M&T Bank Adds FICO Credit Score View to Online Banking, Charges $2.99/mo

image It figures. As soon as I write a report complaining about the dearth of online fee-based services, a major bank launches one, practically the same day.

Buffalo, NY-based M&T Bank just released an upgrade to its online banking system adding:

  • Intuit’s FinanceWorks PFM
  • Equifax-provided FICO score

Both are good moves, but it’s the credit score service that’s especially novel. It’s integrated directly into online banking, so customers needn’t log in to another site to view their score. And the bank is charging for it, to the tune of $2.99 per month. 


It will be interesting to see how M&T promotes the new feature to its online banking base which numbers 700,000 to 800,000 (active monthly users) based on traffic estimates from Compete. I’m also curious to see whether the bank upsells pricier, full-featured credit monitoring and/or credit reports to the $2.99/mo base. (I’d be surprised if they don’t.)

There’s no mention of a free-trial period, but based on industry experience, that is likely to be one of the best marketing strategies available. Given all the misleading advertising in the market (“free” credit scores that cost $15/mo), I’m pleased to see that M&T is upfront about the cost, mentioning it within the first 50 words of the landing page.

With an aggressive promotional campaign, it seems possible the bank could eventually get 10% to 15% of its online base using it. Then M&T gets a dual benefit: a unique and powerful tool for its customers and $3.5 million in incremental gross revenues (if it hits 100,000 users). The bank can also upsell credit monitoring, credit scores for other family members, along with balance transfers and other credit products. 


M&T Bank landing page for new integrated credit score (link; 6 Jun 2011)
Note: Pricing disclosed upfront (yellow highlighting is ours)

M&T Bank landing page for new integrated credit score (6 Jun 2011)

1. See our current Online Banking Report, Creating Fee-Based Online & Mobile Banking Services.

New Online Direct Bank: OnBank from M&T

image It's been six months since the last direct bank launch, Provident Direct (coverage here). The latest entry is OnBank from M&T Bank, a $66 billion bank based in Buffalo, NY. 

OnBank passes our strict 25-word homepage standard, joining ING Direct, EmigrantDirect on the short list of financial institutions with Google-like clarity on their home page. It takes just a few seconds to know that this is a place to get a high rate of interest on your money, but you should look elsewhere for a commercial loan.

The user has just two main choices of what to do next (screenshots below):

  1. Apply…encased in a trendy lime green button
  2. More details…which leads to an equally succinct page that answers the important questions (see last screenshot below):
    – fee free
    – minimum balance of $1
    – FDIC insured
    – quick online opening process

The only thing missing is a comparison to other banks. Given that it's one of the highest savings rates available right now, OnBank should be aggressively showing how it compares to key online rivals, including ING Direct's 3%.

Not only is the bank direct and to the point in its copywriting, it also uses simple, effective graphics, including a gimmick sure to gain attention. To reinforce its 24/7 "always on" branding, OnBank takes a page from the iPhone weather forecast interface, showing the current time in reverse lettering in front of a background image that changes to match the time of day. As you can see in the three screenshots below: daylight (4:42 PM), sun setting (8:58 PM), and nighttime (9:02 PM). Presumably they also have a sunrise background. The bank displays the time according to the user's machine, PDT in my case.

We didn't test the Metavante-powered online application all the way through, but it looked relatively straightforward, although graphically not as appealing as the other OnBank pages.

Thanks to Bank Deals for the find.

OnBank homepage during daytime (17 April 2008)

M&T's OnBank homepage

Evening (16 April 2008)


Night (16 April 2008)


"More details page" (17 April 2008)

OnBank more details page