Research from UK bank Lloyds TSB shows that nearly a fifth of adults (18%) avoid checking their bank statements, but 17% of these believe an SMS text alerting service would help them keep on top of their finances.
Over a third of adults in the UK (36%) only check their bank balance once or twice a month, while one in six never check their statement. Of those that do bother to look, over half (60%) use Internet banking, 44% choose to check their balance at an ATM while 28% wait to receive paper statements.
Two thirds of respondents said they avoided checking balances because they are scared that they'll have less cash than they thought, while 27% don't check because they are worried they'll be in the red.
Commenting on the research, Matthew Timms, Lloyds TSB Internet & ATM director, says: "Nearly three quarters of the population say that they read all of their text messages so if you have your bank balance sent to your phone by text you probably won't be able to bury your head in the sand."
Lloyds TSB launched in text alert service for its personal and business Web banking customers last December. So far around seven per cent of the bank's 1.8 million Web banking customers are thought to have signed up to the free service.
HSBC's direct banking subsidiary First direct launched its text alert service in 1999. The bank sent its 100 millionth text message in February when almost half a million customers were regularly using the texting service. Nationwide has also recently launched a text alert services while MasterCard has released an SMS-based anti-fraud system that enables banks to report suspicious card transactions to customers via sms.