Investment network eToro announced yesterday that it has added a live discussion feed to provide users a method to communicate outside of each others’ profiles:
“OpenBook is enabling traders to follow the general buzz on the network through a live discussion feed that brings all current discussions to the user’s attention.”
The discussion feed joins general feed, the top 100 feed, and the watch list feed on the OpenBook platform.
I’m not sure if this is normal or not, but I enjoy the process of updating the 100-some apps on my iPhone. I’m always interested in what’s changed and how the company communicates the new info to users. I’ve noted before that banks aren’t good at leveraging this customer touchpoint, but they are getting better.
In the latest round of app updates, I noticed a nice improvement from USAA (see inset; note 1). Instead of automatically logging you off whenever you move out of the app, say to take a call or fire off a text, the bank provides the option of staying logged in for up to 20 minutes.
Sure, there’s a tiny risk that if you were to lose your phone or loan it to someone during that time, they could get into your account. But your average smartphone thief is unlikely to click on the USAA button during those first 20 minutes. And even if they did, it’s unlikely they could do much with the info.
Bottom line: I want this option on all my banking apps.
1. This iPhone update (v. 4.0) was pushed out, 8 Nov 2011
2. For more on mobile banking, see our subscription publication, Online Banking Report.
Mobile imaging company Mitek announced Monday that E*Trade will join Charles Schwab in providing remote check deposit technology to brokerage customers. It will be available on the iPhone next month and on the Android in early 2012.
Mitek notes the benefit for E*Trade clients:
“The move by E*Trade, a New York-based online brokerage, is especially notable because customers currently have to mail a check or use direct deposit or transfer or wire money from an alternative account.”
E*Trade is hoping the added convenience will keep clients more engaged with its trading platform.
To learn more about Mitek, watch its FinovateFall 2011 demo.
- Fox Business News interviews SmartCredit.com’s John Ulzheimer.
- TechCrunch reports PayPal’s cyber Monday mobile payment volume is up over 500% from last year.
- Bank Technology News profiles ActivePath.
- Samurai from FeeFighters is now incorporated into Shopify in beta.
- eRollover.com changes its name to FIPath.com.
- Discover placed on 2011 InformationWeek 500 list that honors America’s most innovative users of business technology.
- Bank Technology News profiles Cardlytics.
- E*Trade to use Mitek’s remote check deposit technology.
- Silicon India Startup lists SimpliFI as a tech tool to track investments.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.
Yesterday, we looked at several financial institutions using Black Friday/Cyber Monday to promote banking products (see note 1). But it’s also a great time to focus on community outreach and charitable pursuits, a tack taken by Bank of America (note 2).
The bank is supporting Feeding America, which leverages a small amount of cash into a large number of meals by tapping bulk food donors. It says that every dollar donated translates into 8 meals. Bank of America’s providing $1 million outright plus an additional $500,000 pledged in matching funds. The bank will match customer/employee donations 3 to 1 (note 3). All in all, that’s $1.75 mil to U.S. food banks which will cover nearly 15 million meals.
Bottom line: Overall, its a great effort. The bank is feeding the hungry, and more importantly, educating thousands of potential donors about the magic multiplier of the efficient food bank supply chains. It was a good choice to close out the holiday weekend.
Bank of America’s homepage promoted Feeding America on Cyber Monday (28 Nov 2011).
Landing page (link)
Cobranded donation page at FeedingAmerica.org (link)
Note: The bank’s program has generated 2,299,113 free meals as of 29 Nov at 10 PM Pacific. Twenty hours later, the number had risen by 173,000, implying $22,000 in donations.
1. The Financial Brand has additional info on ING Direct Canada’s Cyber Monday special.
2. Of course, a little positive PR couldn’t hurt the bank either.
3. Looking at the math, I’m not sure how many customers will really see a 3-to-1 match, which means $250,000 in customer donations are eligible for a bank match. The bank has in the neighborhood of 25 million customers. If just 1% of its customers each donate a single dollar, the cap will be hit. But still, $500,000 = 4 million more meals, so I certainly can’t complain.
Cartera Commerce announced today that it is powering a card-linked offers program for Navy Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest credit union by asset size and by membership.
The program, called Member Mall, allows over 1 million of Navy Federal’s 3.8 million members to earn cash back or rewards points when shopping with their Navy FCU credit card (see screenshot below).
With Cartera’s technology, Navy Federal’s non-reward credit card holders now have the ability to earn rewards.
To learn more about Cartera Commerce, watch its FinovateFall 2011 demo.
I’ve written about Black Friday promotions at ING Direct (see note 1), Service Credit Union, and the growing Small Business Saturday event spearheaded by American Express (which even earned a tweet from Obama).
This year I also noticed a trickle of activity on Cyber Monday as well. It’s probably better than Black Friday for online/mobile campaigns. Better yet, use the approach of Visions FCU (screenshot 2 & 3) and use the entire weekend to maximize the impact.
Cyber Monday promos:
- 50% off credit-monitoring products from Quizzle, the spinout from Quicken Loans (see email below)
- Visions Federal Credit Union offered a loan special from Black Friday through Cyber Monday (screenshot below). The CU reported $10 million in loans on Friday alone.
- Navy Federal Credit Union offered bonus rewards-points for purchases made online
Cyber Monday email from Quizzle (link; Monday, 7 AM Pacific, 28 Nov 2011)
Visions Federal Credit Union Thanksgiving weekend loan special (28 Nov 2011)
Visions landing page (link)
Navy Federal Cyber Monday cashRewards promo (link)
Note: Given the date shown, this page is likely a carryover from 2010. But it’s still available via “Cyber Monday” searches on Navy Federal’s website.
1. ING Direct was at it again with seven offers over the Thanksgiving weekend (Deposit Accounts has the full rundown). However, the specials did not extend into Cyber Monday.
2. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union ($210 million, Wentzville, MO) and Heritage Community Credit Union ($200 million, Sacramento, CA) offered loan deals on Black Friday according to CreditUnionsOnline.com
Earlier today, Credit Sesame released its free iPhone app that allows users to check their credit score on-the-go.
It also provides management tools that let users:
- Manage debt pay-down with trending graphs
- Receive personalized savings advice and alerts
- See how much they owe on lines of credit
- View their credit-utilization ratio
To maximize security, Credit Sesame requires the use of a PIN before login and provides the ability to remotely deactivate the service in case of a stolen phone.
To learn more about Credit Sesame, watch its FinovateFall 2011 demo.
PFM Pageonce recently announced that its online bill pay service has reached a milestone of $1 million in bills paid:
“Publicly available on smartphones for almost one month, consumers have used Pageonce to pay $1M worth of credit card, utility and other personal bills.
With mobile bill pay projected to grow almost four times by 2013, Pageonce is leading a new and smarter way for consumers to control and interact with their personal finances.”
In an effort to relieve the pain of paying bills, it also launched a mobile bill pay app for the iPad that aims to simplify the process of paying bills.
To learn more about Pageonce, watch its FinovateFall 2010 demo.