A very ‘appy’ birthday to The Cambridge

31 July 2018 • Our Insights

As we celebrate its 1st birthday – we look back at the journey of our Money app…

It’s been ten years and counting, since the age of the app arrived. It’s come a long way since the early days of the iPhone and its perfectly packaged suite of game-changers that thrilled innovators but felt mind-boggling for the majority. Since then, consumers have dipped their toe into the benefits and the world has moved on.

In 2011 we launched our e-commerce Savings Platform and as a result, increased our ability both to reach more customers and provide a better services for those we already had. We’ve seen a good uptake of customers choosing to manage their accounts online year on year and with this growing momentum the development of our app became a logical step.

Fast forward to 2017, and The Cambridge set out to punch above our weight in mobile technology. Our mobile app project (initially for iPhone users) was born and nurtured in early 2017, and launched in July. This was a natural step in managing a diverse and growing business with a forward-looking customer base. Our app for Android followed in October and is currently rated 4 star by users, it’s simple and secure, intuitive and joined up.

As it stand, we’re still the only Building Society without a current account to offer its customers an app, which shows our commitment to providing the best possible customer experience.

The objective of our project was to establish a long-term evolving solution for our customers to manage their savings and mortgages and, by design, it offers convenience too. Our primary focus was to make the app easy to use so to enhance the customer experience and accommodate a broad client base. By making the app customer friendly, we had simply counted everyone in.

Our app functions include:

• Simple and secure login
• Accounts in one place
• Easy transfers
• Personalisation of accounts – to help ring fence different saving pots
• Secure messaging – a growing option for customers wanting to contact us

The Cambridge has developed a ‘digital Society powered by people’ approach, embracing advances in technology, complemented by face to face engagement as the ideal in financial services. We want to encourage all members to join the digital revolution, with support from real people and a trusted financial name who has stood the test of time. This is a difficult path by any measure, but a journey worth investing in as today the line is almost seamless between online and offline business.

Very simply, it’s all about choice which allows customers to conduct basic transactions at a time and place convenient to them. Customer-facing teams describe a change in conversations in store, as with less transactional activities taking place it provides more time for discussion and understanding customer needs and how The Cambridge can meet these.

Since the launch, uptake continues to be encouraging and analysis reveals growth across all age groups, while we develop what’s still to come – it’s work in progress with updates a-plenty on the horizon; the next will support card deposits/payments straight into your account.

Statistics for our first ‘app year’ celebrated on 31st July, reveal that the number of customers using the app has picked up pace, increasing by 142% in the second 6 months compared to the first.

It’s telling that our mid-year customer satisfaction survey reveals the divide is widening between customers managing their account using our web portal and those using the app, with the app breaking new ground. Next year the industry predicts apps are set to overtake desktop access in financial services. At The Cambridge our statistics indicate there’s greater satisfaction among customers who engage across multiple channels, including the app, which is particularly pleasing as it supports our decision to invest in mobile technology.

Our mobile app project has delivered numerous benefits to our customers as it has allowed us to personalise their experience by anticipating their needs and providing solutions to meet these. Our investment in mobile technology is just one example that as a Society, we are proactive about innovation. And, as maintaining relevance is all-important in a millennial age, any organisation that lags behind risks being left behind, as the power of this generation continues to influence technology going forward.

Other benefits to customers include confidence, with progress made towards alleviating online security issues, by virtue of easy access and the elimination of navigation problems and the frustration of searching, especially when time pressed. Put together with 24/7 portable access and it’s difficult to find reasons not to get on board.

So, what does success for The Cambridge look like when it comes to our app? On the surface and for many it’s a numbers game, but for us, it’s not just counting downloads but the sub-text that holds our attention. Understanding why customers want to use our app is where the advantage sits. And while it’s important for our customers to benefit from available technology it’s necessary to combine this with excellence through people know-how, we see this in synergy. Feedback from staff surveys reveal an overall thumbs up for our app, there is an appreciation of how innovation has made The Cambridge relevant and improved job roles, allowing teams to engage with customers across a number of different channels.

Lastly, The Cambridge brand is boosted no end as a leader rather than a follower in the world of Mutuals as we choose to carve our own technology path in a highly competitive marketplace.

We want to help all our customers to benefit from managing their account(s) online by using their personal login on our website or by downloading our app. Our friendly teams are ready to help you, simply call us on 0345 601 3344 or ask in branch about online services on your next visit.