Copyright: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo
User experience (UX) has become the most important factor in marketing for industries across the board. Companies are coming to the conclusion that their customers and prospects will do business with them if they have a good experience, but leave if they don't. There are so many choices for customers who can search for competitors at the touch of a computer key from their own homes.
For the banking industry, smartphone apps have vastly improved user experience and convenience. No more standing in long lines, especially for personal accounts. However, there are still places where SMS marketing can offer unique value to bankers.
While many banking customers are taking advantage of banks' smartphone apps, they can still appreciate the ease of managing their finances through SMS messages. It is supremely easy to manage a bank account by texting, paying bills, receiving important account alerts, recharging prepaid services and staying abreast of everything happening with their bank account. The SMS channel of communication is accessible to everyone with a cell phone and doesn't require any apps or 3G/4G mobile Internet availability. Financial institutions can gain a competitive edge by offering the best in money-management solutions and digital payment options.
SMS Banking Advantages
When searching for a user-friendly service, you can't find much of anything more popular than texting. Texting is used by consumers of all ages, lifestyles and demographics on a daily basis. For banking purposes, customers can manage their own accounts and view transaction history in a secure manner through text messaging. Unlike smartphone apps, SMS banking only requires a cell phone that can send and receive text messages. SMS messaging does not require Wi-Fi, smartphone or the Internet to operate. A customer can receive banking information about their accounts daily, 24/7 whenever the messages are sent.
Not only used in the U.S., SMS messaging is used around the world for mobile-generated banking services and money transfers. One example of this usage is M-Pesa, a mobile-phone-based micro-financing and money-transfer service. M-Pesa has been adopted in many countries including Kenya, and is starting to be used in Eastern Europe, India, South Africa and Afghanistan. Using M-Pesa, a customer can withdraw, deposit and transfer money via mobile device easily and securely. PIN-protected SMS messages are used to send the money to vendors of goods and services.
Secure SMS Messaging
Security is a high priority with SMS messaging providers for online and mobile banking use. One addition is the inclusion of two-factor authentication for SMS banking for a higher level of account protection. The security is often used when a consumer makes a change in their account status or a large or unusual online purchase or payment. The way it works is that customers are prompted to send themselves a security code through SMS messaging, which is then entered into the system in addition to their normal banking password. This dual-channel authentication enhances the bank account security.
With extra security, banking customers feel more at ease and have a better user experience using SMS messaging. Users also have the ability to receive account updates, deposit notifications, overdraft and low balance alerts, real-time information about their accounts. SMS notifications can also alert the customer about any large transaction. This alert allows the customer to confirm the large transaction before it impacts their account to avoid fraudulent activity.
Not surprisingly, the top concern of banking customers is the security of their personal information and safety of their bank accounts. Banks have found that using SMS as a way to alert customers of low and negative balances, overdrafts and suspicious activity alleviates much of the customer's concern. Customers can set their alerts to notify them when a withdrawal is made over their set limit. They can also sign up to receive alerts when statements or other documents are published.
ATM Usage Alerts
ATM and check-card usage can also be monitored through SMS messaging. Customers have the option to set specific alerts. Using criteria defined by the individual customer, banks are using SMS to issue alerts for larger transactions, transactions with fraud risk or unusual activity. Some examples are ATM cash withdrawals, gas station purchases, purchases made without a card present, declined transactions and international transactions.
To find out how you can diversify your mobile communications so that you can reach your clients and prospects more effectively, download our complimentary Mobile Marketing Success Kit.