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Chase revamps mobile banking service

Customers can now opt-in to receive a text message the moment their checking account balance falls below a pre-selected amount and then directly transfer funds by sending a reply. Chase is currently sending 725,000 low-balance alerts each week.

“The new Instant Action Text Alerts notify customers the moment their account drops below a pre-selected amount, instead of at the end of the day,” said Michael Fusco, director of media relations at Chase, New York.

“We believe we are the first bank to offer the ability to transfer funds through text messaging,” he said.

Chase operates more than 5,100 branches and 15,000 ATMs.

SMS service
Customers can immediately transfer funds from a checking, savings or money market account by replying to the SMS alert as soon as they receive it.

According to the company, the SMS service makes it easier for customers to manage their accounts and avoid making purchases that could overdraw their accounts.

A customer can transfer their funds by replying the letter “T” followed by a space and dollar amount.

“We want to make it easier for our customers to manage their accounts and avoid making purchases that could overdraw their accounts,” Mr. Fusco said.

“Chase customers now have another convenient tool to help them manage their accounts, keep track of their bank balances and avoid fees,” he said. “The Instant Action alerts are free and can be used by any Chase checking customer who has a mobile phone with an SMS service and has signed up for the Chase Mobile offerings.”

Mobile transfers
If a customer has more than one account to transfer from, the alert will show them the balance for two of those accounts and provide the option to choose either “A” or “B” as the account to transfer the money from.

Additionally, fund transfers via text message can only be made in response to a low-balance text alert.

Customers can also opt-in to get account balances and view transaction history on checking, savings, credit card, mortgage and home equity accounts.

Chase has a mobile-optimized Web site, as well as an iPhone application that lets its customers pay their bills, transfer money, find Chase branches and ATM, send wire transfers and complete other transactions via their handset. 

“These new features give Chase customers a fast and easy way to manage their accounts and avoid fees,” Mr. Fusco said. “Getting a low balance alert immediately helps customers avoid making purchases that will overdraw their accounts.  

“We do not have a breakdown of the effect on call center volume,” he said.