Have you ever needed an ATM and not known where to find one? For tourists and businesspeople traveling far from home, that is an all-too-familiar predicament. But a new cell phone service from MasterCard now promises to make such situations a thing of the past.
MasterCard now provides cardholders with a mobile, location-based search and directory service so they can request the location of the nearest ATM be sent to their cell phone via SMS text message.
Customers simply call 1-877-FIND-ATM, and state their coordinates to request the location of the nearest MasterCard ATM. They can then choose to have a text message sent to their cell phone detailing the location of the nearest teller. The new service, which works will all major mobile carriers in the U.S. is provided by MasterCard to cardholders free of charge (carrier text message rates may apply).
Each year, two million cardholders contact MasterCard via either telephone or the website (www.mastercard.com/atmlocator) specifically to find the location of nearby ATMs; some 70 percent of inquiries are received from international travelers venturing outside their home country.
"MasterCard's new SMS option for ATM Locator provides an invaluable service to cardholders," said Jonathan Cetnarski, senior vice president, Information Products and Services at MasterCard Advisors. "People don't always have a pen or paper handy to write the ATM locations down, so SMS becomes an intuitive and convenient way to get the information they need. Travelers can finally go paperless in confidence."
MasterCard's new SMS offering augments the company's existing telephone- and web-based ATM Locator services, which lists over one million ATM locations worldwide. While these services have proven useful, MasterCard analysis of call data revealed that cardholders were too often scrambling to write down the ATM location during the voice-activated locator service.
The voice-activated ATM Locator application is provided by Convergys Corporation, which built the application for MasterCard. Hosted on Convergys' SpeechPort platform, incoming calls are received and processed via SpeechPort, which uses a variety of speech recognition technologies to comprehend the caller's request and play back the appropriate information. SpeechPort then sends the caller's coordinates to MasterCard, which in turn accesses and provides ATM locations from a central data bank. If callers request an SMS, MasterCard passes the ATM location data to Mobile 365, which then routes the SMS text to the caller's mobile carrier. Mobile 365 has direct connections into more than 250 of the world's leading mobile operators.