Times are tough. Consumers and business are facing growing financial pressures, and balancing budgets is increasingly a juggling act. In uncertain times, unexpected payment delays can have a catastrophic affect on business. Making a late payment on a credit card or loan can negatively impact a consumer’s credit rating.
Research from CitiGroup shows that the top reasons bills are paid late are forgetfulness, lack of available funds, and being busy with family or work obligations. With forgetfulness being cited the main reason, the challenge for brands lies in how to stay front of mind at month-end. Encouraging prompt bill settlement should be a key focus area for business, using technology to enable this makes practical sense.
“Mobile statements offer an innovative solution to financial statement delivery,” says Alan Haarhoff, AAT – Business Development Manager. “By digitising traditional paper statements, and securely delivering these to a customer’s mobile device, consumers can receive their mStatements with enough time to pay them.”
Mobile technology provides an effective channel for communicating with consumers says the SAP SMS Advantage report, which shows that South African’s are obsessive mobile phone users, with 68% of users checking their smartphones at least once an hour. “It makes sense to harness the power of mobile technology, to ensure the prompt delivery of critical statements,” says Haarhoff.
The research points to the popularity of SMS, with the vast majority (76%) of respondents more likely to read a message sooner if it’s an SMS, than if it’s an email. “AAT developed its mStatements solution with this in mind, we believe that SMS is the most effective delivery method in our market, especially given that the banking industry uses it to communicate effectively,” explains Haarhoff. SMS texting is used by 2.9 times more people than email, according to South African Audience Research Foundation “SAARF” stats.
AAT first launched mStatements in 2010; recent upgrades enable delivery via Instant Messaging, given its unprecedented popularity with South African consumers. “We are determined to deliver our customer’s statements via the most effective channel, therefore as channels such as WeChat present themselves, we innovative to ensure AAT’s solution remains relevant.”
mStatements provide a cost effective solution, with 100 per cent reach to anyone with a mobile phone. Handset agnostic, statements can be delivered as SMS statements, USSD statements and Mobi statements. Uniquely created links with digital certificates, and PIN-based authentication, ensures stringent data security and privacy requirements are met. mStatements can be downloaded, or emailed as a PDF for record purposes. Read-receipts and tracking prove that the bill has been delivered, opened and read.
“What’s most exciting about mStatements is research shows that SMS read rates are almost 100 per cent, with a read time of less than 24 hours,” Haarhoff says. “We know therefore that there is a high likelihood that the statements will be opened, especially as our solution doesn’t require any App or software to be installed.”
mStatements offer a broad range of benefits including:
- cost savings through removing the need to print and deliver statements,
- end-to-end measurability,
- environmental savings,
- increased efficiencies via automated IT mobile business solutions,
- personalisation – the ability to brand statements delivered via Mobi, Ims, SMS and USSD.
“Instant delivery is guaranteed, and so is end-to-end measurability and complete security,” confirms Haarhoff.
With household finances likely to remain tight in the coming year, mStatements provide a robust solution for business to issue statements in a timely manner to their customers.
“A key step in effective budgeting starts with paying bills on time, mStatements act as a reminder for consumers to keep on top of their bill payments,” Haarhoff concluded.
As a mobile-first company our fully scalable and secure mobile platforms allow for rich engagement across basic, feature and smart phones. We work with the FSP, FMCG and Retail sectors and offer a full range of mobile engagement channels.
Our core strength is helping brands and organisations engage with their audience across mobile channels.