With members clamoring for mobile access, TweetMyMoney, provides a quick and inexpensive way for Vantage CU to deliver. Members can now monitor account balances, deposits and withdrawals, holds and cleared checks with simple commands via Twitter. In addition, they can transfer funds within their accounts to avoid overdraft fees. With an eye on convenience, the service is available anytime on Twitter and simply requires members to have MyVantage online banking, a Twitter account and a cell phone with text messaging capability.
"This is the first and only service we know of to offer such capability, so we're proud of it. It's not every day we get to create something unique and exciting in an industry that can be let's face it a bit dull. But, TweetMyMoney is not about our ego, our pride or even jumping on the latest Web 2.0 technology bandwagon. It's about offering members a convenient way to access their account information in a manner that no other financial provider can," said Vantage CU Executive Vice President Operations Eric Acree.
Positioned as an optional extension of the credit union's online banking service MyVantage, TweetMyMoney is only the first of mobile banking solutions Vantage CU plans to offer that can be used to access account information via cell phone or computer. In addition to Twitter, Vantage CU's mobile banking strategy, slated to roll out in 2010, will include Facebook access, an iPhone app and text messaging.
Recognizing that social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are too important not to be a part of, Acree said it only made sense to find a way to offer members access to their money via those platforms. He credited Executive Vice President of Technology Cam Minges with making the new service a reality.
TweetMyMoney uses Twitter's direct message feature to return the account information requested. Given security concerns, the information contained in tweets are generic from Twitter hash tag commands, dollar amounts and dates to suffix codes, which the credit union says is essentially useless to anyone but the member requesting information.
The credit union has also incorporated new correspondence authentication codes into its MyVantage online banking service. Every outbound Vantage CU electronic communication now contains a unique code for each day of the week. Members can view these codes inside their user profile section of MyVantage. The codes will appear at the end of every e-mail and text communication returned or originated by Vantage to help reassure members that these messages are indeed from Vantage and not an untrusted source. While the system automatically generates the codes, members can change them anytime.
"We are proud of the fact that we brought it to market first. History has proven that whenever a company or person implements a radically new idea, that idea is usually met with a fair amount of skepticism and even ridicule. Some thought the Wright brothers were nuts, but now people fly everyday. Many people were horrified with the notion of giving access to information online, but today there are numerous ways to safely access and send information electronically. TweetMyMoney is an example," said Acree.