Posts Tagged ‘Mint’

Mint Launches Bill Reminders

August 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Mint has released a new feature, “bill reminders”, for their online PFM software. One awesome feature is that the reminders can be sent to you by SMS. You can read more here.

PFM Saved My Bacon

Over the weekend, I was collecting information to prepare for doing our taxes.  During my preparation, I needed to get some account information for 2010.  Unfortunately, for one bank, I could only view 6 months of history.  For another, I could only view 12 months.  With each bank, I could view 18 months of statements online, but didn’t feel like viewing each statement to get the information.  What I needed was a way to search and download the information I wanted.

After pondering it for a few minutes, I figured, there’s got to be an easier way.  Then I remembered, “duh, login to Mint to get it”.  After a quick search in Mint, I had all the information I needed and finished putting everything together.

Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed that neither of my banks offered more than 12 months of history (6 months seems to be the standard) and 18 months of eStatements.  Financial institutions are pushing their customers towards electronic services, but there is a time limit on available information.  The question I have is, “Why?”

For the bigger FIs that built their own online banking system, there is no excuse.  If I do a quick search online, I can find an external terabyte hard drive for less than $100.  When I last checked, I had over 7 GBs of space available for use in my Gmail account.  With the abundance of cheap storage, FIs can’t offer more than 12 months of transaction history and 18 eStatement files per account?

I’m willing to bet that if I download all my available transaction history and eStatements, it would take up less than 250 MB.  That is all the information for 15 accounts and 270 eStatement files.  I’m also including all loan history and check images in that number (but who writes a lot checks now-a-days?)

With online storage solutions like Amazon Web Services, there is no excuse for the larger FIs to not offer unlimited history and storage.  The smaller FIs have their vendor to blame.  They aren’t completely off the hook, however.  Their vendor will implement a larger storage solution as soon as a few FIs start complaining loudly and/or switching vendors. (With all their hype, I fully expect BankSimple to offer unlimited storage.)

So I hope you all start complaining to your FI, and they start complaining to their IT department or vendor.  If they want us to go the self-service route, then they need to enhance the service.  Otherwise, there’s always Mint.

The Ultimate Mobile Banking App

January 7, 2011 3 comments

I am absolutely giddy about the iPhone 5 coming out with NFC enabled. No more debit card, just wave and pay. Now I just need that ultimate mobile banking app that will take advantage of the technology available. So what should this mobile banking app have? I’m glad you asked.

High Level Security
With everything going mobile, security needs to be a priority. There have already been instances of poor security with mobile banking. As customers begin to access financial services through this channel, they must feel comfortable with using the service.

Basic Functions with a Twist
Of course at minimum, customers should be able to view their accounts, transfer between accounts, and pay bills. But instead of the typical online banking layout, why not go ahead and take a PFM approach? Mint and Geezeo are good examples of this.

View Check Images
If I can view images on online banking, why can’t I on mobile banking?

ATM/Branch Locator
Hey, no need to pay ATM fees when I can find the closest ATM and get directions on how to get there.

Alerts By Location
In case you didn’t know, customers LOVE getting balance and transaction alerts. This alone will drive up your mobile banking adoption. But what I would like to see is my app having alerts pushed to me within 15 minutes with geo-tagging. It would be great to click on the alert and it show the map location of where the transaction was made. This would have huge potential for fraud protection. Of course, payment processors would need to start providing this location information. For now, it seems we can only get the merchant name, depending on the transaction file you look at.

Mobile Payments
With NFC now available for Android Gingerbread phones and Apple coming with their version soon, mobile payments will take off. You can bet that Microsoft and RIM will follow suit or get left in the dust. A lot of people are eagerly awaiting this feature.

Remote Deposit Capture
USAA is the poster child of this with over 35% of RDC coming from phone apps. Vendors are now starting to offer this as a stand-alone app. I think integration of this function is way better.

Pay People
PayPal has shown that people want this feature. Surveys have also shown that customers would love to have this function provided by their bank or credit union.

Mobile Awards and Coupons

Rewards checking has become very popular. Cardlytics offers one of the better products that I’ve seen. But imagine getting specials pushed to you through alerts. These awards could even be sent to you based on your GPS location.

Video Conferencing
Skype is now offering video conferencing on their phone apps. Mobile banking adoption is supposed to steadily increase. As branch visits go down, being able to video chat with a branch officer about accounts, investments or insurance will be a welcome feature.

Wesabe, We Hardly Knew You

July 1, 2010 2 comments

Wow.  I’m really sad to see Wesabe go; I was really rooting for this company.  Their technology was great and really helped transform PFM.  The Springboard application was also a cool idea.  I believe Wesabe was the first bank tech vendor to offer a way for banks and credit unions to signup for a customer facing service that would be active within 48 hours.  A lot of vendors could learn from that.  Sidenote: if I were a white-label OFM company, I’d look into buying this piece of technology from them.

But looking back, as much as I liked Wesabe, I didn’t really use the service that much.  Mint, on the other hand, I use at least once a month.  The reason for this?  I’m lazy.  One of Wesabe’s key points was that they didn’t store your online banking credentials.  You had to constantly upload your account information.  Mint, on the other hand, loaded it whenever you logged into their service.

I imagine that for a lot of people, this also made a difference.  Now, I don’t remember if Wesabe offered weekly alerts about your accounts, but I know Mint does.  Seeing those weekly emails and push notifications to my iPhone constantly reminded me about the service and reminded me to login and update my accounts.

So what does this mean to us financial folks?  It means that we need to stay in constant contact with our customers.  Customer apathy towards their FI helps increase the churn rate.  As we push our customers to online channels and branch traffic drops, contact becomes increasingly important.  Ron Shevlin’s post Why Engagement Matters and The Financial Brand’s post How To Build Relationships With Branch Avoiders are two great insights into this.  Otherwise, you could look up one day and wonder where all your customers went.

One bright side to all this is Wesabe will open source some of their technology.  I’ve been looking for a reason to build my Ruby on Rails chops and this looks like a great one.  I’m sure other developers are chomping at the bit also.

Related Posts:
Is PFM Really the Answer?
Wesabe Launches Springboard
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Buy ‘Em
No Know-How, No Order