Magazine article American Banker

Smarty Pig Lets Third-Party Sites Access Its Data

Magazine article American Banker

Smarty Pig Lets Third-Party Sites Access Its Data

Article excerpt

Byline: Daniel Wolfe

Smarty Pig LLC, which helps banks provide online savings accounts with a social networking element, now lets users monitor their money through third-party financial management Web sites.

Mike Ferrari, a co-founder of the Des Moines company, said in an interview Monday that demand for a link to third-party sites was clear roughly a year ago, when Mint Software Inc. erroneously listed Smarty Pig as being compatible with its account aggregation feature, and some Smarty Pig users tried unsuccessfully to link their information to Mint's personal financial management site.

When Smarty Pig installed software last week that lets users export their account details, the effect was immediate and automatic, Ferrari said. "Anyone who had actually set up Smarty Pig in these accounts, they immediately started to pull" the data. "So what we saw was, in a three-day period, we saw roughly 10% of our users immediately started synching their data with a money management site."

Smarty Pig announced Monday that it was exporting data to other companies through OFX, a widely used application for updating personal financial management applications and Web sites with information from users' accounts.

News of the change quickly spread online, he said. "I woke up one morning and I checked our Twitter account, and all of a sudden I saw lots of 'tweets' from people coming in and saying: 'Hey, my Smarty Pig account works today for some reason.' It was one of those things that we just hadn't really anticipated."

Personal financial management sites have become more popular during the recession as more people have sought tools to give them a full picture of their finances. Many providers, hoping to appeal to this appetite, have added features such as budget forecasts and links to investment accounts to improve the utility and ease of use of their analytic tools. …

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