The service allows banks to send push notifications to their customers, dramatically reducing the volume of SMS messages sent out, and thus reducing operating costs. This service has been welcomed by banks, for which the SMS service, previously operated as an industry standard, was considered a costly legal obligation – for security reasons a federal law requires banks to inform their customers every time a transaction is made through their account. The cost of sending a push notification is up to ten times lower than a traditional SMS message, and can be used not only to inform customers of approved and declined transactions but can also contain special offers, one-use passwords, emails, news and promotions and notifications of a change in status to a document, as well as reports on transfers into and out of accounts.
The bank sends the information to a server, which then relays the information as a push notification to the customer. This service is activated automatically as soon as the customer downloads the relevant app. If the push notification is not delivered or remains unread for a specified amount of time, or if the customer’s phone does not support push notifications, an SMS message will be sent, also provided by the service – the banks are not responsible for sending SMS messages in the event of non-delivery of push notifications. The software architecture contains three main elements: the first is responsible for delivering SMS messages, the second for delivery of push notifications and the third relates to the client service element dealing with banks utilizing the service.
The service was developed as a response to market conditions, with the mobile network providers increasing tariffs almost immediately after the law was passed requiring banks to send SMS notifications to customers. The service is offered as an out-of-the-box solution for banks, and is provided on a per-use basis. No profit is made where SMS messages are sent to customers, but with the number of mobile application downloads already over 100,000 there is clearly huge demand for the service from bank customers. Though they are not directly paying for the SMS messages, the ease of use of push notifications is a key factor in the early success of the newly established service. Sixty percent of push notifications are read immediately on delivery, with the remaining 40% duplicated as SMS messages.
Market penetration is a key factor for the success of the service in an industry where the most popular app has an 11% market reach. To address this, a parallel service for spending analytics using information from banks has been developed to entice customers to download the application. This provides customers with a budgeting service that requires no manual data entry, and can show accounts, loans and deposits updated in real time. A further reason this extra feature has been provided is to provide adequate competition against in-house push notification solutions currently under development by major banks.
TIM connect was created to reduce banks’ expenditures on SMS notifications to their clients. The service sends information though an internet connection to various devices running iOS, Android and Windows Phone using push technology. The function for sending traditional SMS messages is still retained, and used in cases when sending a push notification to a mobile device is not possible for technical reasons.