If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that money is a source of stress for almost everyone (in the US, it’s actually the #1 source). The struggle begins with how you make it, continues when you decide how to save it, and ends when you determine who gets it all when you’re gone.

How to Do SMS Banking, Finance & Accounting

The second thing we know for sure is that everyone is paying taxes. Whether they like it or not.
As accountants, bankers, financial advisors, and any other steward of fiscal matters, you deal with your client's livelihood daily.

When each client interaction you have is high stakes, you stand to benefit from their increased financial literacy. On the flip side, clients reduce their financial stress when they're able to connect with you quickly and transparently. So how do you reach that point of mutual benefit and enlightenment?

First, you'll need some tools. That's where SMS comes into play.

We believe the future of finance is text messaging. In this guide, we'll briefly overview how text message marketing works and why it can benefit you as a mover and shaker in the financial industry. Finally, we'll offer some ideas on how to use SMS marketing to meet some of the challenges you're facing and succeed in a competitive marketplace.

Let's first look at the simple steps you can take to get started with SMS marketing with us. It's straightforward and stress-free, so you can begin taking advantage of the benefits of SMS banking services sooner.

Create a Textback.ai Account

New clients will need to enter a few details to open an account with Textback.ai, including an estimate of the number of SMS messages they may utilise each month. This figure isn't binding, it's just to get an idea of the expected initial use and also information that we can use in the future to improve customer satisfaction.

Start Your Free Trial

We want our clients to be satisfied when using our SMS messaging platform. We are so confident in our product that we let you test it before committing. Begin levelling up your marketing operations immediately with a completely free trial at Textback.ai. Once you complete registration, you'll have access to all of our features to try during the free trial.

Choose the Right Plan for Your Bank or Finance institute

When clients begin to use our service, they will need to decide which plan they would like to use depending on the number of SMS messages they need and how the service will be distributed in the company. Adapt our services for use across all departments of the banking services, from payment reminders to debt collection or notifications about bank account activity to help on top of work.

Start Sending SMS to Your Audience

Customers can create an automated SMS campaign that aligns with their company and brand. The schedule and design of these SMS are entirely dependent on each business and its requirements. Choose from plenty of exciting features to personalise the experience and see significant returns with your client base.

But First, Why Text Message Marketing for Finance?

Are you struggling to find new business? Having trouble with clients who keep missing appointments or forgetting about quarterly filings? Maybe you just need a new approach to keep members engaged and informed? There’s an easy, effective, and affordable answer for all that—text message marketing, or SMS marketing.

90% of consumers prefer texting over calling and email. Set yourself apart from the competition by offering SMS banking solutions to the

  • 60% of taxpayers who got professional help in 2017
  • 1.1 million people who are audited by the IRS each year
  • 62% of Americans seeking financial guidance or advising
  • 21 million households who primarily utilize mobile banking

How Bulk SMS Software for Finance & Accounting Works

Account alerts, tax tips, and more. Plenty of important financial information can be texted to subscribers both individually and in bulk.

Although we’ve written an in-depth guide about the in’s and out’s of SMS marketing and its many features, here’s a quick breakdown:

Clients or members can sign up for your text message alerts simply by texting a short keyword to a text-enabled landline or toll-free number (don’t worry, we’ll help you create both). They’ll immediately be subscribed to the text messages you send.

Textback features allow you to create a series of messages, photos, or documents that send out over several days, weeks or even months to keep your audience engaged and informed.
Some other great features include:

  • Customer segmentation for sending smarter, targeted messages.
  • Extended messaging with up to 306 characters so you can send more detailed texts.
  • Multiple User Access to increase your bandwidth and industry expertise all while operating under one brand umbrella.

Finance Marketing Challenges and SMS Mobile Banking Solutions

In 2015 Hinge Research Institute surveyed 530 firms and published research on the top 5 business challenges within accounting and financial services. AccountingToday also provided insights for 2017 based on input from over 800 accountants, CPAs, and tax professionals.

Within each of these pain points resides an opportunity for engagement through SMS banking solutions.

Advances in technology

Problem: Automated solutions and the approach of more comprehensive information-sharing systems are forcing accounting firms to adapt for the future and streamline their processes.

Opportunity: Position yourself on the cutting edge of these advances. Create a form on your website where clients can “opt in” to receive text alerts from you. Give your audience the opportunity to engage in a new and unique way through SMS banking.

Smarter, savvier clients

Problem: People in the market for financial services are embracing technology, demanding broader services, and expecting better and faster communications. This means that in order to attract and retain new business, companies must diversify their portfolios to include specialty services and/or consulting. It also means they must improve client communications.

