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A brief review of (Oz) bank twittering

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For some time, we've seen twitter emerge as a communications channel and wondered what it means for banks.  This morning, I gained a good insight as I was alerted to some dialogue between UBank, a division of the National Bank of Australia (NAB), and someone who made a comment about them.

It all began with this tweet from a chap called Simon:


Nice compliment Simon and one that did not go unnoticed by UBank.


Obviously UBank are using twitterbots to track and spot whenever their name is mentioned in a tweet.  Then I thought: "mmmm, does Simon feel a bit like he's being stalked?"

No matter.  It prompted me to look at UBank's tweets and a couple of others gave me a slightly different picture.


As can be seen, an actively twittering bank who use twitter for customer service, dialogue and debate, provides a transparent insight into their operations.  The good, the bad and the ugly.

I quite liked that, although most banks would feel pretty uncomfortable with that level of transparency, which is why most look more like Westpac:

No wonder Westpac have no followers ... or maybe their followers are the only Westpac customers who, so far, have worked out there's a thing called twitter out there?

In between are a number of other examples of how banks and financial firms use twitter.

For example, twitter is useful for keeping track of the competition.  Mind you, I'm not so sure about promoting the competition, as Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) seem to be.  CBA's twitter
page for Generation Y customers - YMoneyMatters - appears to be
promoting customers to follow the competition, in the form of NAB's Rob

Rob is a manager of customer experiences
at NAB, and writes the Bank Channel blog which YMoneyMatters recommends folks to follow:


Good for you CBA!

I also thought CBA understood twitter, as they were one of the first banks to hit the headlines for using twitter for customer service.

They supposedly had spotted a customer with mortgage troubles and solved them within a day thanks to an eagle-eyed twittering customer service rep.

I say 'supposedly' because, afterwards, it turns out that the person with the mortgage problem worked for the paper that published the story, so it was again an example of a story that is not as simple as it seemed.

And although CBA are promoting to youth (who don't use twitter), trying to find their general twitter page is hard ... as there doesn't appear to be one.

Mind you, many other Australian banks are trying to use twitter to promote their ideas about money to their customers, with Rabobank's Raboplus service being one of the most notable:


Similarly SmartyPig, who run in Australia in a joint venture with ANZ, have a lot to offer in terms of inspiration and ideas:


Although I wasn't so impressed with the inactivity of their ANZ partner who seem to take most of their tweets from SmartyPig:


Don't you have your own voice ANZ?

Meantime, my favourite bank tweet has to be St. George's Bank who, like UBank, stalk customers for mentions of their brand.  When dandilionseed had this conversation therefore:

they could not help but respond:

BTW, as I know none of these people, it just goes to show how transparent our 24*7 modern world of tweets really is!

Anyways, in summary, you have bank twittering that shows it can be a great:

* Knowledge sharing system
* Customer and competitor tracking system
* Customer service tool
* Promotional information system

all in real-time.


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Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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