Bulk SMS in Financial Industry

What is SMS Banking?

SMS Banking Technology is a kind of remote banking technology based on sending SMS. SMS banking provides requesting the information on customer’s Bank accounts and Bank account transactions at any time using the customer’s mobile phone number previously registered with the Bank.

SMS banking service which is implemented with the help of bulk SMS sending can be divided into the following types:

  • passive SMS notification (sending SMS messages only to mobile phones of the GSM mobile network) – which means sending confirmation SMS to the mobile phone of the cardholder (credit or debit) with the aim to confirm authorization of each operation, including replenishment and debiting of funds by Bank cards;
  • active SMS notification (sending SMS messages to mobile phones of the GSM mobile network only) – involves sending SMS in response to SMS requests received from the client. For example, a cardholder is sending a Bankcard or account balance request, or a request on mini-statement on the Bankcard blocking, etc. In response, the user receives an SMS confirming this action and a required action is performed;
  • mobile SMS banking – this service is included in the active SMS notification service. The customer of the Bank can use this service by sending SMS messages even from a regular mobile phone.

The Main Features of SMS banking Service

In general, the features of SMS banking include a much wider range of options than a simple notification of the client about the withdrawal or accrual of funds on his Bank account. Usually, SMS banking is performed with a direct connection to the Bank cards, current accounts, deposits, etc.

The only requirement for the client is that his mobile phone is equipped with the function of receiving and sending SMS.

In case of any movement of funds on the account, the user of the SMS banking service will immediately receive an SMS notification on his mobile phone about the transaction, whether it is a purchase performed by a card or a cash withdrawal at an ATM or any other financial transaction.

At the same time, the undeniable advantage of SMS service is that it does not require the installation of additional software, purchase of equipment. It is enough just to have a regular mobile phone. In Western Europe, the USA, and South-East Asia, SMS banking technology has long been a familiar tool, which is the evidence of a progressive approach in the conduct of even a small business in the field of Finance.

The functionality of SMS banking service is slightly different and limited from Internet banking service.

Further, let’s compare an SMS notification service in the financial sector and SMS banking service.

With SMS banking you can:

  • Learn about the cash flow in your Bank account, such as cash flow or expense, purchase or money withdrawing from an ATM;
  • Ensures the security of your Bankcard. For example, if you received information about the operation that you did not perform on your phone, you can block the Bankcard;
  • SMS reminder to make another payment on your loan, etc.;
  • Sending an SMS request to the Bank, you are able to get information about the available balance on the Bankcard, the report on the latest transactions or block the card if necessary at any time you need;
  • Make payments to any organization, for example, refill your phone account or housing services, or make another payment on the loan from your Bank account.

Main Features of the SMS-notification Service at the Bank

SMS-notification in the bank service field is a service of notification the client by sending SMS-messages to his / her mobile phone number about:

  • Financial transactions performed using the card;
  • other recorded account of expenditure and receipt transactions;
  • the number of available funds using the card at the time of these SMS notification transfer;
  • each authorization request received by the Bank payment card service system for carrying out an expense transaction on the client’s account made with the use of the card or its details. The service also works if the account holder is abroad (with international roaming).

SMS notification service allows the account holder to:

  • monitor his / her account status in real time;
  • promptly respond to unauthorized account transactions.

Usually, this service is provided to holders of personal Bank payment cards, which are customers of any mobile operator (including foreign). Some world banks recommend its customers to activate SMS-notification service in order to increase the level of security when making transactions using Bank payment cards, and primarily for cards:

  • which were used for Internet payments at least once;
  • Used in ATMs outside the country of residence.

Be Aware of SMS Credit Card Fraud

The mobile phone has changed the life of a modern man that it is difficult to imagine oneself without this means of communication. However, there were those who found ways to use a mobile phone to earn money dishonestly.

Therefore, considering the ease of use of SMS banking technology, do not forget about the scams, who are scamming credit card holders using SMS. There is even a special newly appeared word for SMS fishing – Smishing.

How Does SMS Scam Works?

