagine that a customer is house hunting, and the bank is able to map the customer’s location to MRIS house listings. Providing the customer with a note that says mortgage rates could be as low as 3.5% and offers assistance with the house hunt would be a remarkable service. The same is true if banks could identify that a customer is on the car lot looking to purchase a new or used car and initiate a dialog around loan options or fast track the person to a loan representative who could complete the loan process.
In a similar fashion, if a bank is able to identify that the customer is standing near a large poster or banner with a QR code which could insert a coupon into the customer’s mobile wallet, the bank could notify the customer via a mobile message that he or she could save money by scanning the nearby QR code. In this scenario, the bank has just improved the capture rate of their QR marketing. The poster is no longer a “display it and they will come” marketing effort, but instead potentially much more interactive and experience. Through conversational messaging banks can even institute the ability to receive responses to their awareness message like “can’t find the poster,” “no thanks,” or “thanks!” which provide even more insight into what the customer is willing or not willing to opt-in for.
Good for Consumers / Good for Commercial Customers
In addition to considering how mobile engagement technology could improve loan originations for end consumers, banks should also consider the value that this technology can provide to their business customers that are also trying to improve their own sales. For banks with small and medium business relationships, the possibilities for building a valuable and loyal ecosystem of retail customers and business customers are endless. By considering the wide array of customer engagement technology described above (and we have not even discussed social media), banks can not only engage customers about their own products, but also drive awareness, learning, and unique engagement around the products that their small and medium business partners provide.
-Clay Almy (firstname.lastname@example.org)