What I really want as a banking consumer

I haven’t checked into Wesabe‘s capabilities yet, but I look forward to exploring it in depth. In the meantime, here’s what I really want from my bank. From what I’ve learned about Wesabe in the past couple of days, I bet they will be the first ones to offer it if they don’t already.

Here’s what I really want as a consumer: to be able to text my CU with the word ‘balance’ and get the dollar amount in my account texted back to my cell phone.

And once I can do THAT, I want to be able to text message “balance dining out” to my credit union and see what the balance is for MY BUDGETED account category…. Since I can target my spending in various categories in Wesabe, I am betting that Wesabe will be the first to enable this feature if they haven’t already.

If I can do this sort of thing via text messaging, I can make financial decisions while I am out and about. I can see whether my budget tells me I should grab a quick 6″ sandwich at Subway, or dine out at the new trendy Mexican restaurant.

The technology to do this exists right now, aside from the security issues. Right now, google has a text message feature which is rather amazing… Text message “pizza 66101” to Google’s text message phone number (46645 aka googl), and it comes back with the address and phone number for Nick’s Italian Pizza, Mafia Mike’s Pizza, and Kenny G’s. Substitute your own city, town or zip code. Find any business. Try texting “credit union” followed by your zip to 46645 and see if your credit union is listed!

Google texting will also do sports scores, weather (including temps), movies, flights, and stocks. Just text “help” to 46645 to find out more.

P.S. This is an example of what I call World 2.0. World 2.0 is where people utilize today’s online technologies to interact and exist in the world that never would have been possible without it. The fact that I could use my cell phone to help me make better financial decisions because I can now act on real-time information that I’m in control of…. THAT’S good stuff…..

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11 Responses to “What I really want as a banking consumer”

  1. andermahrketing Says:

    This technology actually exists in the banking world. Citi and Bank of America are testing it in very small markets. The terminology is flipping between “Mobile Banking” (which I dont like) and “Text Banking” which I find to be a more correct name.

    We are actually assisting the first bank in the United States in launching this service in a full scale launch in a large market in Northern California. I am in love with it and while it has not officially launched, I am signed up to be one of the first adopters of the service.

    This tech has proven to be popular in Europe were cell phone technology and service integration is far more developed than here in the US. But, with so many people texting (avg age of a SMS user is 38) I think this is a natural fit. I can’t wait for credit unions to get on board. Many of our credit union clients have been asking us about the service.

    It is only a matter of time!

  2. Morriss Partee Says:

    Good to hear that someone is going to bring the ability to text message real-time balances. BUT…. I think you are missing part two of the equation to enable personal budgeting within my account and be able to get text updates on that in real-time… say I budget my checking with “dining out” “groceries” “entertainment” “rent” misc.” etc. Right now, I think only Wesabe offers that ability… so I am looking to them to offer the text messaging ability of my own budget…. are banks or credit unions going to offer me the ability to budget within an account any time soon? If ever?

  3. andermahrketing Says:

    The way the technology works now is that the user will have the ability to check balances, receive alerts based on predetermined triggers (like direct deposit or any time a check clears or if the account balance drops below a certain amount that you set). It would also allow you to transfer funds between accounts (say from parent to child or savings to checking or checking to credit card).

    I dont think it would be difficult for them to incorporate tags into this matrix that are similar to Wesabe – of which I am a HUGE fan. I think it would be fantastic for budgeting. Say you allot yourself $200 a month as a clothing budget. To be able to text your account something like “BGT Clothes” and get a response “$175 spent, $25 balance, 10 days remaining in month” would be phenomenal! Hopefully these providers see the benefit here.

  4. Tracey Campbell Says:

    The big issue with banks or your credit card or debit card provider providing this service of text budgetting, is that the articles you purchase or pay for have to be ‘identified’ in order for the purchase amount to be linked to the associated budget category. For instance all monies spent on clothing quite simply need to be identified as clothing. The only indicator currently in global financial (authorisation) messages is the merchant category code, and this is not specific enough to enable the multiple types of categories required to link to the budget categories. From a banking perspective, the automated payments that you might pre-setup for rent for example, could have a category indicator linked to them because if the money goes from the bank to the landlord, then the bank has control over the payment description. Other payments such as utilities might also have a category, but the allocation of a indicator is dependent on something being in the incoming message into the bank or the credit card company to enable them to link to an associated budget category.
    In the ideal world this service needs to be linked to the global payments network, where we are all out their spending and so using.

  5. Morriss Partee Says:

    Hi Tracey,

    That’s not true at all. Items bought at Pizzeria Uno can safely be categorized as Dining Out, just as items bought at Whole Foods can be categorized by default as Groceries. I will also safely assume that payments made to the local Electric company are categorized as Utilities. For everything else, me, as the consumer, can assign categories to all expenses in my statement. Quicken works in this manner very nicely, so I know it’s possible.

  6. Offering banking text messag… oops, nevermind. « EverythingCU.com World 2.0 Adventure Says:

    […] banking text messag… oops, nevermind. In July, I wrote about what I would like to have as banking or credit union consumer… the ability to text […]

  7. We don’t need no stinking mobile banking! « EverythingCU.com World 2.0 Adventure Says:

    […] Phew! I am so relieved to learn that all we have to do in regards to mobile banking is sit on our hands and watch what everyone else does. Nope, no need to be ahead of the curve on this one. Let someone else take the arrows on this, as the president of a 55,000 member credit union told me several months ago not long after I wrote what I really wanted as a banking consumer. […]

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