Australians are innovators and every year CANSTAR looks for the products being launched in the area of financial services to make our lives easier and more convenient. The products that CANSTAR judges to be the most innovative in their field are awarded a CANSTAR Innovation Award.
This year Bankwest has won a CANSTAR Innovation Award for its terrific Easy Alerts functionality, which offers a real time strategy to allow customers to save on fees, control their finances, meet their savings goals, and ensure their account stays secure. Find out more here.
CANSTAR caught up with Bankwest Executive General Manager, Products & Marketing, Jason Chan, to find out more about the options, benefits and takeup of the service.
Q: What are the main benefits for consumers in receiving push alerts rather than SMS?
A: Bankwest’s push notifications – Bankwest Easy Alerts – have been developed as a feature within the Mobile App. This means that these customised alerts are triggered and delivered to a customer’s device based on their own behaviour and preferences.
For example, if a customer would like to be notified when their account balance reaches a certain limit, the customer can set up a push notification by selecting the eligible account and the amount or limit. When the criteria is met, a push notification is triggered to be sent.
With push notifications linked to the Mobile App, the information displayed is timely and relevant while remaining very secure as users can then click on the notification and be taken to the App to login to get more detail, if they wish to do so.
Also, because push notifications use the data network, they are not limited by phone connectivity meaning you can receive them when connected to any data service wherever you may be, whether that be at home, in a hotel when you’re travelling or even on board a flight with any WiFi network.
They are sent as they are generated meaning the alert is received by the customer when immediately able to do so. They can also have links into the app, unlike SMS, and can be used in context to open the app and take a customer to their notification list to review more details, securely.
Q: You offer the option of eight different alerts. Which ones are most popular with your customers?
A: The most popular push notification overall is the Scheduled Payment alert. This particular alert notifies customers of their available account balance when a scheduled payment is due if their current balance will not cover payment.
The benefit of this for the customer is that they can choose to take action to avoid defaulting on a payment.
The deposit alert has also been very popular with a broad range of customers. We’ve had specific feedback from various customers who have told us they love being advised when a deposit hits their account, without needing to keep logging into their account to make sure the funds have arrived. For example, the deposit alert is great piece of mind for landlords who appreciate when we notify them when the rent comes in as are those customers wanting notification of when their salary lands in their account.
The Overseas Transaction alert is popular with travellers who also benefit from our other great offerings when travelling overseas, such as no overseas purchase transaction fees on our range of Platinum credit cards. This alert was initially developed primarily with customer security in mind but customers have seen a real benefit in seeing an estimate of the value of an international transaction in Australian dollars, so it’s win-win.
Q: What has the takeup been like across different demographics?
A: Bankwest Easy Alerts are being used most by our existing Mobile App users aged between 18 and 34. While this is not really surprising, as they are the biggest users of our Mobile App and are more likely to be managing their banking on the go, we have also seen great engagement with home loan customers who are using Bankwest Easy Alerts to keep track of their everyday banking. These customers generally regard themselves as more financially savvy, so it’s great that they have embraced Bankwest Easy Alerts.
Q: Any other alerts on the drawing board at the moment?
A: Since launching Bankwest Easy Alerts, the Digital Team at Bankwest have been focused on making improvements to the Bankwest Mobile App, such as introducing 4-digit pin login which has been well received by customers. Login with Touch ID is being released to iPhone users shortly.
We have also been diving into the usage of Bankwest Easy Alerts and assessing how we can make them even more valuable for our customers. More alerts are due for release this year and we would expect the list of alerts to continue to grow.
With recent changes to regulations governing how certain information is allowed to be sent, this additional channel that consumers have access to essentially in their pockets in real time, will continue to grow.