Finovate Alumni Website Traffic in September

Each month we survey the Web-traffic performance of Finovate alums using data from Web-analytics company Compete.
Out of 268 alumni, 80 had more than 10,000 unique U.S. visitors in September 2011 and are included in the tables below. Of those, 33 (41%) had more visitors in September than August. Year-over-year, 42 (52%) had traffic increases.
Private Companies
  • Seeking Alpha and Cortera had the highest traffic in September with 2.1 and 2.0 million unique visitors, respectively. Cortera also had the highest increase in number of unique year-over-year visits with over 1.5 more visits in 2011 than in 2010.
  • Kabbage had the highest percentage growth year-over-year, up 280x.
  • Weemba saw the highest monthly growth percentage with more than 7.5 times the number of unique visitors in September compared to August.
  • SmartCredit.com had the highest increase in number of unique year-over-year visitors, growing by 126,000.
PrivateWebTrafficSeptember2.jpg
Source: Compete.com retrieved the week of October 26, 2011
 
1) The previous month recorded was August 2011
2) Sears Credit Score is powered by CreditKarma.com
3) Truaxis was formerly BillShrink
4) Kasasa is powered by BancVue
Public companies
 
  • CheckFree had the highest percentage growth year-over-year, with over 7 times the number of visitors this year than last year.
  • Intuit had a notable increase in number of unique, year-over-year visitors, increasing by 300,000 visits.
  • Check Point had the highest month-over-month percent growth, with 41% more visitors in September than in August.
PublicWebTrafficSeptember2.jpgSource: Compete.com retrieved the week of October 26, 2011

1) The previous month recorded was July 2011.
_______________________________________________________
Notes:
1. We reviewed 268 Finovate alumni. Only those with at least 10,000 unique visitors in July are listed.
3. NM = not measurable
4. t= tie
5. Compete estimates online visitors based on the activity of a panel of more than 2 million U.S. Internet users. It is only an estimate of traffic and may undercount at-work usage.

Finovate Alumni Website Traffic in August

Each month we survey the Web-traffic performance of Finovate alums using data from Web-analytics company Compete
Out of 268 alumni, 75 had more than 10,000 unique U.S. visitors in August 2011 and are included in the tables below. Of those, 41 (55%) had more visitors in August than July. Year-over-year, 45 (60%) had traffic increases.
Private Companies
  • Seeking Alpha — the most-trafficked in August with 2.5 million unique visitors — also had the highest increase in number of unique month-over-month visits with 300,000 more visits in August than in July.
  • Budgettracker.com saw the highest monthly growth percentage with more than 6.5 times the number of unique visitors in August compared to July.
  • Betterment had the highest percentage growth year-over-year, up 88x.
  • Cortera had the highest number of unique year-over-year visitors, growing by 1.5 million. 
August2011PrivateWebTraffic4.jpg
Source: Compete.com retrieved week of October 3, 2011
1) The previous month recorded was July 2011
2) Truaxis was formerly BillShrink
4) Kasasa is powered by BancVue
5) Checkingfinder.com is powered by BancVue

Public Companies

  • Fiserv had the highest month-over-month percent growth, with 50% more visitors.
  • CheckFree had the highest percentage growth year-over-year, with over 5 times the number of visitors.
  • S1 also had a high percentage growth year-over-year, doubling its visitors.
August2011PublicWebTraffic5.jpg
Source: Compete.com retrieved the week of October 3, 2011
1) The previous month recorded was July 2011.
_______________________________________________________
Notes:
1. We reviewed 268 Finovate alumni. Only those with at least 10,000 unique visitors in July are listed. 
3. NM = Not measurable
4. t= Tie
5. Compete estimates online visitors based on the activity of a panel of more than 2 million U.S. Internet users. It is only an estimate of traffic and may undercount at-work usage.

Financial Companies Dominate Groundswell Awards in North American B2C Category

imageIt’s not often that financial services companies take home multiple trophies in a cross-industry retail-marketing competition. But last week, they took home almost half the top prizes in Forrester’s Groundswell competition for the best use of “social” techniques in their marketing efforts.

Financial companies won nine of 20 possible honors including three of seven category winners and six of 13 runner-up awards (called “finalists“). Four of the winners were in tax prep, a surprisingly social activity.   

