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Back Story: Wall Street Journal’s Article on Online Financial Planning Tools from Banks

The Wall Street Journal published an extra section yesterday on personal finance entitled, Your Money Matters. Online financial tools were highlighted in Jane Kim's, "Check it Out: New online tools from financial institutions can help consumers manage their money." 

Here's the back story on several of the items mentioned in the article:

  • Our sister publication, Online Banking Report, was cited as the source of the following statistic: "About 16% of U.S. households used some personal-finance feature at least once in 2006. That percentage is expected to climb to an estimated 33% by 2016, with nearly three-quarters of those households using personal-finance tools offered by their financial institution online."

    The information cited in the WSJ story was contained in the report we published last fall in Personal Finance Features for Online Banking (OBR 131/132see Table 3, p. 3, lines 4 and 10). Current usage estimates were based in part from data provided by Javelin Strategy as shown in Table 2 on the same page. 

  • Wells Fargo My Spending Report CLICK TO ENLARGE In the article, Bank of America's My Portfolio was the first of two existing personal finance tools mentioned. The service, powered by Yodlee, was quietly launched in December and was covered in NetBanker at the time (link here) and received an OBR Best of the Web award in our final report of 2006 (OBR 137) where it was rated the third most important development of 2006.   
  • The second example cited was Wells Fargo's MySpendingReport (see inset and previous coverage here). The service, which is basically just a consolidated view statement data across the bank's transaction accounts, is a great example of positioning online banking features in a way that resonates with users. It was awarded an OBR Best of the Web in 2005, finishing the year as the tenth most important new development of the year (report here).

The story finished with hints of new services planned for later this year at Everbank, Bremer Financial (powered by Corillian), and a Digital Insight tool that allows users to hand enter additional bill payments in order to their entire payments picture in one place.