Nearly two in three US consumers believe it is their bank’s responsibility to alert them when they have a low balance or insufficient funds to pay a bill, a survey commissioned by the Seattle-based software and communications company Varolii has found.

According to Varolii, 68% of consumers had never been notified of a low balance or reminded to pay a bill, while nearly 70% of those interviewed believed that a banking application could have helped them avoid a financial problem.

The research showed that younger consumers were more likely to want the bank to contact them. 73% of 18-to-24-year-olds believed they should receive bank alerts, compared to 56% of those aged over 55.

The survey found that consumers wanted to receive alerts on a variety of digital channels. 47% wanted to be notified by email; 22% wanted to be contacted by text message and 13% through their smartphone application.

Brian Moore, financial services market manager for Varolii, said that while consumers were turning to apps for financial management, banks were failing to deliver on consumer expectations with first or second generation mobile applications.

"Banks now have an opportunity to create third generation mobile applications that can enable a more proactive role in their customers’ finances and reach them with personalised, real-time notifications of events that are about to impact their accounts."

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