Finance SMS for Banks, Financial Services, Advisors, Lenders
Kyle Kuczynski
Kyle Kuczynski
MessageDesk Co-Founder & CMO
Updated: Oct 27, 2022

Guide to Text Messaging for Financial Institutions, Credit Unions, Banks, Lenders, Advisors & Planners

Customer service and communication preferences are changing. People read and respond to far more texts than emails and phone calls frequently go unanswered.

So more financial advisors, planners, banks, lenders, and credit unions are turning toward SMS text messaging.

In this article, I cover:

  1. What finance SMS and SMS banking are
  2. FINRA rules on text messaging
  3. Why finance SMS works for banks, credit unions, and financial advisors
  4. 10 ways banks, credit unions, and financial advisors use financial SMS messaging
  5. How to get started with financial advisor text software and SMS for banking
  6. Text message templates for financial advisors, banks, credit unions, and lenders

By the end of the article, you’ll know how finance SMS works. You’ll also know how to get started with text messaging for your credit union, bank, or financial firm.

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What is Finance SMS?

Finance SMS is business text messaging for financial businesses and financial advisors. This includes banks, credit unions, money lenders, and financial advisors and planners. Financial advisors and banking institutions use finance SMS and finance SMS services for:

  • Two-way conversational text messaging
  • Mass text message broadcasts
  • Fraud prevention and two-factor authentication
  • Client text alerts, announcements, and updates
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Document requests
  • Payment reminders and invoicing
  • Feedback and review collection
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What is SMS Banking?

SMS banking is a form of mobile online banking that makes it possible for bank personnel, loan officers, and other bank employees to text customers and clients. After recipients provide a one-time password (OTP), they can use SMS banking services to complete banking transactions, fund transfers, account balance inquiries, and card activation. Banks and credit unions also use SMS banking to send text alerts, payment reminders, customer service notifications, and marketing messages.

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FINRA Rules on Text Messaging

The FINRA rules on text messaging state that every financial firm that intends to communicate, or permits associated people to communicate for business purposes through SMS text messages or chat services must retain records of those communications. This is required by SEA Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4 and FINRA Rule 4511. SEC and FINRA rules also note that the content of the communication determines what must be kept for recording purposes.

Why Finance SMS Works for Banks, Credit Unions, and Financial Advisors

Phone calls and email play vital roles in customer service. But text messaging has some clear advantages and benefits vs email and voice. It’s one of the most effective forms of conversational messaging for financial advisors and banking institutions.

Finance SMS vs. email

Email is the most widely adopted form of business communication amongst banks, credit unions, and financial institutions.

But email suffers from low engagement rates and high spam rates.

In fact, people send 25% more texts than emails. And text messaging clearly outperforms email engagement rates by a large margin.

Some 74% of customers respond to a text from a business within an hour vs 41% to email.

Open Rate Response Rate Spam Rate
Finance SMS 98% 45% 3%
Email 20% 6% 53%

Finance SMS vs. voice

Phone calls give you a direct line of client communication. They used to be the only way to get an instant response.

But…

  • Communication preferences are changing (everything is text-based)
  • Telephone culture is declining (people don’t like calls)
  • People don’t answer calls (especially from unknown numbers)
  • Voicemails get forgotten (or mailboxes are full)
  • Phone calls aren’t scalable (you call as fast as you can text)

Some 76% of people recently reported that they don’t like talking to businesses on the phone.

And what if you’re calling from an unknown number? 1 in 4 people won't even listen to your voicemail. People just don’t pick up the phone.

They want conversations to occur quietly, in their own time, and at their convenience. This is why people prefer text messaging to calling. Texting is less obtrusive and more discrete.

10 Ways Banks, Credit Unions, and Financial Advisors Use Financial SMS Messaging

So how does texting finance SMS actually work?

Below are eight ways to use text messaging to enhance communication and your overall customer experience.

