Prompt, descriptive account alerts ensure customers are notified of important account information. Optional and automatic alerts can offer an balance between reminders and alarms, ensuring that the account holder is notified in cases where fraudulent activity is suspected or the customer risks overdraft. The best alerts systems include a variety of automatic and security alerts, enabling the customer to take prompt action if necessary, along with a number of optional alerts pertaining to account balances and transactions. Too many alerts related to an account are an undeniable nuisance, however, especially if it is unclear to customers when and why they will receive a particular alert.
While two firms fail to offer customers any custom alerts whatsoever, the 16 firms included in this report offer their clients at least a low balance alert, perhaps the most pressing of account notifications. Automatic alerts vary across the retail banking industry, with some firms including a number of alerts that a customer would likely opt out of, given the choice. Similarly, firms provide varying levels of customization when it comes to alert format, language preference and ability to unenroll in security alerts. Finally, alerts history is a useful feature for clients to see past alerts, and as a quick way for customers to verify they are receiving alerts—75% of firms include one on the private site.