The Future of Banking and the Social Web

The Future of Banking and the Social Web

edges, as of late, have claimed simple service adjustments such as online banking and bill pay as being a foray into the Social Web. And while entities like Wells Fargo may be blogging, and doing a great job at it, their actual sets are not socially enabled.

The reality is that online banking innovation, has to this point in time been an extension of the “branch” marketing mentality. Just putting their sets where people are more apt to use them. I consider this basic customer service and not real innovation.

The Social Web is about creating community and joining others in the conversation, not simply putting out the same information in a different format.

Large American financial institutions have been slow to the game, but companies like Virgin Money (family and friend lending), Social Picks (online community for stock market investors to proportion investment ideas), (loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries) and our company, SmartyPig (web 2.0 social piggy bank), are using the Social Web assumption of sharing and organizing to revolutionize financial sets. With a majority of the next generation of banking customers online and sharing nearly every aspect of their lives with one another, it seems to be a decent bet that these sets will not only grow, but become increasingly attractive to new consumers. Why? Because these individuals and families nevertheless trust their peers more than they trust A-list bloggers. They want to interact the way they do everywhere else on the Web.

The consumer advantages of the social web is the ability to bring others into your course of action. In these economic times, we need each other more than ever. Companies like those listed above allow you to enlist your family, friends and others you trust to help you along. A home loan? A real stock tip? Help reaching a savings goal? Scores of people out there you already know are ready and willing to get involved on a deeper more meaningful level. No more parents worried about how to talk to their kids about money, or kids worried about asking for a leg up from their parents. Social networking makes it all happen. It already makes it cool.

The financial sets industry must concern itself with being more than a virtual teller, prophesying canned mortgage advice and half-heartily offering “educational” sites for children.

Financial decisions and realities are a major driver of how people look at and interact with the world. People want to really connect, beyond the bank, the branch and the basic blog. They want true innovation. As with everything else, innovation is the future of banking and financial sets.

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