ActivePath Named OBR Best of the Web for Email Banking System

obr_bestofweb In our most recent report, Email Banking: Revitalizing the Channel, ActivePath was named the third OBR Best of the Web winner in 2010. The company was cited for its unique plugin software that turns the user’s email inbox into a mini online-banking center.

We believe that the future of banking information delivery is outside the website. Increasingly, users will rely on information pushed to them through Facebook, Twitter or RSS feeds, to mobile phone apps, and to the email inbox. ActivePath’s solution plays into that trend.

The just-launched Israeli startup becomes the 78th company to win the designation since we began awarding it in 1997. The other two winners this year:


Note: OBR Best of the Web awards are given periodically to companies that pioneer new online or mobile banking features. It is not an endorsement of the company or product, just recognition for what we believe is an important industry development. Recent winners are profiled in the Netbanker archives.

Gmail’s New Priority Inbox Should Inspire Banks to Do the Same with Electronic Statements

image I’ve been on a bit of a campaign this summer (writing in Online Banking Report here and here), about the need to move beyond the static online “data dump” model to a more measured approach in delivering precise financial info when and where the customer needs it. 

We mostly looked at outbound messaging and streaming systems: email, text, RSS and third-parties such as Blippy and Swipely. But the same logic can be used to improve the financial home base, the online statement.

Google’s new email option, Priority Inbox (aka Magic Inbox), introduced to Gmail users this week (note 1), is a great example of how this could work. Instead of always displaying email (or transactions) in chronologic or reverse-chronologic order, use algorithms to show items in order of importance (see screenshot below).

The bank-transaction importance-ranking would obviously include the size of the item. But it would also position unusual payments of any size at the top of the list so that users could more quickly identify fraud or errors. And, as with Gmail, users should be able to label and flag transactions for future reference (note 2).

A service like this would have saved me hundreds of dollars this year, by alerting me immediately that my cell phone bill had mushroomed, and that I needed to switch to an unlimited-minutes plan.

Gmail Priority Inbox (1 Sep 2010)
Note: There are no messages in the top priority area called “Important and unread” because I’d read them all. Google provides a little note of congratulations for clearing out that portion of the inbox.

Gmail priority inbox is a good model for online banking and credit card statements

1. Google has offered similar algorithm-based ordering in its RSS reader for some time. I’ve been using it for almost a year and am a big fan. It really helps lift the best posts to the top of the 600 or so I get each day. I will use Twitter a lot more when it offers the same type of functionality (Does anyone know of a Twitter client that arranges tweets by importance?)  
2. And like Google, banking users should be able to store their transactions for as long as they are customers. See our Online Banking Report on Lifetime Statements for more info.

New Online Banking Report Published: Email Banking – Revitalizing the Channel

image Each day, the typical consumer household completes several banking and credit/debit card transactions. And 99% of the time, the transactions require little extra attention other than mentally checking them off to ensure you aren’t a victim of fraud, or more likely, human error.

But to stay on top of that routine activity, Americans collectively make hundreds of millions of visits to banking websites each month. This, my friends, is not an efficient use of time.

And it’s mostly unnecessary. There’s really no reason to log in every week to manage my accounts. All the info I really need could be sent to me via email.

That would eliminate the need for most website visits. And if I could initiate transactions right from the email, I’d only need to visit the website every few months to tweak my settings (even that could potentially be done through email interactions).

But as pervasive as email (and text) alerts have become, they are often cryptic messages that make you feel less certain of your finances, creating more anxiety and more website visits (see note 1). This is not what you want from financial providers.

What’s missing is a rich email experience, where a balance summary message can be expanded into a full statement with the click of a link. Where key supporting actions, such as paying a bill, are imbedded in the message. And where it’s easy to resolve issues immediately while you are thinking about them, rather than moving to another channel later on.

That’s the promise of Email Banking that we explore in the current report (see below). We also look at a new Israeli startup, ActivePath, that is delivering much of this vision with its new email banking service launching in the U.S. later this year (note 2). The screenshot below shows how a password-protected daily account-summary email can become a full-featured account-management tool with numerous links to act on the information presented. 