The financial category-winners:

Financial runner-ups (aka finalists):

  • Listening (of 3 total)
    — Listening to the Student Pulse by Bank of America and Communispace
  • Talking (of 2 total)
    — American Family Insurance on Facebook by American Family Insurance
  • Energizing (of 2 total)
    — TurboTax Embraces Customer Reviews for Viral Growth by Intuit, Inc.
    — USAA Implements Ratings and Reviews by USAA
  • Supporting (of 2 total)
    — Get it Right Community by H&R Block
    — Taxes on Twitter: @TeamTurboTax Provides Customer Support and Resources by Intuit Inc.

Intuit’s TurboTax division alone accounted for three of the nine financial winners. USAA bagged two awards and H&R Block, Chase, Bank of America and American Family each received one Groundswell award.

Tax Prep 2.0: Does H&R Block’s Tango Provide a New Model for Pricing Online Financial Services?

imageFive days from the U.S. income tax deadline, tax prep ads are everywhere. I don't usually notice them because I still file the old-fashioned way, via CPA (note 1) and paper check. However, yesterday I noticed H&R Block's banner strung across the top of TechCrunch (screenshot below).

It caught my eye for a several reasons:

  • 24/7 access to live tax help, a real benefit to the legions of last-minute filers.
  • The "Tango" branding really intrigued me. How could a tax service be interesting enough to have its own brand, especially one as off-beat as Tango (note 2)?

The Tango product, complete with YouTube videos, <wannatango.com> URL, and more, deserves a post of its own, but here I want to focus on Block's pricing/segmentation.

The tax-prep giant divided its online services into two distinct categories, both catering to the computer savvy do-it-yourself crowd. Block calls the segments: "Do it Myself" and "Do it With Me" (screenshot below) with pricing as follows:

Do it myself:

  • $14.95 for 1040EZ
  • $29.95 for 1040 with itemized deductions
  • $59.95 for 1040 with state return

Do it with me:

  • $70 Tango option — complete online and submit yourself with unlimited 24/7 support (includes state return)
  • $99.95 (+$34.95 for state) complete yourself and then route to an H&R Block agent to review and e-file
  • $99.95 (+$34.95 for state) and above (note 3) to fill out an online questionaire and submit your data to have someone at H&R Block complete the return for you

image

NetBanker strategic action item
Banks, take notice. Block's pricing strategy is brilliant and if applied to online banking, could revive the difficult business case. Online banking, like electronic tax prep, is a mature business, and has long ago proven itself as valuable and convenient.

Now it's time to cash in on that convenience. While levying fees across the board would create customer ill-will, it's possible to segment your online banking base into customers who want plain vanilla services for free and those that want the best, and are willing to pay for it. Block's Tango is a good example of how to price for those who want to go it alone for the lowest cost and those that want high-tech online services AND high-touch tech support.

A bank or credit union could mimic the Block program:

  • Do it myself (FREE): Download data, set up my bills, create triggered alerts, monitor my own security settings, read my own credit report, store my own statements on my hard drive, and so on
  • Do it with me ($5/mo): 24/7 access to an online specialist who will provide advice, assistance, and help doing any of the above. Added bonus: lifetime storage of all transactions, statements, and check images!!!

Call it VIP Banking and start turning online banking into a profit center. With dedicated fee income you will have fewer problems during the looming crisis in online banking measurement

For more on online banking pricing and how to develop a premium-priced online banking service, see our Online Banking Report: Pricing – The "Fee" vs. "Free" Controversy (#109).
 

H&R Block Banner on TechCrunch (9 April 2008, 1 PM Pacific)

H&R Block Tango advertised on TechCrunch

Landing page from TechCrunch banner (9 April 2008)

H&R Block landing page from TechCrunch banner

Tango homepage (9 April 2008)

H&R Block Tango home

Notes:

1. In testing Turbotax and TaxCut, I have found both to be intuitive and surprisingly easy to use, even for relatively complicated returns with business deductions. This year, I did my teen's return on the free TurboTax online site, which was very slick. My son's already deposited his $2 refund into his online bank account.

2. H&R Block's Tango actually has a Wikipedia listing (within the H&R Block entry). That's something you don't see too often. According to Wikipedia, the Tango service first appeared last year for 2006 returns, but was plagued by computer glitches that forced the company to issue refunds. But it received good reviews this year, scoring an 82 here, just two points less than leader TurboTax Online. Tango finished ahead of the other four sites reviewed (here).

3. My federal returns would cost $199.80 through this most expensive option, about $500 less than my CPA.