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Bank of the West reinforces customer service via mobile banking platform

Bank of the West customers can check account balances and transfer funds between accounts using a mobile banking platform optimized for several devices.

Customers can currently manage their finances via the mobile Web and opt-in to receive account alerts via SMS. Bank of the West is working on an application for Apple’s iPhone, which will be available next month.

“We launched mobile banking to reinforce Bank of the West’s commitment to customer service,” said Matt Macomber, channel executive at Bank of the West, San Francisco. “We’ve always sought to bring banking closer to the customer, whether via branches and ATMs or online. 

“Now with mobile banking, we are helping our customers stay on top of their finances through a device they carry with them all the time,” she said.

Bank of the West offers a full range of business, corporate, personal, trust and international banking services.

Text for mobile banking
Using the mobile banking service, customers can send a text command to request their account balances.

Consumers can text the keyword BAL to the short code 25978 to receive a text message with their account balances.

In addition, customers can access and manage their accounts by going to on their mobile browser.

“We view mobile banking as a natural extension of our overall channel strategy – mobile combines the best features of online banking, the convenience of an ATM, and the responsiveness of text messaging all in the palm of your hand,” Mr. Macomber said.

“There’s great potential in the mobile platform beyond the services we can offer today to our retail customers,” he said. “In addition, we are actively working on features that we’ll be making available to our business customers.”

Mobile alerts
Bank of the West is targeting its online banking users with messages about its new SMS, mobile Web and alerts services.

Additionally, the company views banking as a natural transition for its online customers to make, per Mr. Macomber.

“The goal was to help our employees familiarize themselves with the services, try them out, see the value for themselves, and become advocates,” Mr. Macomber said. “Since they are the ones closest to our customers, we wanted to make sure they were spreading the word to everyone who comes into our branches. 

“We then opened up the service via a soft launch to online banking customers before beginning our full launch on Aug. 23,” he said. “Going forward, we’ll focus on getting information out to our branches, marketing via our online banking site, and  

“We have near term plans for an iPhone app – we’ll also be looking at BlackBerry, Android, and iPad apps at the beginning of next year.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats, editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York