Finally, in an addendum to last month’s report on email/text alerts, we look at the alert-control panels at five major banks: Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

About the report:


Email banking: revitalizing the channel (link)
New technologies and more thoughtful design could elevate email
to a central role in account management

Author: Jim Bruene, Editor & Founder

Published: 19 Aug 2010

Length: 40 pages

Cost: No extra charge to OBR subscribers, $395 for others here


Daily account summary email from ActivePath
Note: Embedded buttons to a.) view transactions, b.) role money into a CD,
c.) transfer funds, d.) view transaction detail, e.) chat with customer service


1. For more on email alerts, see last month’s Online Banking Report: Email Alerts & Transaction Streaming.
2. See ActivePath, along with 55 other innovators, at FinovateFall, Oct. 4/5 in NYC.

Bank of America Redesigns Email Alerts

image On August 9, Bank of America redesigned its email alerts (note 1). The biggest change came in repositioning, renaming, and highlighting a security feature, “last login time.” The info is now in a prominent gray box at the top called the Security Checkpoint. Previously, it was buried in the middle of the left-hand column (see Before screenshot below).

While the Security Checkpoint is a nice bit of security marketing (note 2), I’m not sure how much additional fraud it will thwart, if any. But it’s good for the bank to appear to be doing all it can to protect customers.

Bank of America already had one of the best alerts in the business, earning an A in our most recent report (note 3). So I’m not sure why they needed a new design; perhaps, it’s just to keep things fresh. However, the redesign did nothing to fix our one criticism of the bank’s alert, the lack of meaningful info in the preview line.

Bank of America email alert preview in Gmail

After: New Bank of America email alert design (17 Aug 2010)

Bank of America email alert with new Security Checkpoint

Before: Previous email alert design (8 Aug 2010)


1. At least, that’s the first day the new style landed in my inbox.
2. For more info, see Online Banking Report: Marketing Security.
3. For more on email alerts, see last month’s Online Banking Report: Email Alerts & Transaction Streaming.

SmartyPig Allows Customers to Choose Level of Account Detail in Email Communications

image SmartyPig is the first of my personal banking accounts that allows me to choose the level of detail provided in email alerts. The startup just moved away from sending detailed info in all messages to offering the option to receive a general notification that requires logging in for specific balance/transaction info (see below; link to SmartyPig blog post).

This is a basic level of customer choice that every financial institution should put into their product roadmap. For me, and a great many customers, alerts are practically worthless if they don’t include some detail on the transaction. On the other extreme, many customers are not at all comfortable with actual data being included in an email and won’t use alerts if that is the only choice. Most customers fall somewhere in between. 

In the future, it won’t be a black-and-white decision. Users will be able to select varying levels of detail depending on the account, balance level, email address used, time of day and so on.


And while we are talking about SmartyPig, check out their very thorough security section. The startup covers far more ground than most financial institutions.  Here are the topics covered:

  • White-hat hacker tested via Primeon
  • Verisign Extended Validation SSL
  • Security scanned daily by McAfee
  • TRUSTe privacy seal
  • FDIC info for its banking partner
  • Secure login
  • Firewall
  • Encryption
  • Constant surveillance
  • Technology updates
  • Browser support

Note: For more info on email alerts, refer to our most recent Online Banking Report.

New Online Banking Report Published: Bank Transaction Email Alerts & Real-Time Streaming (Feeds)

image Two months ago when we were sketching out the next Online Banking Report (see note for links to the report), I thought it would be useful to look at the real-time Web and how consumers were becoming accustomed to status update feeds through Facebook and Twitter.

Old-school alerts: Email
As I wrote the report, I realized that most online banking users still want to consume transaction data the old-fashioned way, through email and over the Web. We did a quick consumer survey that confirmed our hypothesis, with email preferred 2-to-1, over text and voice messaging. Even among the under-35 crowd, email and text alerts were tied.

So we also took a detailed dive into email alerts, developing 22 recommendations for state-of-the-art email messages. And we graded 16 alert examples from 13 financial institutions. Overall, our sample scored very well with Bank of America, Lending Club, Mint, ING Direct, PayPal all earning A grades. Also U.S. Bank, Schwab, Wells Fargo and Prosper were just slightly lower, each with a B+. 

The future: Real-time streams/feeds/updates
While email, text or voice messages work well for alerts, they are not as desirable for keeping users informed of all their transactions. Once you start getting multiple emails each day from your financial accounts, it becomes overwhelming and you stop opening them. That’s why transaction feeds are a promising means for keeping customers up-to-date on an ongoing basis. In a world where so many consumers are following a Facebook news feed, Twitter feed, or good old RSS, it’s only natural that financial transactions will join the mix.

