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Scotiabank generates revenue via paid SMS alerts

July 29, 2010

SMS enables better customer service and can also generate revenue

SMS enables better customer service and can also generate revenue

Scotiabank has launched a customized email and SMS alerts service to increase its competitive advantage and generate additional revenue.

The Canadian bank tapped Nuance for the service, which was introduced initially as a free value-add for its customers before it was upgraded to the subscription model on June 1. For a $1.50 monthly fee, InfoAlerts lets Scotiabank customers customize more than 15 alerts related to their account, including security, account management and account information alerts.

“Scotiabank has a range of ways to reach out to customers, and they decided to provide proactive notification as well,” said Christy Murfitt, senior manager of solutions marketing at Nuance, Boston. “We provide fully automated and personalized notifications driven by business rules within the organization.

“Scotiabank launched InfoAlerts because customer care is a competitive advantage for them,” he said. “They have been exploring proactive notifications for a number of years, not only as great service to offer customers but an opportunity to generate revenue.

“They identified a number of reasons why customers might want to get an alert about their account on their handset.”

Scotiabank is one of the largest Canadian-based banks. It provides a range of retail, commercial, corporate, investment and international banking services.

Nuance is a provider of speech and imaging technology, applications and services for businesses and consumers worldwide.

Mobile alerts
Research conducted by Harris Interactive shows that “proactive notifications,” when properly used, can increase customer loyalty and enhance a company’s revenue stream, while significantly reducing customer care costs.

Scotiabank claims that its experience with InfoAlerts specifically shows how proactive notifications enhance the customer experience, increase loyalty and reduce fraud—all while reducing customer care costs.

One of the hottest growth areas in mobile customer care today is contacting customers before they call into customer care with a problem or to get help and this example demonstrates the trending acceptance—and emerging preference—for proactive notifications by banking and financial services consumers.

Scotiabank ran a sweepstakes to promote the service, offering customers who signed up for InfoAlerts the chance to win a trip to Belize and a Mac laptop.

Here is a screen grab of the online call-to-action:

“The results were very positive—consumers are paying for this service,” Ms. Murfitt said. “The types of alerts people are getting are almost exactly a 50-50 split between email and SMS, and more than 90 percent of their customers are paying for these alerts.

“Scotiabank is consistently a leader in the area of paying attention to what customers needs are how they can meet them,” she said.

“Overall we are seeing a rise in interest from consumers in communicating with their bank via their mobile device.”

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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