7 Banks Trialing Beacons for In-Branch Engagement

If you read tech blogs, you must have heard about beacons or iBeacons (Apple's version) which are tiny Bluetooth 4.0-based devices. These devices have been witnessing a lot of hype and some adoption in proximity marketing solutions where merchants are putting up beacons to send offers, promotions, coupons, etc. in the form of proximity messages. Financial Institutions such as banks have also started using beacon technology to boost customer engagement and explore new revenue streams.

Below is a list of seven such banks who have either implemented or are in the process of implementing beacon technology to leverage their services and to increase their customer engagement.

1. Barclays (UK): Barclays announced an in-branch beacon technology trial in 2014 to make life easier for customers, especially for those with disabilities.

Based within an app, the technology will notify branch staff when a customer with an accessibility need enters the branch. The initiative, developed in response to a customer from the Barclays Sheffield branch, will reduce the need for customers to have to explain their accessibility needs each and every time they enter the branch, and will allow colleagues to assist customers more effectively.

2. US Bank (US): The bank is said to have invested in beacon technology to personalize the banking experience for its customers. Along with Mitek systems, the bank also predicted that banks and financial institutions will see beacon usage take off in 2015.

3. St. George Bank (Australia): The bank is said to have implemented beacon trial services in its branches in Sydney.

With this, it hopes to provide its iPhone customers a rich banking experience. The technology will detect a customer walking into a branch. Customers will then receive a welcome message and information on their iPhone. The customer can choose to respond to the information or can cancel the interaction.

4. DenizBank (Istanbul): With the iBeacon application, DenizBank provides its bank customers the comfort of a queue number without actually queuing at the branch. The bank has partnered with Blesh for providing this service to its customers. Customers who are within a 50-meter distance of beacon devices that work with Bluetooth technology at DenizBank branches can benefit from this service. The project was initially available in 200 Denizbank branches in Istanbul and was launched in 2014.

5. FirstBank (US): According to Jeff Kaufman, President of Retail Services at First Bank, the bank has big plans for leveraging the beacon technology by 2015 and plans to become a technology-savvy bank, providing a convenient and updated banking services to its customers.

6. Access Bank (Nigeria): The Nigerian bank released a mobile payment application called PayWithCapture. With this app, the users can scan a QR code via their phone camera and can make the payment instead of paying through cards. The application also works with beacon technology and NFC.

With beacon technology, the bank can send personalized content and advertising and can motivate the customers to pay without contact.

7. Westpac (Australia): The Australian bank started its trial phase for beacon technology last year in February.

The bank has conducted the trials in Australia and New Zealand and is expected to provide location-based offers and messages through Apple’s iBeacon to its customers whenever they walk past the bank branch.

You can also check out our report on Beacon Technology:

2015/16 Roadmap for Beacons Based Proximity Marketing - A Research Report