But it’s still a long way off. For the most part, consumers do not want commercial messages cluttering their news feeds. And they are understandably confused about privacy/security settings, and don’t feel confident that bank transactions delivered via Twitter direct message, are not being displayed to the world.

However, once we get past that educational challenge, we believe a significant number of consumers will prefer tracking their finances via feed (mostly via mobile) instead of logging in to online banking multiple times per month.

To learn more about what could happen in this area, we looked at three transaction-feed startups:

Bottom line: Real-time feeds are the future, but many years away from making it past even the earliest of adopters. For most financial institutions, the important thing now is to make sure you have great email and text alerts. But for those looking to differentiate with technology, feeds provide an intriguing opportunity. 


1. The report is available at no extra charge to OBR subscribers here; and can be purchased for US$495 by others here. See the Table of Contents here (PDF). 

Launches: Swipely is a Yelp/Twitter/Bankcard Mash-up

image This week I received an invitation to Swipely’s closed beta (request one here). As a fan of its closest competitor, OBR Best of the Web winner, Blippy (note 1), I’ve been looking forward to testing out the newest entrant. 

Both services allow you to register ecommerce accounts, including credit or debit cards, so that transactions can be streamed to your friends and family, or the whole world if you so choose (note 2). Detractors cannot figure out why anyone would want to do that, but that’s also what people said about Twitter, which is now approaching 200 million worldwide monthly visitors

But I’m convinced the naysayers simply haven’t used Blippy or Swipely. The startups are simply convenient platforms for sharing interesting experiences, downloads, or purchases. It’s not the collapse of privacy as we know it (that would be Facebook). The typical Blippy/Swipely user might stream their Netflix queue, iPhone downloads, or a meal eaten at a local favorite.

Contrary to what you might read, there is very little oversharing. Generic posts such as “spent $7.29 at CVS” are rare. Sure those people exist, just like the Twitter users sharing what they had for breakfast, but they are the exception. Like Yelp or Facebook, most users strive to share things that are interesting to both them and others (note 3).

Providence, RI-based Swipely, which has already raised $8.5 million in capital, encourages users to comment and rate purchases on a 5-point scale. If it catches on, Swipely could build a database of user experiences and merchant ratings that challenges Yelp or TripAdvisor (note 4).

Bottom line: Will the services prosper? I think semi-automated transaction sharing is here to stay and will become a standard feature in larger social communities, e.g., Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. It also makes sense as part of larger OFM/PFM efforts (note 5).

I also think there is a place for limited transaction sharing among customers of financial institutions, primarily among joint account holders and employees of smaller businesses (see previous post).  

On the other hand, I’m not sure if Blippy/Swipely will become popular destinations on their own. It’s more likely they’ll end up powering services baked into other sites. That said, if the startups can figure out how to get the Internet masses to make the effort to rate and post millions of transactions, they could become household names.  

Swipely transaction stream across all users (7 June 2010)
Note: My just-posted transaction is at the top of the stream


1. See Blippy’s FinovateSpring 2010 demo here; see previous posts here.  
2. Swipely doesn’t currently support direct downloads from ecommerce accounts, but you can forward email receipts to the service for posting.
3. Both services offer a mix of automation and manual entry to make sure the posting process isn’t too much of a burden, but keeps things relevant. On Swipely, the default privacy setting is for the user to manually approve each transaction before it is posted. And in contrast to Blippy, the amount of the transaction is NOT included in the post.
4. You can understand why the VCs are investing.
5. See our most recent Online Banking Report for more on Online Financial Management Features for Online Banking.

Best of Web: Chase Launches Instant Action 2-Way Text Alerts

imageobr_bestofweb It’s been 13 years since email bank-account alerts first appeared in the United States (see note 1). And for 12.99 years, users have wished they could just reply back to the message to cover a checking account shortfall. 

Well finally, Chase Bank has delivered on that promise with real-time Chase Instant Action Alerts:

image    image

Chase account holders now receive real-time text-message alerts when their account drops below preset minimums. Customers can initiate funds transfers by texting back transfer instructions. Currently, transfers can be initiated only via text message.

While we would have been more impressed if the service covered the more common email alerts, the new feature does move the online/mobile banking state-of-the-art up a notch. That’s enough to earn Chase the second OBR Best of the Web awarded in 2010 and the 77th all-time (notes 2, 3).