Opportunity: Utilizing keyword campaigns can help give the clients who want to know more access to information they will use. It also ensures everyone is receiving only the information relevant to them. This allows you to save time through automation, all the while keeping client communication personalized!

Smaller talent pool

Problem: The Baby Boomer mass exodus is creating competition to acquire and retain top talent, which means employee engagement is a crucial consideration.

Opportunity: Utilize text campaigns for HR and recruiting in addition to client communications. Texting is the preferred communication method for millenials (aged 22-37). Folks in this group now constitute the largest generation in the US workforce.

Spam and financial advice

Problem: AT&T has some pretty strict policies in place to protect consumers from spam concerning their finances. They have a fairly comprehensive list of prohibited text marketing topics.

Opportunity: While these restrictions exist, many of our clients decide to use texting for financial services in a one-on-one fashion to communicate directly with clients, set appointments, and generate leads. To be sure, learn a little more about transactional versus marketing texts.

Pros and Cons of Using SMS for Banking and Finance

Using an SMS banking service may seem like nothing new, but SMS messaging has been a valuable method of communication for a long time. Even though it has decreased in popularity in favour of other messaging ways, there are still plenty of reasons to consider integrating SMS messaging into your company's business model.

Pros

  • It's convenient for customers
  • Every customer has a mobile phone capable of SMS
  • Versatile across all departments within a financial institution
  • Preferred over calls and emails
  • Leaves a digital "paper trail" for future reference
  • Functions as a one-way or two-way conversation

Cons

  • Messages cannot exceed 160 characters
  • It's not foolproof; not all clients will prefer SMS

SMS Marketing Ideas for SMS Banking, Finance & Accounting

If you’ve been reading between the lines with us, you’ve already guessed that SMS marketing might be a good tool for tackling those challenges. But how to use it with SMS banking, exactly? Well, we’ve got a few ideas, so read on, numbers ninja.

Texting ideas for individual clients:

  • Send out appointment reminders to cut down on no-shows
  • Provide a countdown to the April tax filing deadline with a series of text messages
  • Send tax return status updates so clients know where they stand
  • Let people know when their refunds are ready. You can offer cash advances on tax refunds
  • Communicate real-time updates on a client’s financial profile
  • Text alerts for suspicious banking activity
  • Send special offers for CDs and increased interest options
  • Provide stock updates in real time
  • Give your clients direct access to you without offering up your personal information by text enabling your existing office number
  • Utilize business texting to enable 1-on-1 informational exchanges

SMS banking texting ideas for business clients:

  • Send reminders about recurring accounting tasks like recording transactions, filing receipts, and tracking accounts payable and receivable
  • Give clients a nudge about employment taxes, information returns, and other tax requirements
  • Remind independent contractors of their responsibility to make quarterly estimated tax payments

Some more great ideas for texts:

  • Offer free tips about financial planning and ways to save money. This kind of added value is a great way to retain clients
  • Send out links to informative tax-related content, like webinars and how-to videos, to help address a common pain point—over half of Americans “dislike doing their taxes and most commonly cite the complicated paperwork or the inconvenience and the amount of time it takes to do their taxes” (Pew Research Center)
  • Text about new services and platform capabilities to get the word out fast
  • Include texting in your internal communications as an additional tactic to engage employees and hang on to solid personnel
  • Ask for referrals. Word-of-mouth is one of the main ways banks and firms generate new business, and a text message can quickly get that conversation started
  • Text about financial policy updates and/or news, especially items that your clients would consider to be of interest, like new deductions or credits
  • Finally, since you’ll have your clients’ DOBs on file, you could send out birthday greetings

Getting Subscribers for Your SMS Mobile Banking Service

Now that you’ve got an idea of how SMS banking techniques can aid marketing for accountants and other financial institutions, the task is to gather subscribers. TextBack makes that a piece of cake, whether you’re building a list from existing customers or starting from scratch.

Here’s how to turn existing customers into subscribers:

  • Write up an email blast announcing the new campaign and push it out to your clients. Include a link for people to confirm their interest
  • Add the announcement to existing user messages, like auto reminders about taxes and bank statements
  • Pitch your new texting campaign to current customers who walk in for an appointment

You’ll also want to make use of keywords to bring in new customers. Our free trial comes with one custom keyword right off the bat. Once people know your keyword, they can text it to your text enabled number to subscribe.
Most SMS marketing campaigns use this basic structure for opt-in messages: Text [keyword] to [number] for [offer]. So, for example, you might end up with something like this:

Text “Finance” to 47177 for free financial guidance and reminders.

