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Sun National Bank debuts mobile financial services platform

Sun Bancorp Inc.’s Sun National Bank has launched Sun on Hand, an integrated mobile banking platform designed to expand access and services for its customers.

The bank partnered with mFoundry to power the platform, featuring text messaging, a mobile Web site and an application, which makes financial management possible anytime, anywhere for people with mobile phone access. Sun on Hand provides Sun National Bank customers with secure access by letting them check account balances, search transaction history, transfer money and pay bills via their mobile device.

“As the first New Jersey-headquartered bank to offer mobile banking, we reaffirm our commitment to providing customers with the most advanced and convenient solutions,” said Mike Dinneen, vice president and marketing segment manager at Sun National Bank, Mount Laurel, NJ. “Ultimately, customers want easy access to their money, and convenient use of their banking services such as bill pay or account transfers.

“From a customer touch point perspective, a traditional customer may come into a branch one to three times a week—however, a mobile banking customer is engaged and interacting with Sun every day,” he said. “For our customers, we are redefining convenience through mobile banking.

“For the bank, we are enhancing our customer relationships by increasing our level of access to them.”

Sun Bancorp Inc. is a $3.5 billion asset bank holding company headquartered in Vineland, NJ. Its primary subsidiary is Sun National Bank, serving customers through more than 60 locations throughout New Jersey.

MFoundry provides a mobile banking and payments platform for banks, credit unions, processors and carriers that can serve as a foundation for mobile wallets.

Mobile banking takes off
Launched in late February 2010, the Sun on Hand program supports interactions via text messaging, mobile Web browser and mobile applications for use on the iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry and other devices.

“With regards to SMS, customers appreciate the notification,” Mr. Dinneen said. “If there’s a problem with an account or a balance, they want to hear about it.

“SMS allows that real-time interaction,” he said. “The mobile app and Web portal allow customers to optimize whatever platform works best for their mobile device.”

Sun believes that mobile financial services appeal to a broad demographic that continues to grow.

“As Sun National Bank continues to grow, we needed to ensure that we provided delivery channels that met the needs of all customers,” Mr. Dinneen said.

“By providing a mobile banking platform, we not only attract new Millennial and Generation X customers, but it provides a more robust offering for our Baby Boomer customers as well,” he said.

Sun National Bank launched an integrated campaign in the first quarter to promote mobile banking and Sun on Hand, the paperless checking product that the bank created.

“Regarding media channels, it was important that the utility benefit we were promoting—banking on-the-go—be advertised where the mobile user would be,” Mr. Dinneen said.

Therefore, Sun used bus and train wraps, train posters, traditional radio and billboards to reach New Jersey commuters.

The bank also ran banner and audio spots on Pandora radio, as well as a television spot on Hulu TV and YouTube.

The three-month campaign resulted in nearly 50 million Sun on Hand impressions throughout its New Jersey footprint.

Creatively, Sun featured various U.S. Presidents, including Abraham Lincoln wearing a Bluetooth device. The idea was that the Presidents represented consumers’ money, and Sun helps make their money mobile.

As the CEO says, “The first local bank that’s as close as your pocket – the first to offer mobile banking. It’s your money – now it’s mobile.”

I once was lost but now mFoundry
Sun tapped mFoundry to power its mobile financial services.

“This launch represents a way to differentiate versus and compete relative to regional banks, as well as to maintain parity with national banks,” said Drew Sievers, cofounder/CEO and of mFoundry, San Francisco. “Recognizing that consumers have a wide choice in mobile technologies, mFoundry’s Three-Mode banking supports the broadest range of mobile devices and banking needs.

“Whether a customer is interested in quick SMS messages via text banking, a familiar experience using the mobile Web browser mode, a visually rich and responsive native application, or a combination of all three, SNB customers now have real-time access to their financial information,” he said.

“No matter which mode they choose, customers will find the same range of features, the same friendly environment and a whole new set of convenient options that will take their relationship with SNB to a whole new level.”

More specifically, there are three distinct types of mobile banking users, each of which gravitate to a specific mode that best suits their needs, according to mFoundry:

 • “On Top of My Finances” (40 percent of users): These highly engaged users check their accounts daily via an application. They also account for most funds transfers and bill pay transactions, leveraging mobile access to its fullest potential.

 • “I Check it When I Need It” (40 percent of users): These users value the ability to access their accounts when needed via a mobile browser, where no setup is needed. These users check their accounts about twice a week and occasionally perform funds transfer and billpay functions.

 • “Is My Balance Low” (20 percent of users): These users access mobile banking primarily via SMS. They enjoy the easy access that doesn’t require a user name or password (in this case, the phone is their access key). These users are primarily interested in their balances, requesting this information three to four times per week.

“The beauty of this solution is that a comprehensive new platform was launched in a brief time frame, all in keeping with existing systems and branding,” Mr. Sievers said. “MFoundry’s complete mobile banking solution means that the maximum number of customers can access mobile banking as soon as possible.

“In this case, we were able to go live in less than 90 days with minimal IT requirements from Sun National Bank, mobile banking delivered as software-as-a-service from mFoundry’s SAS-70 certified cloud infrastructure,”  he said.

“A key component to this success is that we were able to work with all existing Sun National Bank systems, including core processing, online banking and bill pay providers.”