The bank is promoting the new feature via Google AdWords (see screenshots below). And, they’ve done a good job identifying the key benefit in the landing page title:

Avoid Overdrafts | Chase Instant Action Alerts

I don’t see any mention of the new capabilities on the Chase homepage today, nor does it appear to be touted within online banking (note 4). However, a site-search for “alerts” drives users to the landing page shown below.

Advertising on Google search for “Chase email alerts”
(2 June 2010, 9 AM from Seattle IP)


Landing page (link)
Note: The top graphic is animated, showing how the alert and reply work (see images at the top of this post)


image 1. Signet Bank was the first major to offer email account alerts. We covered it in OBR 22 (Feb 1997). We didn’t learn until a few months later that community bank Britton & Koontz actually beat Signet to market with alerts launched in the summer of 1996.
2. You could argue that Chase is not first with this capability. The handful of U.S. text-banking programs that support transfers are already offering the same capabilities as Chase (for example, see text commands at Natco Credit Union).  However, Chase is the first major bank to provide the functionality, as well as the first to really promote the reply-back function as a major benefit.
3. OBR Best of the Web awards are given periodically to companies that pioneer new online/mobile banking features, products, or enhancements. It is not an endorsement of the company or product, just recognition for what we believe is an important development that “raises the bar” in alt-delivery. Chase’s Instant Action Alerts are the 77th recipient since we began the awards in 1997. It’s the second for Chase. The bank also won in 2007 for being the first major U.S. bank to roll out text banking. For a list of the top innovations of all time, see our January 2010 Online Banking Report.
4. It was not mentioned within my business banking account or consumer credit card account. I don’t have a Chase consumer checking account.
5. For more information on alerts and messaging, refer to this Online Banking Report published in 2003.

Are You Still Frustrating Your Banking Customers to Save a Few Pennies?

image Have you ever had a flat tire because you forget to look at your tire pressure? I have, more than once, but not since I installed these handy little valve caps with the “green is good to go” visual signal. And they only cost about $6 per set.

Not only do they save you from the hassle and cost of a flat tire, they could save hundreds of dollars over the car’s life with better fuel economy running on properly inflated tires. And flat tires on the freeway are a serious safety issue. 

This begs the question: Why don’t car companies install these on all cars (note 1)? Is it really worth the potential thousand-dollar cost to your customers to save a buck or two in the manufacturing process? 

Relevance for Netbankers: What things does your financial institution do to save a few pennies that could end up costing your customers similar financial pain?  Here are my three pet peeves:

Rant over. Have a great weekend.


Note: Yes, I know that higher-end cars have tire-pressure idiot lights. And I’m sure there engineering-related costs and liability issues makes the price tag bigger than an outsider would imagine.

What the Real-Time Web Means for Banking

imageOne of the most important trends in the online/mobile world is the so-called real-time Web. Here’s how Wikipedia defines it:

…technologies and practices which enable users to receive information as soon as it’s published, rather than requiring that they check a source periodically for updates.

Online banking should have gone
real-time long ago, but privacy concerns and a legacy of batch
processing — not to mention the 100-year credit crisis — have kept
info delivery in very non-real-time at most financial institutions (note

As balance/transaction email alerts appeared on the scene in 1996/1997, the perfect solution to keep consumers informed on a timely basis seemed assured. But for most users, financial alerts have not lived up to their promise. Why?

1. Users must remember to establish alerts while they are banking online

2. Users must establish proper parameters so they are not overwhelmed with alerts, or receive too little info

3. Those parameters must be tweaked as necessary

4. Users must select the proper email inbox(es) for the alerts

5. Users must read the alerts in a timely fashion

6. And of course, act on them if necessary

Frankly, that’s just too much work for most online bankers. Sending alerts to a mobile device may help since it is typically more immediate than email. But that depends on the user and whether they really want banking messages in their text-message stream.

But we think many users, now accustomed to viewing a stream of info all day from Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, RSS, and so on, will want similar delivery of financial info. Some will want their financial info to stream into their overall news feed (e.g., via Facebook, Twitter, etc.), others will prefer a separate dedicated channel (e.g., Blippy note 2, Strings). And the old-school folk will still prefer email or text-message feeds.

Once the feed is established, users will want to interact with the data, for example:

  • Tagging entries for budgeting/tax purposes
  • Sharing specific transactions with friends, spouses, accountants
  • Forwarding transactions to bookkeeping or managers for reimbursement
  • Replying to the bank/merchant regarding incorrect transactions  
  • Flagging transactions for later review

The real-time Web turns online banking on its head. Creating a daily dialogue with customers, rather than one-time sessions where users log in every few days, then hope nothing goes wrong before their next login.

