HSBC Pushes Mobile Ads via Bluetooth

Since the start of the year, the bank has been testing technology that sends ads to the mobile phones of people who pass by two of its London branches

HSBC is trialling Bluetooth technology to send advertising and promotional messages to the mobile phones of people passing two of its London branches.

The trial, which has been running since the start of the year and ends this week, uses a small box installed in the branch that scans for passing mobile phones that have the Bluetooth capability switched on.

When it finds a Bluetooth mobile phone in range the box sends a message asking if the person would like to receive a promotional message from the bank. If the person answers 'yes' the ad is sent to their mobile. The current promotion is for Individual Savings Accounts.

The system retains a record of the mobile phones it has sent messages to so that it does not repeatedly spam people who may pass the branch every day.

The trial has been running at two HSBC branches in Regent Street and Canary Wharf and the promotional message encourages the person to go inside the branch for more information.

A spokeswoman for HSBC told the results will be evaluated once the trial finishes this week, with a possible view to extending the technology to other branches in the future but she said the initial reaction from people has been positive with no negative comments from those receiving the messages.

She added: "It's still early days for us. It's a short-term trial just to see what the responses are like. Not that many people have Bluetooth enabled so in terms of numbers it's still very small."

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