Bank Uses 900 Number to Service Customers

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Intrust Bank in Wichita is using a 900 number to provide a customer service function thus turning a cost center into a profit center.

Want to dial a 900 number that you can talk about? Intrust Bank in Wichita is using an innovative 900 number application to solve one of its problems related to customer service.

Intrust Financial Corporation, one of the leading financial institutions in the Midwest, used to offer a check verification service over its customer service 800 number. The service proved to be a great convenience to merchants and customers wanting to assure that their checks could clear. With only an account number and name, callers to the verification service could access available balances for clearing a check.

On the other hand, the convenience of the service proved problematic and the costs continued to rise. Moreover, with identity theft becoming more common in today’s digital age, Intrust could never be sure whether the information they gave on the line was for legitimate or fraudulent purposes. In addition, a free public service like that was a financial drain on the company’s phone bill and a big time waster by inundating employees with over 300 calls per week.

Although Intrust still wanted to offer the service, it almost completely abandoned it late in 2004. Financially, it simply wasn’t in the bank’s best interest.

Intrust needed to find a way to cut its losses and eliminate the threat of questionable calls while continuing to provide a convenient service for merchants.

A 900 number service became the answer.

"900 services can be used for good, legitimate business to business purposes," said Bob Bentz, co-owner of Advanced Telecom Services and a 16-year veteran of the 900 industry. “The success of this application shows that major corporations such as banks should not shy away from using 900 numbers.”

The average call to Intrust’s 900 number lasts about three minutes, at the rate of three dollars per minute of which the bank keeps over half of the amount. The cost of the service is steep, but its implementation has provided Intrust with the results it wanted.

Since beginning to use the 900 number, the number of unique calls to Intrust’s check verification line have dropped significantly: from 300 per week to 40 per week. Merchants continue to use the service, but others forced to pay to access account information has eliminated the abuse. “Cutting back on the amount of phone calls we received was part of the goal in obtaining the 900 number,” said Pat Rooney who established the service for the bank.

Intrust Bank’s 900 number service is provided by Advanced Telecom Services(http://www.advancedtele.com). Advanced Telecom Services has been providing 900 number services since 1989.

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By Jonathan Bentz

Cool Ringtones Blog (http://www.coolringtones.blogspot.com)

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Robert Bentz
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