Dutch bank ABN Amro is using messaging app Snapchat to communicate with its customers after large numbers of them demanded to use it.
The bank said it could not ignore a communications app that is used by about a million people in the Netherlands.
Jeroen van de Ven, social media manager at ABN Amro, said: “If a specific target audience opts for a new channel in such large numbers, we as a bank have to adapt in an accessible way that fits the channel and appeals to the target audience.”
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Snapchat messages are private and disappear after a short period of time.
Users can contact ABN Amro over Snapchat and ask it questions. The app is also used to offer advice to students, including helping them to save money.
“Tips can be financial in nature, but not all of them are,” said van de Ven. “What matters is that the target audience appreciates the advice and gets some real use out of it.”
ABN Amro said student customers expected more from the bank than just product communication. “They want their bank to be up to speed on the issues and topics that count in a student’s daily life, and assist them in taking decisions,” the bank said.
“Students also want their bank to show understanding and help them realise their dreams and ambitions. ABN Amro believes the Snapchat service is a good way of responding to these needs.”
Read more about social media in banking
- Lloyds Bank customers can upload identification documents on technology used in social media, reducing the need to visit a branch.
- Spanish bank CaixaBank has launched an app that enables customers to view their accounts and make transactions via Facebook.
- Social media will become a significant channel for retail banks in Europe within three years, according to analyst Ovum.
As financial services move online, the lines between social media and banking are blurring. At the same time, retail banks are under pressure from consumers and regulators to improve their own IT and make retail banking services easy to use whenever or wherever customers want it.