Expanding the Ways Customers Can Bank
A regional U.S. bank owned by BBVA in Spain and headquartered in Alabama, BBVA Compass operates 583 branches throughout Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Colorado and New Mexico. The bank is among the 25 largest in the U.S. based on deposit market share and ranks as the third largest bank in Alabama as well as the fourth largest bank in Texas.
To make banking more convenient for its customers, BBVA Compass wanted to add another service delivery channel. Already allowing customers to execute banking transactions through traditional means via its branch locations, a customer-service phone center and the Internet, the bank wanted to offer customers another option whereby they can bank anytime, anywhere using their mobile phones.
"We wanted to give customers another way to bank with us," says Chris Causey, vice president, Internet Banking department. "We also wanted to market our services to younger customers as well as those who like to use different forms of technology. So we wanted to offer a banking-service delivery mechanism that would save time for customers while also providing cost savings for the bank when it comes to providing customer service."
BBVA Compass decided the best option for delivering banking services to mobile phones is to have customers conduct banking transactions via SMS, the most ubiquitous mobile messaging method.
Providing a Complete Mobile Banking Solution
As BBVA Compass began researching mobile banking solutions, the bank quickly realized it would need a partner that offered a complete mBanking platform for a true multi-channel mobile banking approach. This included SMS two-way banking and alerts, mobile browser capabilities and downloadable mobile client applications, allowing customers multiple ways to access to banking information via mobile phones.
"We ran into a challenge trying to find one company that could provide software and expertise across all of these technologies," Causey says. "The challenge was made even more difficult when trying to find a partner that could also integrate our SMS messaging with all of the various mobile operators. We knew it would require a lot of work to make sure that our service would work properly with each operator, which we would have to work with one at a time."
As BBVA Compass met with vendors that could provide the front-end application for the mobile phone service, they kept receiving recommendations from the vendors that Sybase was the company to turn to as the partner that could interface with all of the mobile operators.
"We had already turned to Sybase early in the search process because they had also provided us with our online banking solution via their Financial Fusion Server solution about 10 years ago," Causey says. "When we heard so many industry vendors recommending Sybase as the top player for SMS aggregation, Sybase quickly became the leading candidate we wanted to partner with."
Sybase: A Complete Mobile Banking Solution
Sybase offered BBVA Compass the ability to provide software and expertise across all of the technologies required by the mobile banking solution – SMS, mobile browser and the ability to create a downloadable mobile client.
"We could have partnered with two or three solution providers, but that would have created the extra challenge of managing the deployment," Causey says. "It was much easier for us to turn to just one partner like Sybase that manages entire projects and deploys all of the technologies. None of the competitors offered built-in network connectivity along with all three mobile banking channels. Sybase's full range of services made the process much easier for us and met the needs of our customers."
To meet all of the bank's needs and its customers' needs, Sybase recommended its Sybase mBanking 365 solution, the only mobile banking product that offers a single connection to a complete, multi-channel mobile banking solution on a single platform, including SMS, a mobile browser, and a downloadable mobile client on a single platform. As part of the Sybase mBanking 365 solution, Sybase works with 11 national and regional mobile operators to ensure BBVA Compass customers could access the service regardless of their carrier.
Sybase efficiently delivers text messages for all of these operators, "Sybase has a superior network in place for message delivery," Causey says. "Sybase's expertise was vital because we did not have experience reaching out to operators for permission to integrate and to understand the regulations and restrictions. If it were not for Sybase's help, our project would have been delayed significantly."
Mobile Banking Solution Allows Customers to Easily Access All Accounts
With the Sybase mBanking 365 platform and the expertise provided by Sybase, BBVA Compass launched its mobile solution, called Compass MobileSM, The service allows customers to bank via their mobile phones with simple, intuitive SMS messaging without the need to remember complex keywords or using multi-level, menu-driven applications. The service enables bank customers to check balances, view posted and pending transactions, and transfer funds between accounts. Customers are not required to enter account numbers, which provides additional security so they can bank safely from anywhere, anytime. Customers simply send text messages via the bank's universal short code, and then the bank sends back the requested information. Compass Mobile also offers many detailed help screens in case customers forget any of the text commands as well as many detailed error screens to help customers trace any transfers they entered incorrectly.
With the help of Sybase, BBVA Compass now offers customers a fast, easy and convenient way to conduct bank transactions on all accounts, including checking, savings, credit card, CDs, IRAs, mortgage loans, installment loans, and home equity loans. BBVA Compass also offers a variety of help screens. Most competitors offer access to limited account types and provide one help screen.
Sybase mBanking 365 offers a core application platform from which the bank could tailor its solution with customized products and services for the bank's customers. "Sybase mBanking 365 saved us a lot of time from having to develop the mobile banking platform, and we also had the ability to create a service that's unique," Causey says.
In summarizing the value that Sybase delivered on the Compass Mobile solution, Causey says, "Sybase can be depended on – both the technology and the people. They are easy to work with, and they take time to listen to what we have to say. With other providers, we sometimes feel like we are on our own, but Sybase supported us and guided us through the entire project."