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
- Constant surveillance
- Technology updates
- Browser support
Note: For more info on email alerts, refer to our most recent Online Banking Report.