Archive for the ‘Mobile Alerts’ Category

iPad and Banking

April 8, 2010 3 comments

The Financial Brand sent an interesting tweet earlier: “If online banking works fine on iPads, then why would a financial institution ever need to build an iPad-specific app?”

Maybe it’s the geek in me, but I see the iPad as a way to redefine online banking.  While having lunch this week with a couple of co-workers and  Bryan Clagett (@clagett) of Geezeo, we talked about online banking in general.  Most FI customers currently go to their FI’s homepage and then go directly to online banking.  They never look over the other information that’s listed on the website.

I believe an iPad app can be more beneficial to customers.  For instance, you can push balance/transaction alerts.  You could also push alerts about rate changes and marketing events or even iAds.  An iPad app would give a FI the opportunity to make mobile banking more PFM like, which would be a much better experience.

My point is, if newspapers can see the benefit of having an app instead of just letting people go to their website, there must be some tangible benefit.  You’re only limited by your imagination.  I believe most online and mobile web banking experiences are pretty crappy.  The iPad gives you the outlet to really do it right.

Picture by d!zzy/flickr

Mobile Banking To The Rescue

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment


So, I was headed home from work this evening and decided to stop at a local restaurant for some takeout.  After placing my order, I then paid with my handy-dandy First Federal debit card.  After receiving my food, I headed on home to enjoy my meal.

When I settled in to eat my dinner, I checked my phone to see what alerts came in from mobile banking.  I saw two debit alerts, one that matched a purchase I made earlier, and one that didn’t look familiar.  It seems that what I thought I paid for my meal was not matching the alert I received.

I then logged onto online banking and saw the debit description for the restaurant.  It seems that the cashier added a dollar tip that I didn’t remember giving.

I guess he didn’t know that: #1 I get SMS alerts on my debit card and #2 I work for the bank.  Tomorrow morning, they will most likely lose out on the transaction altogether.

So what have we learned?  SMS alerts can help protect you against fraudulent charges; and small business owners may want to be a little more honest with all this technology in consumers’ hands.


The restaurant adjusted their credit charges at the end of night.  So I ended up being charged the correct amount.

Photo by Skokie

First Federal Launches Mobile Banking

October 16, 2009 6 comments

First Federal Mobile Banking

First Federal has now launched Mobile Banking for its customers.  I have to say, I am really excited about this new service.  While I was skeptical about the benefits of the service a couple of years ago, I have to admit that having my bank in my pocket is great.

Being a lead on the project was a lot of fun.  After looking at most of the vendors in the market, we finally decided on ClairMail.  We felt that text alerts was a very crucial piece to mobile banking and ClairMail fit our needs nicely.  One added bonus is that we are the first bank/credit union to offer mobile banking without requiring the customer to be an online banking user.

I believe this will allow the bank to tap even more potential users that may not necessarily want to use online banking.  Customers can use text messaging and/or mobile web for mobile banking.  Some of the features that are currently available are daily balance alerts, deposit/withdrawal alerts and transfers.  There is also a stylized iPhone version.  If you are a First Federal customer, you can register for mobile banking here.  Some screen shots are listed below.

SMS Example

Mobile Web Ex1

Mobile Web Ex2

Time Sure Flies

July 23, 2008 3 comments

With all the hustle and bustle, I didn’t realize that I’ve been blogging for a year now.  I must admit that so far, it’s been a lot of fun.  I’ve been able to connect with a lot of people and been introduced to a lot of ideas and technologies.

Thanks to all that have continued to be avid readers and share their ideas.  Looking over my blog stats, the most popular posts have dealt with mobile banking and Walmart’s MoneyCard.  I’d just like to take a moment to discuss those two topics.

How to Get a No-Fee Walmart MoneyCard

By far, this has been the most popular post.  It kind of makes me wonder why banks/credit unions don’t offer a similar product.  I don’t know the exact number of Walmart cardholders, but from the complaints I’ve heard from our customers, I think customers would love a card like this.  Eventually, overdraft fees will become a very sensitive topic.  You can already find some very public posts about how banks are handling their overdraft fees.

As people become more educated about fees, this particular fee income could dry up.  Why not offer pre-paid cards to your customers?  This could open up that unbanked/underbanked market that we all hear about.

Mobile Banking

Why the iPhone Doesn’t Matter For Mobile Banking has gotten a lot of hits.  With the release of the iPhone 3G, there have been a slew of articles concerning the iPhone and mobile banking.  A few of the popular ones are by Ron Shevlin, Morriss Partee, Jim Bruene and Mark Schwanhausser.

Me, I think mobile banking will become a vital channel.  Here in SC, we have a lot more rural customers with poor internet connections.  These same customers tend to have cell phones, which opens a new channel.  After reviewing surveys and actually talking to customers, I feel this is a channel that we can’t ignore.  Yes, there is no ROI at the moment, but the same could be said for online banking ten years ago.

As for the iPhone’s impact, I still think it won’t drive mobile banking, for most of the industry anyways.  According to our web stats, BlackBerry users still access our site more the iPhone users, though the iPhone is gaining.  But most BlackBerry users got their phone through their company.  iPhone users tend to be on the leading edge of technology.

The typical cell phone owner is not going to get a high end phone with a data plan.  Once the price of data plans drop, then we’ll see an increase mobile web users.  Until then, adoption of mobile banking through the mobile web will be slow. 

To put it in perspective, Mark mentions that Jack Henry’s goDough is at 65 banks and has a total of 6,559 users.  That’s about 100 users per bank.  Bank of America now has 1 million mobile web users.  I wish BB&T would release their numbers since they offer SMS alerts.  I know they have way more than 6500 users.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they sign up that many per week, with no major advertisements.

Over the last year, it’s been fun watching the banking industry evolve.  I look forward to many more and I’m glad you’ve decided to join me.  Here’s to many more.

Did You Know Most People Don’t Want SMS Alerts?

February 7, 2008 3 comments

American Banker recently posted an article, Interest in Text Alerts Waning. According to Forrester, out of the 24% that use alerts for online financial services (online trading, bill pay, banking), 94% are email alerts and 9% are mobile alerts (hmmm…103%?). In fact, 53% don’t even want to receive alerts and 43% don’t want to pay their carrier for text messaging at all.

As we said in Statistics class in college, 39% of all people know statistics can be made to say anything. Forrester’s report is nothing new. If you look at Javelin’s research, you’ll see the same information, but with a positive slant. What isn’t mentioned is how the number of people that want alerts to their phone has risen to 47%. You’ll notice Forrester didn’t mention how much interest had gone down. I believe this number was around 35% a year ago. So actually, interest isn’t waning, it’s going up.

The 94% that use email is not surprising either. I don’t use alerts at all because I usually check my personal email once a day. Since that time is usually in the evening, I wouldn’t be able to take action on the alert until the next day. The question is, how many people know how to send alerts to their mobile phone? I’m sure the average person doesn’t know. Since I use Verizon, I know that I can enter something like to have alerts sent to my phone. If financial services companies made alerts to phones easier to setup, they may see a rise in usage.

So the lesson for today is, before you blindly accept statistics you see in an article, dig a little deeper.