Product Review: Union Bank’s New Mobile App Cuts Through the Clutter
Was fiddling with my phone just this afternoon and somehow I happened on the new Union bank’s Mobile App launched just a couple of weeks ago.
Sometimes, when such products are released, the myriad of me-too products and the inherent ‘noise’ they generate in their bid to “out-do” one another in order to attract the attention of the consumer becomes distracting as well confusing to the end user. Guess this is why some intended targets are switched off so to say.
In this wise, a product especially a late entrant needs to be appropriately differentiated in its make-up, functionality and positioning.
My long held stereotypes (old and traditional) about Union bank as one of the two earliest banks in the country possibly already coloured my expectations from the app notwithstanding the fact that the bank recently rebranded. This is however not unfounded as a brand’s “moment-of-truth” very often becomes a far cry from its promises and new claims.
However, while I must confess that I am neither a customer nor fan of the bank at least for now, I admire Union Bank’s new Mobile App for a few simple reasons which bother on its unique and differentiating factors.
In this review, functionality is taken as a given because all Mobile apps will most likely run on the same technology which makes core service delivery and speed almost constant denominators for most banks. Hence, its conventional services such as log-in, ATM + Branch Locator and “Open an account online” are taken for granted.
Looking beyond these routine services, the presentation from launching on the Google play store or Apple Store creates some interesting look and feel for the brand other than the commonplace logo signatures. New Union Bank’s urbane “afrocentric” creative style becomes a hook which motivates the visitor to probe further as your discovery runs contrary to your expectation and makes you curious about what this “old” bank is up to!
As part of the bank’s deposit drive, the Mobile (online) App is deployed to mobilise off-line deposit for the bank. Yes, still on the App’s opening page, a customer through an icon, could locate and call up a nearby agent to come for his deposit. This looks aggressive and growth oriented to the bank but offers convenience to the customer.
Aside these, the Mobile app has an “Hot deals” icon in which users can get a discount of between 10 and 20% off payment for services by a growing list of companies including selected Airlines, stores, Bakeries etc. The app also serves news on go covering fashion, sports, Naija, and world news and of course provides the customer and the investment community, first-hand news and information about UBN.
Another value-added service beyond banking and payment, is the weather news and forecast capability of the app. This could be on any selected location of the visitor or customer’s choice. It affords the bank to play the role of a traveller’s guide by the hour to customers and none customers alike.
For me, the attraction is the ability of non customers to have at least one reason to use the Mobile App. This seemingly weakness has the capacity to become the “open door” and a pathway for the prospect to join the Union Bank’s movement. The bank creates and offers values beyond the conventional. This definitely gives the prospect a raison-d’être for taking another look at the bank and becoming a customer and the current will have reasons to become loyal. Opening this gateway through continuous exposure and reinforcement will work for the brand on the long run. Kudos.