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University Federal Credit Union debuts mobile financial services

Financial institution University Federal Credit Union has gone mobile for the first time with the debut of a suite of mobile financial services.

UFCU tapped Qualcomm Inc.’s Firethorn Holdings LLC to offer a mobile application to its more than 141,000-plus members beginning later this year. The collaborative agreement will let UFCU members manage their finances through Firethorn’s application platform and upcoming SMS platform.

“UFCU’s new partnership with Firethorn is a perfect complement to our established purpose and vision,” said Lyndee Bennett, marketing media project manager at UFCU, Austin, TX. “The launch of UFCU Mobile Banking will enable UFCU members to manage their finances through their mobile device 24/7 thanks to Firethorn’s application platform and upcoming SMS solution.

“Our collaboration with Firethorn enables UFCU to act proficiently in order to meet our members’ needs through convenience,” she said. “UFCU’s core target demographic for mobile banking is ideal for life optimizers who are on the go.

“UFCU members will now have the convenience of 24/7 account access wherever they are.”

UFCU is Austin’s largest locally-owned financial institution with more than 141,000 members across 11 branches and $1.2 billion in assets.

UFCU serves the Austin and Galveston areas with deposit, lending, investment, trust and insurance products and services.

Firethorn creates branded and personalized mobile commerce channels that give consumers access to their accounts, offers and transactions while on the go. 

Customers demand mobile financial services
Financial institutions are recognizing the advantage of advancing their mobile strategies to increase customer loyalty and retention, per Firethorn.

Using their mobile devices, UFCU members will be able to view their account balances, access their transaction histories and transfer money between eligible UFCU accounts.

Adding mobile services is part of UFCU’s mission of collaborating and communicating freely, finding better ideas and sharing them across the entire organization, with the intent of the effect of raising performance and the quality of service delivered to its members.

UFCU sees change as a driver of innovation and it believes that the collaboration with Firethorn will be a positive and strategic addition to its member experience.

UFCU mobile banking is a value-added service the financial institution is offering to its membership. It is a completely free service, without fees attached.

“We’re not offering the service to create income for UFCU, but to meet the needs of our members who have been asking for this specific service,” Ms. Bennett said. “It is typical for UFCU to listen to our members, receive feedback, evaluate the opportunities available and provide a solution to meet their needs.

“Firethorn wants to make sure consumers have access to the content they want, when they want it,” she said. “By creating a fresh and exciting mobile channel, Firethorn helps to bridge relationships among members and UFCU.

“Firethorn’s technology creates an easily accessible, personalized mobile commerce channel that gives UFCU members  access to their accounts, offers and transactions while on the go—Firethorn brings their expertise to the merchant community as the world continues to move toward the mobile lifestyle.”

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily