Archive for the ‘Web 2.0’ Category

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Buy ‘Em

September 15, 2009 1 comment

The big news today was being bought by Intuit.  My guess is Intuit was worried about this new upstart that had astronomical growth in an area they assumed they had on lock.  It makes you wonder whether the threatening letter Intuit sent to Mint was just a way to gauge Mint’s success.

I see this as a great move by Intuit.  FinanceWorks is, well, not as good as the other web PFMs that are available.  A year ago, Mint, Wesabe and Jwaala all had features that I don’t think FinanceWorks has to this day.  From what I’ve seen in my usage, Mint really gets the whole web PFM space.  With Intuit, I see the small business demographic really being helped.

Got YouTube?

January 9, 2008 1 comment

Over the last year or so, there has been a lot of articles about FIs embracing the new “Web 2.0” phenomenon. Should you start blogging? Create a FaceBook widget? Open up access to LinkedIn and MySpace? Build a branch in Second Life?

I have a suggestion for you. Why not just dip your toe and post all of those expensive TV commercials onto YouTube? I know there has been discussion at our bank about putting our commercials there. Here is a free outlet that you can take advantage of. Also, if your commercial is popular, you could bring more exposure to your FI.

Just to satisfy my curiosity, I went to YouTube and did a search on bank commercial and credit union commercial. What I found was, in the top 20 results, two credit unions and one ad agency had posted their commercials. E-Trade was the only “bank” in the results of that top 20. All the other commercials were posted by other users.

This is a very easy opportunity for everyone. Do you know of a better way to get your brand out there with material that you’ve already paid for? Besides, the content will stay out on YouTube indefinitely, unlike the typical commercial run.

Categories: Marketing, Web 2.0, YouTube

It’s All About The Relationship

August 14, 2007 1 comment

Blogs. Wikis. RSS feeds. Communicating with your customers through these Web 2.0 technologies seems to be the in thing now. Banks and credit unions are being told that they need to be more open. Transparency seems to be the word of the day. Openness with customers is all well and good, but I believe that customers want a lot more than that. As banks and credit unions become more automated, there are fewer opportunities for building a relationship and this is where Web 2.0 enters the picture.

I happen to believe that technology isn’t the most important thing. Building a meaningful relationship with the customer is more important. If you’re starting a blog just to talk about your products or where your CEO is speaking next, you’re just wasting your time. However, if it’s to give valuable information to your customers or members, such as here, then you’re on the right track.

I believe people want to believe that their FI is ultimately there to help them, not just fee them to death. Doing more offline is just as important. For example, why not give presentations at local schools and introduce banking to kids? Heck, you could possibly open a few kids’ savings accounts while you’re there. When the local college semester starts, do you have a booth set up to open accounts and make it easier for parents to deposit into their child’s account? Why not give classes on how to use your online banking? Better yet, why not have an open session for the community to come in and learn how to use MS Money, Quicken and Quickbooks?

These community related activities will do more to put a “face” on your FI than blogging ever will. Technology shouldn’t be used in place of these activities; it should be used in conjunction with them. Real 1.0 is just as important as Web 2.0.

Categories: Community, Web 2.0

Do Decision Makers Really Care About “Web 2.0”?

Gonzobanker’s Tripp Johnson posted a great article over the weekend, “Web 2.0: It’s Not Just for Customers Anymore”. In the article, he asked some important questions:

  • How many of you have participated in a blog?
  • How many of you have collaborated via a wiki?
  • How many of you have subscribed to an RSS feed?

My guess is, not that many. Like William Azaroff, who also commented on the article, I work in the corporate office, so I’m also where the decisions are made. In addition, I also get the mail for the IT departments (a way to get away from my desk), so I see what magazines people are reading. I’ve also seen our CEO forward articles to our VP of IT. However, I think I’m the only person here that actively reads blogs. I believe most people know what they are, but they’re too busy trying to keep things running to casually read or participate on them.

Fortunately, I know of a few subscribers to Gonzobanker and Banc Investment Daily because I forwarded articles to them. Unfortunately, if Gonzobanker doesn’t mention it, I doubt they would know about disruptive Web 2.0 technologies. Sure, eWeek, Computerworld and Infoworld talk about them, but you don’t see that much in banking magazines. As a test, I searched for the following terms:

I checked on these websites:

Only CUES mentioned Wesabe in an article. Everyone mentioned most of the other terms. Obopay was usually mentioned because of their partnership with Citi. No site mentioned Ruby or Rails, in the context of web programming. Younger employees, especially those 30 and under, tend to be very familiar with these technologies. Most of them probably have a page on MySpace and/or Facebook and regularly use Digg, Reddit or I imagine most executives have heard of MySpace and Facebook, but may not be familiar with the others. The fact that Wesabe now offers an API for importing online banking information is reason enough to pay attention to them.

Tripp also brought up some good points as to why bankers won’t adopt Web 2.0. I think it’s a little bit simpler than what he suggested. I’m more inclined to go with what Wil Schroter thought about people over 30.

Categories: Innovation, Web 2.0