Here’s how to use that opt-in to get new subscribers

  • Feature your opt-in message prominently on social media and encourage your followers to share/retweet
  • Include your campaign in Google AdWords messaging
  • Set up a contest with prizes for customers and/or employees who refer the most new subscribers
  • Offer new clients discounts on tax and accounting services or waive fees if they subscribe
  • Update your company’s email signature to include your keyword (this could actually convert existing customers, too)
  • Include your keyword and CTA on your business cards
  • Include an opt-in checkbox on new client intake forms
  • Add the details to your voicemail and on-hold message
  • Create space on your website where you can place an invitation to new subscribers. Our platform allows you to quickly build such an invitation with web sign-up images and web sign-up forms (compliance team approval required for the latter). Visitors who sign up will automatically be added to the list you specify

Costs of SMS for Banking and Finance

SMS marketing is an extremely cost-effective way for any company in the banking sector. Stay in contact with more customers at the time quickly and efficiently compared to more traditional communication methods.

When budgeting for your SMS marketing campaigns, there are three main costs to consider.

Cost Per Message

The cost for sending a standard text message is anywhere between $0.01 and $0.05 depending on the provider, while MMS messages are a bit more expensive. Even though these numbers might seem small at first glance, they become costly very quickly. That's why you need Textback.ai services to get the most value for your money.

Cost Per Keyword

Clients, in this case, banks and financial institutions, don't realise that they must pay for the keywords. The prices vary between $10 and $25 per month, and keywords associated with the subscription plan, like STOP, are included for free.

Monthly Fees

Most bulk SMS platforms have tiered pricing, including a fixed number of messages and free monthly keywords. To use anything beyond that, you must pay an additional amount to upgrade to a higher tier. Most bulk SMS platforms offer trial runs for customers to acclimatise themselves with the option of upgrading to a premium plan.

SMS Banking Campaign to Attract New Customers

Text messaging can be a handy way to attract potential customers to use your company's banking services. Although prior permission is required to send SMS alerts to clients, you can still use it for maximum prospects.

SMS Banking Campaigns to Make Existing Customers Aware of New Services

Promote your banking features using SMS marketing in five minutes using these simple steps.

Step 1: Generate the SMS Subscribers List

Having a subscriber list is the most crucial aspect of a text messaging campaign. Here are a few ways to grow your SMS subscribers list.

  • Upload all existing customer IDs as .CSV
  • Gather IDs of potential customers when they interact with your business via email, chat, or online forms
  • Convert website traffic to SMS subscribers and retarget using promotional campaigns

Step 2: Initialise a Text Welcome Drip Sequence

Once you have your subscriber list, it is essential not to go overboard with messages and instead employ a drip campaign for your SMS marketing. Here's how to set up your SMS drip campaign.

  • Prepare your new campaign and "drip" your messages.
  • Schedule the messages for specific days and hours.
  • Add content and create your campaign.

You can add multiple time-delayed messages to your drip campaigns to test how customers react to them.

Security of SMS banking

Banks and financial institutions have always been huge targets for criminals. As banking moved online, the criminals did as well. Banks spend a fortune trying to keep customers' money safe and mitigate fraud. And the most essential tools include one-time passwords and two-factor authentication.

Both these methods send a text message to the customer with a time-sensitive temporary code. This text is encrypted, and the only way to learn the code is by getting physical access to the mobile phone.

Inform your customers by sending real-time alerts about their bank account activity. This way, you don't have to call a customer to confirm every transaction and can shut down fraudulent activities without wasting time.

The simplest way to prevent fraud and cross-selling is to leverage text messaging. Use SMS marketing to offer effective banking services beneficial to customers and service providers.

DOs and DON'Ts in SMS marketing for Banking and Finance

Text messaging is an excellent way to communicate with your audience. But leveraging a direct line of communication must follow certain etiquette. Hence, keep the following dos and don'ts in mind before launching your next text message campaign.

The DOs in SMS Marketing for Banking and Finance

  1. Keep your message short and precise
  2. Send texts with a purpose
  3. Ensure quality content
  4. Strategise timing and quantity

The DON'Ts in SMS Marketing for Banking and Finance

  1. Send text without permission
  2. Make it difficult to unsubscribe
  3. Schedule texts after hours
  4. Be rude or vulgar

How SMS Banking Can Increase Customer Loyalty

SMS banking services have the upper hand compared to other marketing channels. After all, text message marketing has the highest open rate. Yet, barely 40% of marketers leverage it to reach out to potential customers.