1. Start text conversations from a website or webpage

You can use financial SMS to generate leads and grow a text list. All you need to do is add a click-to-text button to a website or a web page.

This makes it easy for customers, contacts, and clients to start text conversations with you directly from your website. They just click the button and start texting with your business phone number.

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2. Keyword-based text message autoresponders

SMS autoresponders allow you to send automated text messages. All anyone has to do is text a specific keyword like “ALERTS” or “INFO” to your business phone number.

This business text messaging feature helps new and existing financial customers, clients, and contacts who need quick responses. You can also use text message autoresponders to:

  • Improve customer service response times
  • Send instant answers to frequently asked questions
  • Chain message responses together based on multiple keyword responses
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3. Marketing new financial products and services

Text message marketing gives you an alternative to email. Email messages frequently get marked as spam and lost in an inbox. But with texting, you can send a message directly to clients’ mobile devices.

Just organize your contacts into groups, compose a text message broadcast and schedule it for later.

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4. Appointment reminders, confirmations, and invitations

Business text messaging makes it more convenient for people to schedule and confirm appointments.

It can also help you and your staff reduce appointment no-shows. All you have to do is text a link to your calendar or meeting scheduling software.

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5. ​​Text message archiving for financial advisors

FINRA rules on text messaging require you to keep an archive of text messages.

Business text messaging services like MessageDesk give wealth managers and financial advisors an archiving solution. Every text message conversation gets saved.

You can even select date ranges, generate a PDF, and print text message conversations for record-keeping using MessageDesk.

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6. SMS alerts for banking transactions

SMS alerts for banking transactions diminish financial crime and help recipients spot fraudulent account activity.

Some of the most common mobile banking alerts are for:

  • Low balance
  • Unusual account activity
  • Significant purchases
  • Large withdrawals
  • Declined debit and credit card transactions
  • Profile and information changes

7. Client and customer service

Text messaging is a great tool for customer service. This is because:

  1. Texting is faster and more responsive than email.
  2. Text message customer service is more convenient and scalable than answering phone calls.
  3. Text message automation makes it easier to manage more customer service conversations.

You show your clients, customers, and contacts that they’re valued when you implement finance SMS texting. Their questions and issues are worth a quick response.

Business professional and phone showing financial consultation sms reminder

8. Document requests

Sending, receiving, and sharing documents takes time and can be expensive. With SMS and multimedia MMS messaging, you send and receive PDF files and other types of documents.

Finance SMS and SMS banking can streamline the process of:

  • Requesting loan documents
  • Sending pay stubs
  • Sharing signed affidavits
  • Sending receipts
  • Getting photocopies of IDs
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9. Payment reminders

SMS has a 98% open rate. You can increase your bottom line just by sending SMS payment reminders and prompting recipients to make payments.

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10. Feedback and online review requests

SMS gives you an easy way to gather feedback from your clients, customers, and contacts. Just include a link to a form or survey.

You can also use text messages to ask for Google reviews from happy clients. This leads to referrals, more business, and greater customer loyalty.

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How to get started with financial advisor text software and SMS for banking

How do you get started with finance SMS? For starters, texting from business text messaging software isn’t like texting from your personal phone for work.

Some financial advisors and planners use their personal mobile phones, but there are drawbacks and liabilities.

For example, you miss out on text message archiving features that keep you FINRA compliant. And no one else in your organization can see what’s being said and communicated.

So here’s what you need to know to get started with banking and financial advisor text software.

1. Select a finance SMS service

Financial messaging services in the banking, credit, and financial industries use both one-way and two-way text messaging.

You’ve got various options when choosing a business text messaging service. But you’ll want one that offers carrier-verified A2P 10DLC for bulk text messages.

You should also select a service that features a shared team SMS inbox. A good inbox comes with message assignments, routing, and comments for texting as a team.

MessageDesk offers all of the above features.

MessageDesk Team Inbox

2. Create a free account

After you’ve completed the selection process, you can create a free account with your chosen text messaging service.

