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Texas Gulf Bank aims for customer acquisition with new mobile offering

Customers can now access their bank information via their mobile device, regardless of the make, model or wireless carrier. Texas Gulf Bank is trying to meet customer demands with mobile banking.

“In today’s increasingly mobile society, mobile phones have become a delivery channel in their own right,” said Lynne Robbins, vice president of marketing at Texas Gulf Bank, Houston. “At Texas Gulf Bank, we discovered that our customers who bank by phone don’t always bank online. 

“For those customers whose lives do not revolve around a computer, mobile banking is very attractive,” she said. “Mobile banking customers will typically include anyone with limited computer access and younger customers whose lives often revolve heavily around cell phones and text messaging.

“Mobile banking offers them a simple way to manage their money. Additionally, by offering mobile banking we create another value-added service for our existing business and consumer customers, while concurrently attracting a new, younger audience already accustomed to living their lives ‘on the go.’”

Texas Gulf Bank is an independently owned and operated bank that offers consumers a variety of financial products in Houston. There are seven locations along the Texas Gulf Coast.

With Texas Gulf mobile banking, consumers can check their account balances, fund transfers, bill payments, check credit card account activity, locate a Texas Gulf Bank ATM and banking center and receive account alerts via text message.

Online security extended to mobile
According to Texas Gulf Bank, its mobile offering has the same level of security as its online banking service. When customers carry out any transactional activities through their mobile device, their accounts are protected by 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption.

A user ID, password and authentication image are required for log-in and connections are cancelled after 10 minutes of inactivity.

Additionally, Texas Gulf mobile banking does not store any personal account information on a mobile device, so accounts are secure if the handset is ever lost or stolen.

“Interest in the product is growing,” Ms. Robbins said. “Most of the large national banks in the Greater Houston/Gulf Coast area offer mobile banking – Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, etcetera. 

“However, many of the smaller local and regional banks and credit unions have not yet adopted mobile banking,” she said.

Mobile banking
Data Innovation Inc., a market research firm, said that mobile banking is on the rise amongst smartphone users (see more).

Texas Gulf Bank predicts mobile banking is going to see growth through word of mouth amongst family and friends.

The bank wants to educate consumers on the security of accessing their banking information through a mobile device, hoping that consumer trust will also drive the industry forward.

“Many still fear, incorrectly, that their banking accounts can be wirelessly hacked or that the financial information will reside on their phone and could be accessed if the phone is lost or stolen,” Ms. Robbins said. “Once consumers learn more about the security and encryption built into the mobile banking protocol, they will become more comfortable with the mobile banking application.”