There are advantages in both models, but it’s not really your choice which one to offer. The world has gone real-time: You can either join in or have your customers migrate to Mint/Blippy/Wesabe to tap their financial feed.

1. This is characterization of the U.S. situation; many other countries are much further ahead, and have been operating under real-time info-flow for years. 
2. We believe there are a number of practical applications for Blippy’s technology; see our previous post.
3. For more info on financial messaging and alerts, Online Banking Report subscribers should review our 2003 report on the subject.

Blippy Demonstrates the Power of Real-Time Streaming of Financial Transaction Data

image Blippy has been one of the more controversial financial entrants in the past few years. Observers have called it the “end of privacy as we know it,” a way to take “oversharing to a dizzying new level,” and a “great tool for phishers.” And those are just the people who like it.

Blippy, a kind of Twitter meets Yodlee service, allows users to stream their purchase activity to the startup’s website. Users can choose to publish data from credit and debit cards, bank accounts, and/or directly from purchase activity at ecommerce-partners sites (see list below). It’s the ecommerce transaction stream that provides the richest data describing the actual product purchased or rented rather than just a dollar total.

For example, here’s an entry from @Julia who’s connected her Amazon account directly to Blippy (note 1)  As you can see the Amazon purchases are shown in detail and one of the items, a giraffe teether, has elicited a question/comment from a friend (highlighting ours):


In comparison, credit card transactions list only the merchant name and not what was purchased. However, Blippy allows users to annotate their transactions to add that detail, as you can see in the following entry. 


One of the most common ways Blippy is used is to stream media consumption via iTunes and Netflix. Here are the three Netflix movies on their way to @crobertsjr:


The Palo Alto-based startup received a $1.6 million angel round in January 2010 from Ron Conway, Jason Calacanis, Twitter’s Evan Williams, Sequoia Capital, Charles River Ventures, and others. 

How it works
I got my first taste of Blippy after it opened to the public on Jan. 14. It’s simple to get started, calling for just an email address, screenname and password. You also have the option of finding friends using your email address book or choosing from a list of 13 suggested people including Blippy founder Philip Kaplan (@PUD) and interstar Jason Calacanis (@jason).

But you don’t even need to register for Blippy to see it in action. There’s a live stream on the homepage that anyone can watch (see screenshot below). If Blippy follows the Twitter/Facebook model, they will soon have an API available that will let outside developers tap the data stream.

Usage stats

  • Number of beta users: More than 5,000 who streamed $4.5 million worth of transactions
  • Most-streamed merchant: Netflix with 54,000 entries
  • Most prolific spender (that I ran across): Foo Bar (@foo), who does not identify himself other than CEO at a gaming startup, has linked his business credit card and streamed more than 350 purchases worth more than $300,000 (he’s a big online advertiser at Google, MySpace, Facebook).
  • Most-followed user: Leo Laporte (@leolaporte), from the Premiere Radio Network, with more than 2,600 followers


Data sharing within workgroups:

  • Ability to share financial transactions within a family, a workgroup, or small business. It would be a great way for financial gatekeepers, e.g., the bookkeeper, CFO, or even board members/investors to keep tabs on company spending (see @foo above).
  • Ability to annotate expense streams. Users can add short descriptions to expense items so their followers can see the specifics.
  • Ability to discuss/comment on expense items. For example, CFO can ask “why did our Google AdWords expense spike yesterday?” and anyone in the group can comment back with an answer or speculation. We use Yammer in our company for this type of back and forth. 

Product research/social networking:

  • Ability to find other customers of the same store
  • Ability to discuss product or media purchases with friends or strangers
  • Ability to post positive/negative info about purchases (yours or others)
  • Ability to find previous purchasers of a product you are considering (currently not supported through search)
  • Ability to compare how much people paid for a certain item (not currently supported through search)

Personal financial management:

  • Ability to annotate expenses for future reporting (e.g., marking taxable items)
  • Store transactions free for as long as Blippy keeps the servers running
  • Ability to search own transactions

Financial institution opportunities
1. Card companies and banks should create similar sharing functionality for alerts; especially for small business clients. While public posting of purchase data may never have mass appeal, there are many private uses for real-time transaction data.

2. PFM’s should be building this functionality now to get out in front of Mint/Intuit who could simply acquire Blippy and incorporate real-time data flow within weeks. 

