Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lloyds TSB announces SMS alerts service

This article caught my eye. Lloyds felt compelled to announce that they have actually implemented a system whereby they would send you an SMS to warn you of a possible overdraft problem. Amazing!

No don't get me wrong, I don't think that this is an amazing service provided by Lloyds... I am amazed that this is newsworthy to the point that one actually would want to announce it. This kind of service is so old and have been implemented by all South African banks that you would actually expect to get it. This is not something that you would draft a press release about. A South African bank would be so ashamed that they only now release such service that they would rather keep it quiet. In South Africa and in other developing countries, the mobile banking features that are generally available, seems to me, might not even be on the release plan of European banks.

This thought really made me think. Is mobile banking services so far behind in developed markets that their announcements make us in developing countries laugh? or don't I get it? I think that the answer is yes. Developing countries have deployed advanced mobile banking solutions and have perfected the offering because the need is much higher. Also, we were not confronted by constrained thinking about new standards (read SIMPAY) nor complex integration to legacy systems. We could merely get on with the job. The result is that mobile banking solutions from developing markets are far superior to those that are available in developed markets.

Maybe Lloyds should work on opening branches on Saturdays first. Now that would be something to do a press release on.

1 comment:

ChrisL said...

Hey Hannes
One thing I like about developing markets is that because they don't have all the infrastructure, they can focus on what is important. Therefore you don't get all the "me-too" competition, all you get are the features that the market requires. Vodafone's M-Pesa system in Kenya is one such example IMHO.