The first financial institution in the world to offer Facebook account access, KeyPoint Federal Credit Union (powered by MShift) launched in Nov 2007 (post here), when the social network had “just” 50 million users.
In the ensuing 4+ years, despite an increase of 800 million more users, not a single major financial institution has followed in KeyPoint’s footsteps (see note 1).
Sure, there’s been some impressive Facebook marketing campaigns. Chase, American Express, and Capital One have all passed the 2-million “like” mark. But no one allows customers to check their balance/transactions right from within the social network (via a Facebook app).
But the drought ended this week, when India’s second largest bank, ICICI Bank, launched comprehensive Facebook services including account info (screenshot #1), offers (see #2), and a general jump-page to the bank’s main website (#3).
The new Facebook initiative is currently featured in the first promotion served by the bank’s homepage (#4, note 2).
1. ICICI Bank’s Your Bank Account page in Facebook (link, 17 Jan 2012)
2. Exclusive offers Facebook page (link)
3. Bank-on-the-go Facebook page: Serves as a launching pad to the specific areas on the bank’s main website
4. ICICI Bank displays a Facebook promo when landing on its homepage
1. Having been a product manger for several large banks, I get why the “Facebook project” hasn’t moved to the top of the queue; basically, lack of demand. Facebook may have nearly a billion users, but only a few percent are ready to bank there because it’s not seen as secure/private and it’s a place to connect with friends (see note 2). But despite the current lack of demand, we are confident that Web services, including banking & payments, have a promising future on the platform.
2. ICICI Bank tackles security via a prominent mouseover on the main page:
The ‘Bank Account’ app is hosted on secured ICICI Bank servers and is made available on Facebook through a secure SSL connection. ICICI Bank has not transferred any data to Facebook. Your bank account information can only be accessed by you through your ‘Bank Account’ app on Facebook after successful registration which incorporates strong 2-factor authentication and setting up a personalized password. As long as you don’t share this information with others, no one can access your account through Facebook.
Currently through your ‘Bank Account’ app on Facebook you can view account details, mini statement and few service requests like applying for debit card.
This app lets you access your information only after authenticating your Debit Card Number and Password. As long as you don’t share this information with others, no one can access your account.
3. Viewing the page from a U.S.-based IP address.
4. We cover all the channels in our subscription newsletter, Online Banking Report.