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9 Ways Financial Institutions Can Use SMS to Delight Customers

Feb 11, 2021

Do you operate a bank, mortgage company, credit union, brokerage or other financial institution and want to improve your customer communication efforts? Sending important messages via SMS texting is one of the most efficient ways to serve and connect with your customers.

With a 209% higher response rate than email, phone or Facebook, text messages are the preferred method of reaching customers. Today we’ll look at several ways finance professionals can take advantage of SMS finance texts to communicate important business information and build lifelong customers.

9 Ways Financial Institutions Can Use SMS Texting

Investment advisors, insurance agents and bank representatives love using SMS to keep in touch with their customers. Here are nine ways your financial institution can use text messaging to assist customers and employees.

1. Introductions/Welcome Messages

Introduce yourself to new customers and let them know how much you appreciate their business. Thank customers for subscribing to your SMS finance services and provide contact information for future communication or services with a follow-up text.

2. Enhanced Customer Support

Enabling customers to reach you via text for customer support can be a godsend — for your customers and your business alike. Eliminate long hold times by providing automatic responses for everyday transactions like current balance, office hours, account balances and more. 

3. Policy Change Notifications

Have you changed your terms and conditions or other policies? Send customers a link to policy change documents rather than printing and distributing via email or snail mail.

4. Transaction Confirmations

When customers perform transactions online, sending a confirmation text verifies the transaction and helps them feel safe. 

5. Document Request & Receipt Verifications

Use SMS to ask for signatures on documents or confirm the receipt of documents already signed.

6. Appointment Reminders

Speaking with live representatives about appointments is antiquated thanks to SMS technology. Confirm, cancel or reschedule appointments via SMS for maximum convenience.

7. Payment Reminders

Are late payments affecting your bottom line? Keep accounts current by sending payment reminders to customers whose payments are due (or overdue). 

8. Polls & Surveys

Want to keep your finger on the pulse of your marketing efforts? Sending SMS surveys helps you learn about your customers, adjust marketing plans, and tweak practices to meet clients’ needs all year round.

9. Event Promotions

Are you holding an investment seminar, workshop or trade show that you want your customers to attend? Communicating event details via text message is an effective way to garner attention, signups and confirm attendance. 

Benefits of Using SMS for Your Finance Business

Using SMS messaging services can benefit finance service providers in many ways.

  • Builds stronger relationships: Text messages are personal. When a customer receives a text from you, especially when it’s important or time-sensitive, they feel respected and seen, cementing your bond and building loyalty.
  • Increases customer response rates: Texts have a 45% response rate, while emails only have an 8% response rate. One out of five emails received from commercial addresses ends up in receivers’ junk mail. This can be highly problematic in the finance industry since the type of information being shared can be sensitive to time and personal security.
  • Communicates important news faster: Like most people, finance customers prefer to receive important communications via text than email. While emails can easily get lost in the shuffle (or the junk folder), text messages get read, ensuring your customers stay in the loop.
  • Achieves goals faster: Because text messages have high open and response rates, they allow finance professionals to schedule meetings and confirm signed documents more quickly than any other communication method.
  • Differentiates your brand: Does your company stand out from the crowd? Many financial institutions are using old school methods. Break the mold by offering text message convenience.
  • Reduces human error: Setting up automated responses helps reduce the incidence of mistakes big and small.
  • Generates leads: Printing your company’s textable mobile number on marketing brochures and business cards not only advertises your financial messaging services but also encourages customers to reach out via text.
  • Boosts email campaigns: If your essential information exceeds text character limits, direct them via text message to check their email to fill in knowledge gaps.

Do TCPA Requirements Apply to SMS Finance Texts?

In a word, yes. Regulatory agencies like the FTC, FCC and FINRA strictly regulate text messaging for financial services firms. Fines from these agencies can be steep, ranging from $500 to $1500 per violation.

Make sure your company is following TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) compliance guidelines:

  1. Obtain express written consent
  2. Provide disclosure with a comprehensive opt-in message
  3. Clearly communicate terms and conditions
  4. Only communicate during business hours
  5. Include your business name in all messages
  6. Offer consumers a way to opt-out
  7. Respect the National Do Not Call Registry and honor opt-outs 

Review our TCPA Compliance Checklist to ensure you comply with TCPA requirements before you implement SMS finance texting.

TCPA Exemptions for Financial Institutions 

Now that we’ve established that financial institutions are subject to TCPA requirements, there are some exceptions. Emergency or urgent updates are exempt from the TCPA; however, marketing that promotes products or services must follow TCPA guidelines. 

The following types of messages do not require opt-out instructions or prior express written consent.

Financial institutions can:

  • Send security or account updates via text message  
  • Notify customers about possible security breaches of their personal information
  • Notify customers about transactions or events that indicate risk of fraud or identity theft
  • Advise customers of steps they may take to prevent identity theft following a data breach
  • Inform customers of actions required to arrange for receipt of pending money transfers

Read The Complete Guide to SMS Compliance

SMS for Finance DOs and DON'Ts

Keep these tips top of mind for successful business texting:

  • DON’T ask for private information (like full bank account numbers, passwords or PINs) via text message.
  • DO inform customers they can opt out of text communications by replying “STOP.”
  • DON’T text to telephone numbers not explicitly provided by the customer.
  • DO make all financial texts free. Your texts may not incur charges against customers’ data plans.
  • DON’T text customers for debt collection. Debt collection texts and calls are still subject to prior express written consent.
  • DO state your name and the contact information of your company in the text. 

Disclaimer: Please note that this is not legal advice and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for advice from qualified legal counsel, nor is it to assist you or help you be compliant as you assume 100% responsibility in all legal matters.

Get Started With SMS Finance Texts with Textedly

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Textedly’s affordable and user-friendly platform works for financial businesses of any size or industry. With features like message scheduling and two-way messaging, you can manage your SMS strategy on one platform.

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