Our mobile devices have a plethora of features that make everyday tasks and life, in general, a lot easier. These days, Generation X, Millennials and even Baby Boomers- they will probably deny it, can’t live without them. There is an app for everything, whether it is word processing, video editing, graphic design, games, references, data collection, music production, language acquisition… wait what were we talking about again? Of course, given the evolution and even proliferation of mobile devices over the years, it is only reasonable that financial institutions capitalize on our addiction love of them.

The ‘customer is king’, so banks are prepared to increase their market share by providing innovative services through mobile devices. Mobile banking applications were designed to ensure customers have access to banking services (open accounts, transfer funds, pay bills, check account balance and study recent transactions) at any time of the day. The days when we had to drive down to offices or join those long queues in the banks are gone (our grandchildren will probably find it hard to believe). Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there. Banks aren’t just satisfied with saving you a branch visit, they want to be in the middle of your conversations, a key reason why they are in love with mobile messaging platforms.

So why mobile messaging? If you think about it, most people you know have at least one mobile messaging application on their smartphone. The applications are suitable for social and work-related communication, but their ability to enable real-time text transmission over the internet makes it the perfect medium to enhance customer interaction. Apart from the obvious (easy access to customer care representatives), how can financial institutions, especially banks use this platform to further enhance the customer’s banking experience?

Target non-social media users

Yes, you read that correctly. There are actually people who don’t have social media accounts. Others might have social media accounts but spend more time on mobile messaging platforms. There are also scenarios where certain people are not comfortable expressing their dissatisfaction with a particular service on social media. Instant messaging applications provide institutions with an alternative channel to address the customer’s inquiries and acquire feedback on the efficiency of services provided.

Accelerate customer interaction

Customer service centres are channels used by financial institutions to foster customer interaction. However, allowing customers to make inquiries through mobile messaging applications has its own advantages. We have all been frustrated trying to call the customer care centre. Sometimes you are transferred from one agent to another or simply put on hold- forced to listen to music that makes you want to pull your teeth out. On the bright side, instant messaging applications give customers access to customer service representatives without having to call or wait on hold.

Continue the fight against fraud

Banks send emails warning us of scams perpetrated by fraudulent individuals. Unfortunately, hackers, yahoo boys, 419 people (insert your preferred description) are constantly evolving- after all, we all have to improve our craft. Jokes aside, it is imperative for banks to create interactive platforms designed to encourage and enable customers to ask questions whenever they get suspicious requests. The emails sent are definitely informative but providing an interactive platform will ensure the customer’s enquiries are addressed instantly.

Ultimately, anything that makes life easier for the customer is worth trying out.