- Yodlee: account aggregation, credit card-based bill payment, mobile banking
- Vancity (Canada): microcredit, green banking, blogging, community involvement
- Wells Fargo: simple expense tracker, blogging, Second Life
- PayPal: email-based payments, confirmation via twin deposits, integration into eBay (before it was part of eBay)
- Prosper: Social lending, open API to most of its aggregated data, groups, auction style, Facebook app (game)
These companies are all relatively famous, but one that doesn't get nearly as much press, but has long pushed forward on a number of fronts is Everbank. From its website design (here), product marketing (here), to its foreign-currency certificates of deposit (here), the Jacksonville, FL-based bank continues to shine in an increasingly crowded online space (all previous coverage here).
My inspiration for this post (see note) was the bank's marketing email today announcing its World Energy Index CD, a multi-currency certificate pegged to the currency of four western countries with better-than-average energy resources: Norway, Canada, UK, and Australia. I have no idea if this CD is a good investment, but I do know that Everbank has proven that even the narrowest niches can be profitable using the reach of the Internet.
Date/Time received: July 17, 4:07 PM (Pacific)
From: Everbank News [email@example.com]
To: James [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Title: A new CD with a powerful combination – energy and currencies
Customer type: Current checking account customer
Personalization: First name in salutation
Landing page: none (homepage link only)
Other offer: Third-party investment newsletter offer (link on right-hand side goes directly to newsletter publisher, Agora Financial Publications, landing page here)
Note: I have had an account for ten years at Everbank. Therefore, I see more of their marketing material and tend to write about them more frequently.