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Mobirl on massive mobile awareness campaign in T&T companies can keep customers connected
Sunday, June 3, 2012

With the telecommunication companies ramping up their services to ensure that our mobile devices stay connected, the private sector in Trinidad and Tobago is gradually introducing mobile applications and services to communicate with its customers and more importantly increase operational excellence for the business.


Only two of our banks have mobile offerings today—First Citizens Bank and Scotiabank. First Citizens Bank’s mobile banking services allows its customers to access banking information on the go. This service is not only for customers with smartphones but extends to all cellphone owners. Account information is sent via text messages alerting customers of changes to their bank accounts including deposits such as salaries.


Scotiabank has a mobile application (app) allowing their customers to do their personal banking from the convenience of a mobile phone and it comes with promises of simplicity and security. Customers can pay bills, check account details and transfer funds in between accounts, all from their mobile device.



The app features a branch and ATM finder not only in Trinidad and Tobago but 20 countries in total. Available in English and Spanish, the app also features financial and foreign exchange rates, information on new products and services from the bank as well as the ability to contact the bank directly. Compatible with iPhones and BlackBerrys, the app is part and parcel of improving operational excellence in the bank.



Scotiabank’s Public and Corporate Affairs manager Cindy Mohammed stated via e-mail, “Using mobile devices has led to greater efficiencies, faster turn around times and result. Additionally, campaign participation (via SMS messages) has increased using mobile technology.”


Mohammed added, “Using mobile technology is simply not a choice but rather a change in how we work to meet our customers’ need.” International freighting company, Fed Ex has an entire suite of mobile solutions available to its customers here in T&T. The Fed Ex® Mobile Web App is compatible with iPhones, iPads, BlackBerrys and the Android platform.



Once downloaded, Fed Ex customers can access up-to-date tracking details directly on their phone. The app will alert you when your shipments are delivered, in transit and when there are issues with your package. If you’re investigating shipping an item, the app also provides you with rate quotes and estimated delivery times with your mobile device—be it phone or tablet. There’s a location finder pointing you to your nearest Fed Ex location so you can schedule a pick-up and the trusted Fed Ex van will come to you.


Local company, Mobirl, is responsible for many of the mobile applications that have been developed here in T&T. “We’ve done apps for Machel Montano, Ravi B, Tribe and the National Carnival Commission,” said managing director, Anissa Dean. She admits that while there is a lack of awareness in the country on the benefits of adding mobile to a marketing strategy for a company or brand, her team is generating high levels of interest. “There is a definite interest in mobile applications from the business community who want to reach their customers.”


Dean adds that when they are pitching clients, they use a demo platform to illustrate the ease of use and the information they can provide with a mobile application on a company’s customers. “We can provide statistics on customer activity within the app, location of customers all the way to street level. When we show this to potential clients, they see the benefit of engaging with their clients via mobile technology.”


She uses the Machel Montano app as an example where they were able to provide the soca superstar with statistics on how the app was being used and where, as well as statistics on music being purchased. “One of the unique things with Machel’s app is the live stream option.



We worked with Machel to live stream his performances throughout the Carnival season via the app, so people who were living abroad and missing Carnival could see his performances live on their mobile phones or tablets like iPads. This is the power of mobile.”


Dean says developing a mobile app can cost from $5,000 all the way $25,000 and higher depending on what the client wants. “The sky is the limit with mobile and we are on a massive awareness campaign to get T&T to take advantage of the technology that is available.”


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