Send Your Banker an Instant Message via AIM!

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Sick and tired of being charged for every little bit of customer (dis)service from your bank? Don’t want to be charged $10.00 for a teller transaction, $20.00 for an overdraft, $50.00 for breathing the bank’s air in the bank lobby?

Well, a bank in Massachusetts is reversing that trend, and starting a new trend of their own: talk with your banker via instant messenger! AOL’s AIM instant messenger, to be precise.

The apty named Leader Bank has its bank managers in all of its branches (just three so far) set up on AIM, and answering customers’ questions via instant messenger. Of course, no sensitive data, such as account information, is transmitted via instant messenger, but simple straight-forward questions are answered within minutes.

And the best part?

No more voicemail hell!

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Explained one delighted business customer, the president of a local real estate development firm, “It’s just a very quick response. You don’t have to wait on hold for someone. You don’t have to deal with those voicemail systems, and you can reach someone who knows what they’re doing very quickly.”

What a concept. Customer service from a bank which actually serves the customer!

Now if only it would catch on at some of the bigger banks, and hey, other places. Indeed, analysts at IDC expect the business use of instant messaging to grow rapidly over the next few years.


Unfortunately, of course, the use of instant messaging as a phishing vector will grow right along with it.

So while it’s a very cool idea, and I hope it is widely adopted, you should be sure to be cautious. Never IM without protection.

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3 thoughts on “Send Your Banker an Instant Message via AIM!

  1. i have sprint phone so the 63232 they send me messages every month and i son’t want because icat buy it so stop sending.

  2. Seems like the perfect way to facilitate even more phishing. What a dumb notion.

  3. Seems like an insanely insecure channel to use for this sort of purpose. At the very least they could do like some other companies, where there’s a “live chat” link through their website, and then they could use appropriate encryption.

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