Let's take a look at how SMS banking can increase customer loyalty.

SMS Banking Isn't Invasive

The majority of marketing channels invade personal space. Can you count how many times you were bombarded with spam emails? SMS marketing messages are different. They ask explicitly for your permission and communicate their messages clearly. Win over the hearts of customers with non-invasive marketing techniques.

SMS Banking is Convenient

There is no better way to win over customers than by providing efficient services. SMS alerts are convenient and increase communication speed. Increase efficiency and reduce human errors with automated SMS updates, reminders, and alerts.

Improved Customer Support

Customers don't always have the time to take calls from customer support executives. Text messaging is a convenient alternative since people can respond when convenient. Streamline your support process by creating auto-responses for generic queries like checking account balance, e-statement, mini statement, debit card/credit card queries, etc.

Notify Your Customers About Withdrawals and Deposits Using SMS

SMS banking offers unparalleled security and convenience. Customers can simply opt-in for SMS notifications, and Textback.ai takes care of the rest. Notify customers of account activities like ATM transactions, deposit status, balance changes, etc.

Since most online banking services rely on two-step authentication, customers can use auto-generated codes for online transactions. Codes are only sent to verified mobile numbers and are valid for a fixed period.

Provide automated texts like alerts for large transactions, overdue payments, low balances, bank statements, etc., by connecting your banking database to the SMS API with Textback.ai.

Send shortened URLs via SMS to customers that want to read detailed transcripts like bank statements, contracts, policy changes, and other resources.

SMS Templates and Examples for Banking and Finance

You can send customers several financial messages, each using a unique template. Efficiency tops the charts among the several benefits of following a text message template. Free up time using templates to focus on value-added tasks instead of constantly trying to generate new content for your campaigns.

With a template, all you have to do is insert a customer's name without changing the rest of the content. This way, you don't have to create messages from scratch. Start designing your next campaign with these six SMS banking templates.

ATM Transaction SMS

Hi [FIRST NAME], you have withdrawn [AMOUNT] from [ATM LOCATION] on [DATE/TIME]. The available balance in your account is [BALANCE AMOUNT]. Be sure to get in touch with us immediately if this wasn't you [CONTACT INFO].

Large Transaction SMS

Hi [FIRST NAME], this is an automated notification to inform you that [AMOUNT] has been transferred from your bank account to [RECIPIENT]. Please contact us immediately if this wasn't you [CONTACT INFO].

Credit Card Payment Reminder SMS

Hi [FIRST NAME], this is to remind you that your credit card ending with [LAST FOUR DIGITS] is due on [DATE]. The total overdue is [AMOUNT], and the minimum is [AMOUNT]. Please pay before the due date to avoid late fees. For queries, get in touch [CONTACT INFO].

Credit Card Mailed SMS

Hi [FIRST NAME], your new credit card has been mailed to the registered address. Please note that the PIN is sent separately. If you don't receive the credit card or PIN by [DATE], please get in touch with us for a reissue [CONTACT INFO].

Loan Approval SMS

Hi [FIRST NAME], we're pleased to inform you that your request for [LOAN TYPE] with [BANK DETAILS] has been approved. Related documents have been mailed. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us at [CONTACT INFO] if you haven't received them.

Rate Change SMS

Hi [FIRST NAME], due to the recent Reserve Bank price [ADD/CUT], the interest rate for your existing loan [ACCOUNT NUMBER] has been updated. The new repayment amount is [AMOUNT] starting [DATE]. For queries, please reach out to us at [CONTACT INFO].

FAQ 

Why Should Banks Use SMS Marketing?

SMS Marketing improves operational efficiency, reduces the risk of a data breach, enhances customer experience, improves IT responses and downtimes, and boosts customer support.

Is SMS Marketing for Banks Still Effective? 

Text message marketing is highly effective yet underutilised in the banking sector. With open rates far exceeding other marketing channels, this communication strategy builds customer engagement through every stage of the banking journey and is exceptionally effective in delivering timely information.

How Much Budget Does SMS Marketing for Banking Require? 

SMS marketing is one of the most affordable yet powerful marketing channels. The prices depend on your strategies and use cases. Get in touch with our experts today for custom pricing based on your requirements.

What is the Success Rate of SMS for Banking?

SMS marketing enjoys a 98% open rate, far superior to 20% for email marketing. According to an independent survey, 60% of customers check text notifications within the first five minutes. Hence, banks and financial institutions are assured that all messages are opened and read.

More reading about SMS marketing:

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SMS for Sport teams

SMS for Banking and Finance

SMS for Insurance Agents

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Text messages for Recruiting

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