3. Once the Blippy API becomes available, banks should tap it to allow their customers to use it directly from within online banking.

Whether Blippy lives on as a standalone service is difficult to predict. It depends on whether these capabilities are incorporated into other social networks, particularly, Facebook (note 2) and Twitter. And how fast card issuers move to make real-time transaction info easily available to their own customers.

image But regardless of where the company nets out, Blippy should be credited with pioneering real-time financial transaction flow, something every financial institution and ecommerce company will support in the coming years. As a result, we are awarding Blippy an OBR Best of the Web award, our first of 2010 and just the third in the past 14 months (note 3, previous winners).   

Blippy Homepage (14 Jan. 2010 7 PM Pacific)


 Optional sign-in to Gmail, Yahoo or AOL to locate friends on Blippy 


Purchases/activity at these merchants can be automatically tracked
Note: 13 ecommerce merchants currently participate (Amazon, Apple iTunes, Audible, Blockbuster, GoDaddy, GroupOn, Netflix, SeamlessWeb, Stubhub, Threadless, Wine Library, Woot, Zappos)


The Blippy real-time transaction stream
Note: You can choose to watch all activity or just that of the people you are following


1. If she hadn’t given Blippy her Amazon login info and linked only her credit card, there would be no product detail. It would just show as $80.95 spent at Amazon.
2. Blippy is similar to Facebook’s ill-fated Beacon service launched in Nov. 2007. The service was quickly toned down, then eventually dismantled, due to the privacy brouhaha that ensued. Blippy is very different because its users are signing up specifically to share purchase info. 
3. OBR Best of the Web awards, from Online Banking Report, are given periodically to companies that pioneer new online and mobile banking features. It is not an endorsement of the company or product, just recognition for what we believe is an important development. Blippy is the 76th recipient since we began awarding it in 1997. There were just two winners in 2009.

Blippy: Do We Really Want to Automatically Tweet our Purchase Transactions?

image I love startups. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, along comes someone doing something that no one would have ever thought of five years ago, or in this case one year ago.

image The latest inspiration: Blippy. The service allows you to automatically broadcast your credit or debit card purchases using the Twitter/Facebook model (see screenshot below; note 1).

The first question everyone asks is why? (see comments at TechCrunch) But really, it’s not much different than broadcasting personal details via Twitter or your whereabouts via Foursquare, especially if you limit viewing to friends. The founder, serial entrepreneur, Philip Kaplan explains in the TechCrunch interview, that he has one credit card for “social purchases” broadcast on Blippy and another for purchases he prefers to keep private.

Blippy will contain privacy controls that allow users to share everything or keep it within a closed loop of friends. The company also envisions many other privacy controls to turn the service off and on, allow users to approve transactions before publishing, suppress certain merchants, or merchant categories, and so on.

The use cases shown so far are centered around media purchases, for example using it to automatically tweet (blip?) what song or movie you bought on iTunes or social “check ins” where the service lets people know you just bought coffee at Starbucks. But I can see where it would be helpful for spouses to “broadcast” purchases only to each other. Or for a salesperson to broadcast their purchases to their assistant to build expense reports on the fly. 

The service is in closed alpha (only in use by a handful of friends and family, note 2) as the three-person company gears up for a launch. You can follow Kaplan on Twitter (@pud) for more info.

My take: I like the idea of easily sharing purchases with joint-account holders or a bookkeeper. But many (most?) online banking systems and PFMs already allow this through the alerts system. You may want to boost education efforts on this capability.

imageAs for Tweeting about songs downloaded via iTunes, wouldn’t most users prefer to maintain more control over that by simply using Twitter or Facebook to directly type a short note? But we know from experience, if there’s a way to do something with less effort, it stands a good chance of succeeding.  

I’m not expecting widespread adoption any time soon, but I think there is a market for sharing spending transactions.

Here’s something for innovative FIs to consider: Add a “share this” button next to credit/debit card transaction and let users send the info via email, Twitter or Facebook with a couple keystrokes (see inset from FiLife).

I know it sounds far-fetched, but it might be just the thing to make your card stand out with heavy users of social media.

Blippy homepage showing spending stream (16 Dec. 2009)


1. For more info in Twitter, see our Online Banking Report on the technology published in May.
2. Twitter’s Evan Williams is using Blippy as shown in screenshot taken by CNET’s Rafe Needleman in his article earlier this week.