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Email Banking: Revitalizing the Channel

New technologies and more thoughtful design could elevate email to a central role in account management

Jim Bruene

Aug. 19, 2010; OBR 183


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Abstract: In this report, we take a new look at email and how it could be made to be the core channel for certain users.

Email has long been a reliable, low-cost way to disseminate information. But there’s little interaction since most financial institutions use it as a one-way broadcast medium.

But what if it was two-way and customers could take action right from the message? What if customers could drill down into the account details of statements within the message without having to navigate to your website? Email then becomes a channel, and a potentially very powerful one.

To prove the point, we look closely at new technology from Israeli-based startup, ActivePath, which believes it can turn email into a profitable endeavor for financial institutions. The business case relies on both reducing costs through increased estatement adoption and fewer customer calls and by dramatically increasing the marketing effectiveness of alerts and notifications.
Companies mentioned: ActivePath (formerly Postal Guard), Bank of America, Capital One, Chase Bank, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo
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