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 | <a href="/blogs/bloggers/sam-horril.aspx">Sam Horril</a>

Connecting with the yoof: banks and Business on Messenger

16 Feb, 2016 | Sam Horril

Facebook Messenger is one of the most widely used apps in the world, with over 700 million people worldwide accessing it each month.

Connecting with the yoof: banks and Business on Messenger

In Britain, social media usage among millennials is almost universal. According to OFCOM statistics, 83% of those aged 18-24 check their Facebook profiles at least once a day. Social media usage among Generation Z, those aged 12-15, is staggering. 96% of them have a Facebook account.

Since Facebook separated Messenger from its main app, the company has developed its messaging function substantially. Facebook Messenger can now be used for much more than merely sending messages to friends.

A key development in recent months has been the launch of Business on Messenger. This is designed to allow companies to interact with their customers directly through Messenger.

Given the popularity of Facebook among Generation Z and Millennials, Business on Messenger provides banks with a unique opportunity to engage with younger consumers, who have traditionally been hard to reach.

So how are financial services institutions utilising social media Business on Messenger?

A recent look on Facebook’s marketing site makes for grim reading. Only 26 “Financial Services” institutions globally use Business on Messenger. Few of these are global institutions: only regional offshoots of global banks (Citibank Thailand and Visa Korea) are using Business on Messenger.

Only 17 financial services organisations in EMEA use Business on Messenger, and the majority of these have no presence whatsoever in the UK.

That being said, all major banks operating in the UK have a Facebook page which users can “like.” But these are effectively “fanpages”, where the banks broadcast general updates and reiterate wider marketing campaigns to anybody who cares to follow them.

Interacting better with banking customers online

They do nothing to improve direct interaction with a bank's own customers.

Given the recent outages some of the largest banks in the UK have experienced in the past year on their online systems – RBS, Barclays, and most recently HSBC, Business on Messenger provides an easy, efficient, and reliable way for banks to maintain contact their customers in the event of an outage.

This will increase their accountability to customers, and will improve relationships with their younger customers in particular, who the banks will need to keep on board to survive in the 21st Century. 

Read more about this topic in The Digital Banking Club's Webinar report: What is realistic for financial services companies to achieve via social media channels? [pdf]

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