Wednesday, July 26, 2006

SMS Alerts To Prevent Bouncing Checks

St Georges Bank in Australia is working on an SMS alert system that will give customers a chance to top up their accounts if the bank detects that they're about to become overdrawn. The point of the service is to help consumers and small businesses protect their credit records and reputations. "The key incentive," says Chief information officer John Lobenstein "is to avoid a payment that you intended to make not being paid, another party getting very annoyed with you, and potentially getting you a bad credit record."

They are hoping that this type of mobile alert service will appeal to customers who "run cash-flow tight." Which seems to make sense as these are the types of people that also seem to be on the go the most but would also want to be alerting about their money situations.

However, Lobenstein does point out that the SMS service is not aimed at avoiding dishonour fees as people who opt to receive the the alerts will be forced to pay a dishonor fee if their check or debit payment goes dishonored.

They estimate that the service will cost 35$ a message! What that is about I have no idea but it seems like a lot.

Dishonor fees and bad checks come with a 45-50 dollar penalty.

The service will be tested by users of its South Australia subsidiary, Bank SA, next month.

No comments: