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Author: Craig Eardley

Greater digital banking: Four digit mobile login and Direct Debit SMS

The Greater Building Society is taking on the big banks on the technology front, with new digital projects completed to give customers faster, more convenient access to their money and banking information.

Today, The Greater launched a four digit login on its mobile App for mobile banking customers and has introduced a Direct Debit SMS Alert. These initiatives follow this month’s launch of a new, user platform responsive website.

Greater Building Society head of strategy Chris Hodgins said the four digit log in means customers no longer need to type in a username and password each time they use mobile banking, saving them time. Mr Hodgins believes the new Direct Debit SMS service is a first for an Australian financial institution. It gives customers a text message if they have insufficient funds in their account when a direct debit or scheduled payment has been charged, giving them time to transfer funds and avoid, sometimes hefty, penalties from the organisation they are trying to pay. Mr Hodgins said the new Greater website automatically adjusts to the device from which it is being accessed (whether that is a computer, mobile or tablet), is easier to use and devoid of “bank speak”.

He said these new features make The Greater a leader amongst financial institutions and puts it ahead of some of the big banks.

“The enhancements are part of The Greater’s ongoing investment in its digital banking capability to meet current and potential customer’s changing needs,” Mr Hodgins said.

“The responsive website and faster mobile banking login were some of the top priorities identified in a survey of Greater customers,” he said.

Mr Hodgins said Australian banking customers are increasingly turning to smartphones and tablets to do their banking. The Greater App has been downloaded more than 90,000 times and there are more than 1 million logins from mobiles per month. More customer transactions are now conducted via mobile than in branches. More Greater customers log on to Internet banking through a mobile device (53 per cent) than through other devices including desktop computers. He expects that the introduction of mobile banking enhancements will see the percentage of all online banking transactions carried out through a mobile to jump considerably from its current level of 42 per cent.

He said The Greater was a relatively early adopter of mobile banking, launching a mobile app for iPhone in September 2010 and one for android in March 2012. It started using social media in 2010.

“We’re customer-owned, so we are using technology where its enhances the customer experience and to support its expert, friendly staff.”

“Our branches are there to help people who prefer to do their banking that way and for more complex transactions.

“Unlike some other companies, The Greater’s website Live Chat service is staffed by people rather than being automated and calls to our customer service centre go direct to staff members rather than an automated menu option.

“Our focus is customers, so we’re getting the right mix of branches, online services, mobile lenders and expert service centre staff to give customers simple, straight forward banking the way they want to bank.”

Mr Hodgins said The Greater’s recently announced strong profit results had made these and future enhancements possible.

Customers need to register for the Direct Debit SMS service which costs 20 cents per alert (Greater direct debit insurance customers will receive the service free). Mr Hodgins said the service could save customers dishonour fees by other organisations that can be as high as $30. 

The updated Greater mobile app is now available for download from the Greater’s website or via Apple’s app store (for iphones) or Google play (for android phones.)

The Newcastle based Greater Building Society provides home loans and a full range of other banking services to half a million customers in NSW and South East Queensland. It is the current Roy Morgan Building Society of The Year for Customer Satisfaction having achieved customer satisfaction ratings as high as 97 percent. Visit