Scammers are usually good psychologists. In their fraud deals, they use such inherent human qualities as:

  • fear
  • stupidity
  • greed

Here is the most common fraudulent scheme. However, one should remember that at any time scammers could invent something new, so pay attention to the security measures that will be considered at the end of the article.

So, usually, the fraud scheme consists of several stages.

Phase 1. Sending an SMS

An SMS message is sent to the mobile phone of the customer of a bank, informing that his payment card has been blocked due to unauthorized use. SMS text includes the phone number of the Bank security service and recommendations to contact the bank.

Phase 2. Dialogue with the scammers

Frightened credit card owner, without hesitation, dials the specified phone number. Let’s imagine the dialogue:

˗    Hello, I am John Doe, I’ve received a message about blocking my credit card.

˗    How much money should you have on your card?

˗    Ten thousand dollars.

˗    Yes, that’s right, we see. Your account was blocked because there was a payment attempt by your credit card at the online store for the amount of nine thousand dollars.

˗    But I haven’t even approached my PC

˗    That’s why we blocked your card. Now you URGENTLY need to go to the nearest ATM to take the necessary steps. When you get to the ATM, please, call us back.

Phase 3. At the ATM

The owner of the card, thinking only of how to save his money, hurries to the ATM.

The voice of a scammer on the other end advises sending money to a certain account in order to unlock the card. Usually, scammers ask rather a large amount of money.

The cardholder does not have this amount in cash, so he is told that it is urgent to extend the block on the card, otherwise, the purchase operation will still be carried out. To do this, he is asked to dictate the card number, expiration date, and a secret code located on the reverse side under the magnetic strip.

These three parameters are enough to perform online transactions using this credit card.

There are Other Common Options for SMS Fraud:

  • a text message may contain a website link, which will take you to a fake website which will ask your bank account login information. Pay special attention to the website URL, some words may be misspelled, or include odd symbols, numbers.
  • fraudsters send information that the customer has become the winner of the offer carried out by the Bank. In order to receive the prize it is necessary to transfer a small fee (tax, etc.) from the credit card;
  • sometimes, scammers dictate to the person which is already standing at the ATM, numbers that he must enter supposedly to unlock his bank account. As a result, it turns out that a person sent money to someone else’s mobile account or e-wallet with his own hands;
  • it is reported that a person’s bank account was mistakenly credited the amount you need to urgently send back, etc.

How to Protect Yourself from SMS Fraud

  • First, pay attention to the phone number of the SMS sender. The phone number of a real Bank should be the same as the customer service of the Bank – it is indicated on the back of the Bankcard, or at the website of the bank. Don’t be lazy to compare these phone numbers, and contact the real bank to research your issue.
  • In addition, the name of the Bank must be indicated either in the text of the SMS or in its title, some banks use its name as a Sender ID. Usually, scammers are not aware which Bank provides you service, and they act “blindly” relying only on the lack of proper focus of the person. Some scammers place in a signature or as a sender ID – Security Service. In this case, you should remember – the security service of the bank is has no rights to communicate with the customers. It is a responsibility of managers, you should have your personal account manager.
  • The Bank does not send messages to those customers who haven’t enabled SMS banking feature.
  • Nowadays, fraudsters will almost never ask to tell the PIN code of a credit card. After all, customers are already accustomed to the fact that they should not disclose this information to anyone, even to Bank employees. Therefore, the emphasis of the fraudsters is on the CVV code, which makes it possible to pay on the Internet with a credit card. CVV code is a three – or four-digit code designed to verify the authenticity of the card when making online payments.
  • And, of course, the Bank employee will not ask the balance on the card. All this information should be known to the Bank employee.
  • Pay attention to the correctness of the website, if it is included in SMS. Don’t click on links if you SMS looks suspicious.
  • It should seem suspicious if SMS text just addresses you as Sir or Madam, or just valued customer. Real messages from the bank or other companies will usually address you by your full name.

What one should do in case of receiving a fraudulent SMS:

  • first, don’t be nervous or get panic!
  • secondly, take your credit card, turn it over and call the number at the bottom of the card;
  • You’ll see everything will become clear, just ask a real Bank manager about your case, ask to check whether they sent an SMS to you, ask if there were any attempts to access your payment card.

Remember – only you can protect your money!