Is Voice the New Mobile- and the Ultimate Touchless? - Best Innovation Group > Media > Blog

Please Wait a Moment



Is Voice the New Mobile- and the Ultimate Touchless?

Is Contactless the New Mobile- and Voice the Ultimate Contactless?

By Glen Sarvady

It was only a few years ago that I recall BIG’s Resident Visonary John Best counseling credit union leaders regarding their digital strategies, “If you don’t build out your mobile platform, you might as well not bother with digital.” It was a controversial statement at the time, but it’s now conventional wisdom. The hand-held device has become the go-to channel for members across a wide array of demographics, surpassing the desktop for engagement volume.

But commerce never stands still, and the COVID-19 pandemic has given digital migration another jolt forward. “Contactless” is the new buzzword. Many consumers have become skittish over transacting in cash at the point of sale. Whether these fears are borne out by science is beside the point- perception often trumps reality in these situations. Even more interesting, however, is how an act as simple as the handoff of a credit card has become frowned upon. Consider how a gloved hand now extends a POS terminal for a drive-through customer to insert their card. Now consider how bizarre this interaction would have seemed just four months ago.

Even largely contactless interactions are suddenly being scrutinized. How often is the key pad on that ATM machine being wiped down, for instance, and didn’t I just see the guy in front of me cough through his withdrawal? Even PIN debit touch screens at grocery stores are viewed warily by some.

Of course, smartphone-resident digital wallets- including apps like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay- can deliver a truly contactless experience. And even if a payment app requires tapping on a phone screen, people are understandably more comfortable revisiting their own germs. These digital wallets have not yet reached mass adoption, but COVID has certainly created an environment ripe for a quick uptick. Credit unions are well aware of the importance of “top of wallet” status for their payment cards; heightened interest in contactless should serve as a wake-up call to promote “top of app” standing as well, ensuring that card credentials are loaded into the digital wallets that will comprise an increasing share of transaction volume.

For a truly contactless experience, however, is there a better model than voice? Banks and credit unions are already experimenting with Amazon Alexa and Google Home capabilities, most often deployed from the comfort of their residences. This works well for bill payment and balance queries today, but it’s hardly a stretch to envision these capabilities extended to vehicles, soon making it relevant for point of sale purchases.

It may be too early to declare “If you don’t build out your voice platform, you might as well not bother with digital.”  At a bare minimum, however, credit unions should stake their claim ASAP to reserve their brand identity on voice channels. Otherwise they could find themselves re-living the late 90s web headaches of discovering some troll has already poached their natural URL.                 

About the Author


Advice from a retired CU CEO turned Tech Consultant: #SpeedUp!

Advice from a retired CU CEO turned Tech Consultant: #SpeedUp!

Make no mistake a digital revolution is upon us and credit unions need to react and change in order ...

Read More >

Best Innovation Group Is First To Certify Amazon Alexa Skills For Credit Union Voice Banking Transactions.

Best Innovation Group (BIG), a credit union innovation catalyst, announced the certification of its ...

Read More >

How To Use Data Analysis To Better Serve Your Members

Modern members are no longer willing to wait for their credit union to provide them with what they n...

Read More >

A Credit Union's Biggest Cultural Challenge: Its Smart Use Of Data

Many credit unions are successfully building the fundamental skills and infrastructure they need to ...

Read More >

SetIt And Citadel Federal Credit Union Join Forces To Improve Cardholder Experience

As consumers increasingly shop online and pay bills with debit and credit cards, it’s more importan...

Read More >
Credit Union Takeaways from the White House’s Executive Order

Credit Union Takeaways from the White House’s Executive Order

Based on the industry’s reaction, you’d think the banking sector had been singled out in the Biden...

Read More >

About Us

Best Innovation Group, Inc is a technology innovation and development company catering to the financial industry. We invite you to join the hundreds of financial institutions that have already worked with our team of experts in designing technology solutions to fit their growing needs.

Contact Us

Toll Free:

To Subscribe To Our Mailer