MessageDesk offers a 14-day free trial. You’re also free to meet with a messaging expert to discuss your needs directly.

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3. Select an SMS phone number

Next, you need to select a phone number for SMS. Banks and credit unions will want to consider texting with a toll-free 800 number.

Financial advisors and financial planners should go with text-enabling a 10-digit local phone number. MessageDesk supports both number types.

Once know what kind of number you want, there are several additional SMS phone number options to consider:

  1. Get a new text number for business
  2. Port your existing business phone number
  3. Text with an existing business landline
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4. Upload contacts and client phone numbers

You’ll want to import your contacts and create groups once you’ve got your phone number set up. MessageDesk users can quickly upload contacts with a CSV file into specific groups.

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5. Compose and schedule texts

Next, you’ll want to compose personalized texts. MessageDesk makes it easy to customize text messages and save them as templates with media, links, and tags. You can even add a text message signature to all of your texts.

You can then quickly schedule a text for delivery once you’ve composed it.

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6. Set up automated text messages

Text message services like MessageDesk make it easy to set up automated text messages. You can also chain text responses together for things like out-of-office messages.

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Text Message Templates for Financial Advisors, Banks, Credit Unions, and Lenders

Templates help you automate and personalize your text messaging. Below I’ve included a list with examples of bank, credit union, and financial advisor text message templates.

Check out my list of 60+ text message templates for more examples.

1. Loan approval text message

Hi {{ FirstName }}. This is {{ Banker }} from {{ OrganizationName }}. Congratulations! Your loan application was approved. Please visit my online calendar at [ Link ]to schedule the signing of the final loan documents.

2. Financial advisor messages to clients

Hi {{ FirstName }}, several new state laws may make you eligible for some new tax breaks. Read about them here {{Link}}. If you want a portfolio review, please respond to this text. {{ Advisor }}.

3. SMS alerts for banking transactions

A purchase of $10,877.45 was debited to your Clove Bank checking account ending in 1111. Did you make this purchase? Please visit [ Link ] to verify.

4. Appointment invitation

Hi there {{ FirstName }}, please schedule an in-person appointment. Note that time slots do fill up quickly. You can visit our calendar [ Link ] or call {{ OrganizaitonPhone }} to schedule an appointment.

5. Appointment reminder

Hi {{ FirstName }}, just reminding you that you have a portfolio review with {{ Name }} on [ Time ] [ Date ] at our offices a {{ Address }}. If you can't make it, please notify us within 24 hours.

6. Appointment confirmation

Hi {{ FirstName }}. It’s {{ Agent }} confirming our meeting on [ Date ] at [ Time ]. If you need to reschedule, visit my calendar here [ Link ].

7. Document request

Hi {{ FirstName }}: This is {{ Agent }} To complete your loan application, we need a copy of the deed to your home. Please visit our website [ Link ] and follow the instructions to upload your document to our loans department. Or, you can send a copy of the PDF as a response here. Thank you.

8. Payment reminder

Hi {{ FirstName }}, We are sending this message to remind you that your next loan payment will be due by [ Date ]. {{ OrganizationName }}.

9. Feedback and online review request

Hi {{ FirstName }}, thank you for doing your banking with us. Do you have a few minutes to write a brief review about your experience with our bank? Just visit [ Link ]. We appreciate your help!

10. Client check-in

Hi {{ FirstName }}, It’s {{ Agent }} at {{ OrganizationName }}. Recent interest rate announcements may be concerning to you. If this period of uncertainty has you wanting to talk about your retirement goals, then let me know. I am happy to set up a meeting. [ Link ]

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Final thoughts and next steps

Finance SMS can simplify your messaging and help your firm or financial institution service customers and clients.

When used correctly, text messaging is a fantastic way to build and maintain positive conversational experiences.

Start sending texts with a free MessageDesk account today. Check out our paid plans - pricing starts at just $14 per month. You’re also free to meet with a messaging expert for a demo.