Personal Finance Websites & Online Banking

In recent years, personal finance websites like have become increasingly popular as consumers look for ways to integrate their personal finances into one location. One site, Rudder, closed this month.

For financial institutions, the loss of another personal finance website presents the opportunity to reach customers and members by offering personal finance management (PFM) tools through the institution’s online channel. Many banks and credit unions already offer such tools from companies such as Intuit Financial Services, Fiserv, FIS, Online Resources, and Yodlee. Mark Schwanhausser of Javelin Research puts Rudder’s demise and the opportunity for financial institutions in perspective:

“It is a mistake to interpret Rudder’s demise as evidence that consumers don’t want PFM capabilities. They do, as our upcoming PFM report drives home. They hunger for a better way to see all their accounts consolidated in one place, and banks and credit unions are the logical place to do so. Banks and credit unions that recognize that will win the real battle: to become a consumer’s primary FI.”

Schwanhausser’s full blog post can be found here. Is your FI offering PFM tools to users? Let us know in the comments section below.

How Do Americans Feel About the Recession?

The National Bureau of Economic Research recently reported that the recession officially ended in June 2009, after 18 months. Despite this report, as many as 14.8 million Americans[i] are without jobs and face economic hardships. A poll conducted by last week looked at the impact of the recession on America’s finances and asked consumers to rate their personal finance situations. Americans are a resilient lot. You might be surprised by some the answers.

Now for the tough questions:  What can financial institutions do to help customer through these times? Is your institution positioning itself as a financial partner? Will it be in the right place to reap rewards tomorrow by helping customers today?

[i] U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Press Release, October 2010