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Central Bancompany launches mobile banking for 13 operating banks

Missouri-based financial services holding company Central Bancompany has taken its 13 operating banks into the mobile space with newly launched SMS and mobile Web platforms.

CBC tapped mobile financial services provider mFoundry to power its multi-mode mobile banking services. The mobile banking initiatives are designed to be a cost-effective customer service tool, as well as a revenue-generator down the road.

“CBC wanted a cost-effective way to deploy a consistent mobile banking solution across 13 operating banks,” said Drew Sievers, cofounder/CEO of mFoundry, San Francisco. “Because CBC is a holding company, it was important that they didn’t have to purchase and implement 13 separate solutions.

“Our multi-tenant product was perfectly suited to their task—we deployed their SMS and mobile Web platforms,” he said. “MFoundry addresses the key issue for CBC: How can they cost-effectively deliver a single mobile banking solution for 13 distinctly branded and operated banks?

“Our multi-tenant, configurable product was able to deliver 13 mobile banking deployments for close to the price of one.”

In addition to CBC, mFoundry is the mobile technology provider for Fidelity National Information Systems, First Data Corp., NCR, the Co-Op Financial Services and PSCU Financial Services. The company also powers Starbucks Card Mobile.

Banks covering their mobile bases
While it would have been possible to deploy 13 separate software platforms with an equal amount of short codes for the required text-message support, the cost to do so would have been prohibitive.

Instead, CBC and mFoundry worked together to use mFoundry’s hosted software solution, deploying all 13 banks within a single software instance that leveraged a shared short code for text messaging.

The result was reduced complexity, lower costs and an accelerated time to market, per mFoundry.

Since the launch of all 13 operating banks’ free mobile banking services, CBC’s proactive polling of customers shows that user satisfaction with the solution is extremely high.

Supporting this result is a low amount of customer support for each operating bank, per mFoundry.

CDC claims that the impact was the lowest by far of any new product introduction it has done, with an average of less than 0.02 calls to its customer contact center per customer, per year.

Mr. Sievers said the customer costs for mobile banking support are typically low, and he has seen a dramatic ROI for mobile banking as call center inquiries are deflected into the mobile channel.

On average, mFoundry claims that its customers are seeing the mobile banking channel paying for itself within the first six to nine months of deployment.

“In the short-term, mobile banking provides CBC with a cost-effective channel for customer service,” Mr. Sievers said. “Longer term, mobile banking will provide a foundation for new revenue generating services from customers.”

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily