Mobile Development Priorities for 2019

Mobile development continues to be high on everyone’s priority list, and our teams are getting ready for some exciting new initiatives kicking off in October with the 2019 fiscal year. These projects will have some ripple effects as far as requests for changes and customizations to our mobile web and mobile app products, so keep reading to find out what’s cooking for mobile products.

Our Focus for the Next 120 Days

Our focus in this area during the first half of the 2019 fiscal year will be to:

  1. Sell and implement our free Apple/Android Mobile App solutions v2.0 and v3.0 to all comers. (Support for Mobile App v1.0 has been sunset and migrations are ongoing.)
  2. Roll out the new Mobile Web and Apple/Android Mobile App solutions for It’s My Biz 247.
  3. Use the Biz mobile solution as a template to deliver a new It’s Me 247 Mobile Web solution by mid-calendar year 2019.
  4. Continue ongoing infrastructure projects for standalone P2P, RDC enrollments, and push notifications.
  5. Start the preliminary planning for Mobile App v4.0, with a target for release no earlier than fall 2019 (fiscal year 2020).
  6. Start the new Micro App Store initiative (keep reading to learn more…)

This means that during the next 120 days or so, we are announcing a moratorium on responding to requests to customize or make changes to our mobile web or mobile app v2.0/v3.0 solutions, so we can concentrate our development efforts on these new business foundations.  Bottom line: If you submit a mobile web/app request via the DHD you will likely receive a response such as, “Thank you for your idea.  We will consider it as part of our planning for the Mobile App v4.0 release in 2020.”

Announcing a new CU*Answers “Micro App” Store

The Micro App Store will be a place for CU*Answers to develop a new family of mobile apps designed to supplement current kitchen sink-style apps.  These will be copyrighted by CU*Answers and sold as specialty apps, with fees to include a one-time setup and rollout fee, ongoing maintenance fee minimums, and ongoing licensing fees per user tiers.

Here are the first few specialty apps we’ll be building:

  1. A loan payment app for the disengaged member or indirect borrower
  2. A standalone RDC-focused app for the payment/deposit minded member
  3. A saver-focused app for investment minded members, for buying CDs and opening specialty savings products

Development efforts will begin no later than January 2019, and we expect the first app will be available for sale by no later than June 2019.  If you have ideas for other specialty apps we can sell in this new store, use the comment feature at the bottom of this page and make your suggestion!

Building an Assembly Line for Our Future

Our goal over the next months is to build an assembly line not only to push out other apps we’ll build in the future, but also to create a foundation for third-party app production for credit unions who want to hire us or other app developers to build and hook up their own.  We anticipate the assembly line to include common components for all apps, including authentication, a set of functions unique to that app, marketing features, and a mechanism to sell all of the other apps the credit union offers.

If we are to continue supporting a vivid set of free kitchen-sink apps in the long-term, it’s important that we take the time to design the platforms that will allow us to build a business to generate revenues from premiums, alongside our freemiums.

A Word about App Versions: Drawing a Line in the Sand

It’s important to understand the subtle differences between our mobile web products and the Apple/Android mobile app solutions. Unlike our other products which are updated frequently, mobile apps need to be packaged and finalized versions that aren’t a moving target.  Apps must be submitted to and approved by the Apple and Android mobile app stores, and we must adhere to their guidelines.  In order for members to get updates to an app, they must download an update from the store, so older versions are typically supported, unchanged, for at least some period of time.  Most importantly, our mobile apps are used by third-party developers as the foundation for their own solutions, which means they need a solid foundation to which they can code, without constant revisions that drive up the time and expense of building their tools.

Don’t forget, though, that our mobile app solutions were built with a host of configurable options, baked into the design. So if you feel the need to change something up to keep it fresh, contact the IRSC and ask about options for tweaking your settings.

September 11, 2018

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