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July 22, 2015

Finance puts its money on SMS

How mobile messaging is revolutionising the customer experience.

By Alexander Sword

Financial services organisations are keen to tap into the potential of mobile messaging, according to a study.

The IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by OpenMarket, found that 88 percent of finance organisations believe that SMS has a considerable impact on customer service.

In addition, 73 percent consider it to be very effective for employee-focused emergency transactions.

The report found that main use-cases for SMS were timely offers and notifications regarding high risk and value transactions. The most common deployment was in IT system status and network outage alerts with a score of 4.2 out of 6 for stage of deployment, followed by employee emergency alert systems at 3.9.

Customer surveys and customer alerts, updates, reminders and notifications followed with 3.3 and 3.2 respectively, with password resets achieving a score of 3.1.

Just over 50 percent of the organisations used mobile messaging to improve customer experience, while 35 percent used it to attract and retain new customers.

In addition, around 25 percent used SMS to improve risk mitigation. However, only 15 percent used it to improve the organisation’s security.

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The study found that finance has the greatest demand of major industries from its customer base to add SMS capabilities to customer service lines, taking up 50 percent of all SMS-based requests from consumers.

"These findings revealed that the financial services industry has one of the greatest demands for mobile messaging capabilities and that these businesses are taking a long-term, purpose-led approach to their mobile messaging investment," said Marc DeCastro, Research Director, Consumer Banking, IDC Insights.

DeCastro added: "Financial services organisations must look at vendors with a track record of secure encryption, outstanding support and managed services, and the flexibility to provision a variety of use cases in order to meet the specific mobile messaging needs of their internal and external stakeholders."

Jay Emmet, General Manager of OpenMarket, said: "These findings show that financial services organizations are incorporating secure, effective mobile messaging into many aspects of their customer service and employee communications, as well as their internal business operations.

"A well-designed, company-wide mobile messaging strategy that meets the industry’s high-compliance and regulated standards will allow businesses to enhance the customer experience, gain additional customer insights, improve employee relations, and drive operational efficiencies."

The research surveyed 600 respondents in financial services.

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