Guide to Text Messaging for Financial Institutions, Credit Unions, Banks, Lenders, Advisors & Planners
Customer service and communication preferences are changing. People read and respond to far more texts than emails and phone calls frequently go unanswered.
So more financial advisors, planners, banks, lenders, and credit unions are turning toward SMS text messaging.
In this article, I cover:
- What finance SMS and SMS banking are
- FINRA rules on text messaging
- Why finance SMS works for banks, credit unions, and financial advisors
- 10 ways banks, credit unions, and financial advisors use financial SMS messaging
- How to get started with financial advisor text software and SMS for banking
- Text message templates for financial advisors, banks, credit unions, and lenders
By the end of the article, you’ll know how finance SMS works. You’ll also know how to get started with text messaging for your credit union, bank, or financial firm.
Why Finance SMS Works for Banks, Credit Unions, and Financial Advisors
Phone calls and email play vital roles in customer service. But text messaging has some clear advantages and benefits vs email and voice. It’s one of the most effective forms of conversational messaging for financial advisors and banking institutions.
Finance SMS vs. email
Email is the most widely adopted form of business communication amongst banks, credit unions, and financial institutions.
But email suffers from low engagement rates and high spam rates.
In fact, people send 25% more texts than emails. And text messaging clearly outperforms email engagement rates by a large margin.
Some 74% of customers respond to a text from a business within an hour vs 41% to email.
Finance SMS vs. voice
Phone calls give you a direct line of client communication. They used to be the only way to get an instant response.
- Communication preferences are changing (everything is text-based)
- Telephone culture is declining (people don’t like calls)
- People don’t answer calls (especially from unknown numbers)
- Voicemails get forgotten (or mailboxes are full)
- Phone calls aren’t scalable (you call as fast as you can text)
Some 76% of people recently reported that they don’t like talking to businesses on the phone.
And what if you’re calling from an unknown number? 1 in 4 people won't even listen to your voicemail. People just don’t pick up the phone.
They want conversations to occur quietly, in their own time, and at their convenience. This is why people prefer text messaging to calling. Texting is less obtrusive and more discrete.
10 Ways Banks, Credit Unions, and Financial Advisors Use Financial SMS Messaging
So how does texting finance SMS actually work?
Below are eight ways to use text messaging to enhance communication and your overall customer experience.
1. Start text conversations from a website or webpage
You can use financial SMS to generate leads and grow a text list. All you need to do is add a click-to-text button to a website or a web page.
This makes it easy for customers, contacts, and clients to start text conversations with you directly from your website. They just click the button and start texting with your business phone number.
2. Keyword-based text message autoresponders
SMS autoresponders allow you to send automated text messages. All anyone has to do is text a specific keyword like “ALERTS” or “INFO” to your business phone number.
This business text messaging feature helps new and existing financial customers, clients, and contacts who need quick responses. You can also use text message autoresponders to:
- Improve customer service response times
- Send instant answers to frequently asked questions
- Chain message responses together based on multiple keyword responses
3. Marketing new financial products and services
Text message marketing gives you an alternative to email. Email messages frequently get marked as spam and lost in an inbox. But with texting, you can send a message directly to clients’ mobile devices.
Just organize your contacts into groups, compose a text message broadcast and schedule it for later.
4. Appointment reminders, confirmations, and invitations
Business text messaging makes it more convenient for people to schedule and confirm appointments.
5. Text message archiving for financial advisors
FINRA rules on text messaging require you to keep an archive of text messages.
Business text messaging services like MessageDesk give wealth managers and financial advisors an archiving solution. Every text message conversation gets saved.
You can even select date ranges, generate a PDF, and print text message conversations for record-keeping using MessageDesk.
6. SMS alerts for banking transactions
Financial institutions send SMS alerts for banking transactions to diminish financial crime and help recipients spot fraudulent account activity.
Some of the most common mobile banking alerts are for:
- Low balance
- Unusual account activity
- Significant purchases
- Large withdrawals
- Declined debit and credit card transactions
- Profile and information changes
7. Client and customer service
Text messaging is a great tool for customer service. This is because:
- Texting is faster and more responsive than email.
- Text message customer service is more convenient and scalable than answering phone calls.
- Text message automation makes it easier to manage more customer service conversations.
You show your clients, customers, and contacts that they’re valued when you implement finance SMS texting. Their questions and issues are worth a quick response.
8. Document requests
Sending, receiving, and sharing documents takes time and can be expensive. With SMS and multimedia MMS messaging, you send and receive PDF files and other types of documents.
Finance SMS and SMS banking can streamline the process of:
- Requesting loan documents
- Sending pay stubs
- Sharing signed affidavits
- Sending receipts
- Getting photocopies of IDs
9. Payment reminders
SMS has a 98% open rate. You can increase your bottom line just by sending SMS payment reminders and prompting recipients to make payments.
10. Feedback and online review requests
SMS gives you an easy way to gather feedback from your clients, customers, and contacts. Just include a link to a form or survey.
You can also use text messages to ask for Google reviews from happy clients. This leads to referrals, more business, and greater customer loyalty.
How to get started with financial advisor text software and SMS for banking
How do you get started with finance SMS? For starters, texting from business text messaging software isn’t like texting from your personal phone for work.
Some financial advisors and planners use their personal mobile phones, but there are drawbacks and liabilities.
For example, you miss out on text message archiving features that keep you FINRA compliant. And no one else in your organization can see what’s being said and communicated.
So here’s what you need to know to get started with banking and financial advisor text software.
1. Select a finance SMS service
Financial messaging services in the banking, credit, and financial industries use both one-way and two-way text messaging.
You should also select a service that features a shared team SMS inbox. A good inbox comes with message assignments, routing, and comments for texting as a team.
MessageDesk offers all of the above features.
2. Create a free account
After you’ve completed the selection process, you can create a free account with your chosen text messaging service.
3. Select an SMS phone number
Next, you need to select a phone number for SMS. Banks and credit unions will want to consider texting with a toll-free 800 number.
Financial advisors and financial planners should go with text-enabling a 10-digit local phone number. MessageDesk supports both number types.
Once know what kind of number you want, there are several additional SMS phone number options to consider:
- Get a new text number for business
- Port your existing business phone number
- Text with an existing business landline
4. Upload contacts and client phone numbers
You’ll want to import your contacts and create groups once you’ve got your phone number set up. MessageDesk users can quickly upload contacts with a CSV file into specific groups.
5. Compose and schedule texts
Next, you’ll want to compose personalized texts. MessageDesk makes it easy to customize text messages and save them as templates with media, links, and tags. You can even add a text message signature to all of your texts.
You can then quickly schedule a text for delivery once you’ve composed it.
6. Set up automated text messages
Text Message Templates for Financial Advisors, Banks, Credit Unions, and Lenders
Templates help you automate and personalize your text messaging. Below I’ve included a list with examples of bank, credit union, and financial advisor text message templates.
Check out my list of 60+ text message templates for more examples.
1. Loan approval text message
2. Financial advisor messages to clients
3. SMS alerts for banking transactions
4. Appointment invitation
5. Appointment reminder
6. Appointment confirmation
7. Document request
8. Payment reminder
9. Feedback and online review request
10. Client check-in
Final thoughts and next steps
Finance SMS can simplify your messaging and help your firm or financial institution service customers and clients.
When used correctly, text messaging is a fantastic way to build and maintain positive conversational experiences.