The Hunter-based Greater Building Society is taking on the big banks on the technology front, with new digital projects completed to give customers faster, more convenient access to their money and banking information.
The Greater has launched a four digit login on its mobile App for mobile banking customers and has introduced an Australian first Direct Debit SMS alert. These initiatives follow this month’s launch of a new responsive website.
The four digit login means customers no longer need to type in a username and password each time they use mobile banking, saving them time. The Direct Debit SMS gives customers a text message if they have insufficient funds in their account when a direct debit or scheduled payment has been charged, giving them time to transfer funds and avoid, sometimes hefty, penalties from the organisation they are trying to pay. The new Greater website automatically adjusts to the device from which it is being accessed (whether that is a computer, mobile or tablet), is easier to use and devoid of “bank speak”.
Use technology to meet customer needs
The Greater’s head of strategy Chris Hodgins said it, just like other Hunter companies, needs to embrace technology to be able to meet customers changing needs and take on larger competitors.
“The new digital features make The Greater a leader amongst financial institutions and put it ahead of some of the big banks,” Chris said.
“We are the first of Australia’s large customer owned (mutual) financial institutions to introduce four digit mobile login. Westpac and UBank do not yet offer customers this service and I believe the new Direct Debit SMS service is a first for an Australian financial institution. Only one of Australia’s big banks has a truly responsive website like the Greater’s new site.”
He said it is important to be clear why you are embracing technology. The responsive website and faster mobile banking login were some of the top priorities identified in a survey of Greater customers.
“We’re customer-owned, so we are using technology where it enhances the customer experience and to support its expert, friendly staff,” Chris continued.
“Our focus is customers, so we’re getting the right mix of branches, online services, mobile lenders and expert service centre staff to give customers simple, straight forward banking the way they want to bank.”
More customers using mobiles
Chris said that Hunter banking customers are increasingly turning to smartphones and tablets to do their banking so it stands to reason they will want to use those devices to transact with other businesses.
The Greater App has been downloaded more than 90,000 times and there are more than 1 million logins from mobiles per month. More customer transactions are now conducted via mobile than in branches and more Greater customers log on to Internet banking through a mobile device (53 per cent) than through other devices including desktop computers. He expects that the introduction of mobile banking enhancements will see the percentage of all online banking transactions carried out through a mobile to jump considerably from its current level of 42 per cent.
Chris continued, saying that the Greater had recognised some customers were moving to mobile and was a relatively early adopter of mobile banking, launching a mobile app for iPhone in September 2010 and one for android in March 2012. It started using social media in 2010.