January 8, 2014, 1:27 PM

How Rabobank prompts consumers to use its app to pay for parking

The European bank sends location-based push notifications to mobile app users when they enter cities where they can use the banking app to pay for parking. In an eight-month study, 43% of the messages were opened.

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Netherlands-based bank Rabobank wanted to prompt more of its mobile app users to use the payment app to pay for parking. Customers can use the app to pay for parking in 25 cities throughout the Netherlands, but many consumers with the app did not use it for that purpose.

To drive more app users to employ Rabobank’s app, called MyOrder, for that purpose, the bank sent push notifications to app users who had opted in to receive location-based messages when they entered a participating city or area where they could use the app to pay for parking. 43% of all messages sent were clicked on by users. That click led app users to a pay-for-parking option within the app. 29% of those consumers then clicked on the parking option. There, a consumer enters her license plate number and the nearest parking booth number and clicks Start Parking. The parking fee is then automatically deducted from the consumer’s account. The bank is still using push notifications, though the results of this analysis are based on an eight-month period ending in mid-December.

The bank also personalizes its location-based notifications by enabling app users to select the type of notifications they want to receive. For example, shoppers can receive messages related to deals or promotions on music products or coffee when they are close to merchants that sell such goods. On average, 50% of shoppers who received such personalized notifications last year used the deal or offer, the bank says. The most popular redemption categories include music (54%) and coffee (68%).

Rabobank engaged location-based push notification vendor PlotProjects to handle the messages. The service enables merchants and other marketers to create location-based geofences ranging from 100 feet to 100 miles. Geofences can detect when a participating consumer is in a specific “fenced” area, for example, within a two-mile radius of a mall, and then sends her marketing messages. Geofencing can use a wireless carrier network’s cell towers or the GPS location data available in smartphones to determine when a customer enters a specified area.

Companies can either access and manage their notifications with the PlotProjects dashboard or integrate the service directly into their own customer relationship management or other back-end system. A business can use PlotProjects to further target consumers beyond just location using such factors as past in-app behavior, how often a shopper opens the app, gender and purchase history.

“Consumers appreciate our location-based notifications because we only send them when they are relevant,” says Gertjan Rösken, chief technology officer of MyOrder and senior business development manager at Rabobank. “Plot enables MyOrder to connect merchants with consumers at the right place and the right time.”

PlotProjects charges clients based on the number of geofenced areas they create and the number of mobile devices they send messages to. The fees range from $10 per month for 50 areas and the ability to send an unlimited number of messages to 100,000 mobile devices to $250 per month for much larger-scale message campaigns.


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