Today we had a meeting with Mobilearth, preparing to develop the next version of MemberNote (MemberNote3). Mobilearth are a local company that have developed a truly intriguing product — mobile banking with the full gamut of features. The first concept to produce is extended alert messaging. Over the past few years this has been the key mechanism that people see of value. If something happens to their account they want a text message telling them that. The discussions with users always moved to “Can you notice me if this happens?” If you take a look at your monthly statement there are more that ATM withdrawals or Interac transactions there. There are deposits, service charges, loan payments, etc. etc. There is no standard set of what members want noticed. By giving choice and self-management (DIY) to what alerts are wanted the end result is then solved. This process is handled admirably by Mobilearth and can easily be married to our current MemberNote product. The end result will be a very robust and powerful alert messaging system.
The next phase will be to introduce short codes to the product. Basically you would send a text message to a pre-determined number which initiates a query to your account. The resulting information is sent back to you via a text message. So you quickly want to know what the balance of your chequing account is. Sent BAL or BALANCE or ??? to telephone number 604-999-9999. You then receive via return text message the amount.
Whereas the alert system pushes the information to you on a predetermined action, the short code method is a push – pull process. You push the query to receive the pulled information. The beauty of being a small institution is the flexibility in technology development based on manageable transaction levels. You don’t need expensive sledgehammers to tap a pin into a wall. MemberNote 3 will maybe have one more component. But that has to be a secret. And it won’t be sending alerts to remind you to pick up the milk on the way home.