Below are interesting stories the Banking.com staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom.
- Finance Meets Farmville: Banks Build Products Around Online Games
Whereas most financial companies use Facebook and Twitter solely for branding and customer service, some have taken the next step and designed financial products that are meant to be interacted with primarily through social networks and online games. This trend is reminiscent of initiatives undertaken several years ago by several banks to establish a presence in Second Life, an online game that let users build homes and businesses in cyberspace. Such “virtual worlds” had large audiences, but were not as mainstream as the communities on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites today. “Customers are increasingly leveraging social media … and companies need to meet their customers in their channel of choice,” Jack Forestell, executive vice president for digital at Capital One Financial Corp., of Mclean, Va., said in an email.
- Citi Relaunches Website with Mobile Flavor
Most banks design mobile sites as shrunken versions of online banking. Citigroup Inc.’s new website instead takes the lessons of mobile and blows them up for a bigger screen. Citi has taken cues from the ways consumers bank from mobile handsets and tablets, as well as their desire to have a consolidated view of their financial lives. For example, the old site was designed to be read from top to bottom, whereas the new site is designed horizontally, with information displayed in three strips.
- Startup Financial Portals Target Niche Markets
Dedicated investment advice for the not-so-wealthy, and gender-specific financial planning. That’s how two start-ups that presented at the FinovateFall conference last week in New York have positioned products that nudge the personal financial management sector in new directions. By presenting their companies this way, Personal Capital Corp. and LearnVest Inc. are narrowing their focus in an area where products have been all about offering a broad, dashboard view of finances to as many people as possible. “Mass market PFM does not work,” says Jacob Jegher, a senior analyst with Celent. Personal Capital focuses on the mass affluent, and LearnVest on women.
- What I Learned From Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs passed away today and the world lost a great visionary, designer, architect, and technologist. He truly changed the world… for the better! Bruce Temkin recently wrote a couple of posts about Jobs: Customer Experience Lessons From Steve Job and Stop Listening To Customers… Sometimes. To honor his passing, Bruce wants to share some additional thoughts about what he’s learned from Steve.
- As Smartphones near a Key Crossover, Mobile Banking Adoption Soars 60%
Today’s “Let’s talk iPhone” event epitomizes the fascination that Americans have with their smartphones, the same fascination that is leading to an important crossover. In 2011, the U.S. will cross the 50% mark when more than half of mobile Americans will own smartphones vs. standard or flip phones. This has important implications for mobile banking, as half of smartphone owners conduct mobile banking, they are more likely to appreciate the benefits of mobile banking, to regularly make sticky transactions, and far less likely to give up on mobile banking than those with regular mobile phones. In short, smartphone owners make ideal evangelists for mobile banking.
- The 2011 Gonzo Glossary of Bank Terminology
GonzoBanker provides a list of key terms it that will be imperative to understand to navigate the tricky financial services industry. They tried to focus on “working” definitions rather that the highly theoretical ones that won’t help move anyone’s career forward. They conveniently divided it into general terms, customer terms, and technology terms.
- Movenbank Alpha Site Went Live This Weekend
The public was able to get a glimpse of the next-generation bank that aims to change the retail banking landscape. Movenbank’s alpha site went live on Saturday, October 1, hitting the deadline set by the bank’s co-founder and chairman Brett King at the Sibos International banking conference in Toronto last week. Promising to be free of physical branches, paper, plastic, and hidden fees, Movenbank is built to revolve around mobile banking that incorporates gamification. The bank’s website has been under wraps since being founded in July 2010.