Magazine article ABA Bank Marketing

New Online Personal Financial Sites Offer a Look into the Future of Online Banking

Magazine article ABA Bank Marketing

New Online Personal Financial Sites Offer a Look into the Future of Online Banking

Article excerpt

A new crop of nonbank online personal finance sites combining traditional account aggregation services with Web 2.0 concepts is garnering considerable attention from the media and gaining users. The sites provide a novel approach to aggregating and managing multiple aspects of an individual's financial life online, according to a new report from TowerGroup, Needham, Mass.

The host of online personal finance Web sites that have emerged in recent years--including such names as Banzai, Mint, and Wesabe--leverage intuitive user interfaces to offer personal financial management (PFM) tools, some level of financial advice, and, in many cases, social interaction. In contrast to the online account aggregation services offered by several large traditional banks, these new sites leverage consumers' propensity for online interaction and information sharing to provide services and insights beyond those of most online banking portals. The services include innovative ways to view personal financial information, the opportunity to see how others manage and spend their money, and, in some instances, free financial advice from experts or the user community at large.

"Consumers are often drawn to these new offerings by attractive interfaces and compelling market campaigns," said George Tubin, senior research director of the Delivery Channels and Financial Information Security practices at TowerGroup. "By incorporating state-of-the-art Web technologies and community-sharing features like Web forums and blogs, these sites seek to tap into individuals' desire to interact, share, learn, and belong to a like-minded community. …

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