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MBNA Europe rolls out mobile banking service

Customers can use their handsets to get information on their accounts, including balance, payments and transactions. The new SMS service is just one of a number of new improvements the bank will be making.

“The specific strategy with this solution is to provide customers with immediate access to their latest account information in a way that is easy to use and available to all regardless of the mobile device they own,” said Ian Craig, sales, service and operations executive at Bank of America Europe Card Services, Chester, Britain.

“MBNA has been active in the mcommerce space in Europe since 2004 and has built up a reputation for its mobile-related solution,” he said.

“We were the first British credit card issuer to introduce SMS mini-statements, providing customers with weekly balance and transactional updates by text message, as well as being the first British credit card issuer to provide mobile banking and text alert capabilities too.”

MBNA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corp.

Banking on mobile
The company plans to incorporate newer technology, including mobile phone functionality, SMS, the Internet and voice recognition, into its other mobile banking services.

The service is available across a full range of credit cards managed by the bank, which includes more than five million customers, according to the MBNA.

Customers who are registered for the service can text the keyword BAL, TRANS or BILL to the short code 83838.

“Using a mobile offers customers a quick and simple method of keeping in touch with their account especially when they are on the move and cannot necessarily access information through online or call centre services,” Mr. Craig said.

“MBNA has spent a considerable amount of time and effort obtaining and maintaining customer mobile numbers and now have one of the largest and most accurate mobile phone databases in the Britain,” he said.

“SMS is ubiquitous, easy to understand, simple to use and does not require an understanding of application downloads or smart-phone capabilities.”

Paperless accounts
Additionally, the bank has mobile banking for the iPhone or BlackBerry.

Consumers can access their account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Worldwide, the impact of the mobile industry on banking cannot be overstated,” Mr. Craig said. “Some countries are seeing a straight jump from the use of cash straight into mobile payment capabilities whilst other more established markets are looking to the mobile as a long term ‘all-in-one’ online and point of sale payment device replacing the need for a plastic card and PC when using and viewing card accounts.

“Customer research is showing an ever increasing demand for account information via mobile devices and also that different customers have different mobile needs ranging from simple and easy to use services such as text messaging, right through to downloadable mobile banking applications which fully integrate with the payment capabilities mobile phones are increasingly providing,” he said.

“In Britain pretty much all mobile handsets have text-messaging capabilities.”