The Commonwealth Bank and Westpac have become two of the first Australian companies to be granted verified accounts by Twitter.
The accounts help to further legitimise the use of Twitter as a customer service tool by allowing users to verify the authenticity of branded Twitter accounts.
"We know that online security is of interest to our customers" said Andrew Murrell, general manager of channel marketing with the Commonwealth Bank. "Having Twitter verify our account gives customers that bit of extra certainty that they actually are dealing with us in this environment."
Ean van Vuuren, head of consumer online with Westpac agreed. "It essentially comes down to improving trust."
Twitter began offering verified accounts in June last year, but only to public officials, public agencies, famous artists, athletes, and other well known individuals at risk of impersonation.
Earlier this year the company started granting verified accounts to companies, with US bank Citi (@askciti) becoming the first bank to receive verification. Banking giants Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Wachovia have also had their accounts verified.
Murrell said the process to have the @NetBank account verified took less than two weeks and involved providing basic trademark information to the company.
Van Vuuren said it took "a few months" for the Westpac verification to be approved by Twitter, with some persistence required.
Australia's major banks have taken a cautious approach to the use of Twitter. ANZ and NAB have both set up Twitter accounts, but after a brief stint on Twitter @ANZ_Responds was removed, and @nab is yet to post. ANZ account @ANZmoneymanager has more than 2,000 followers, but last posted in April.
Banks have been spooked by fears of fraudsters setting up fake Twitter accounts designed to elicit sensitive information from bank customers.
NAB confirmed the @nab account has been activated by the NAB Direct Banking team, and the bank is seeking to have it verified by Twitter.
Chris Smith, general manager of online at NAB told iTNews the bank is currently developing systems and processes to support customers via the @nab Twitter account.
"NAB is working to ensure customers can access reliable, up-to-date information and experience a high standard of service via Twitter, consistent with other customer service channels," said Smith.