The SmartyPig Blog

Groundbreaking Social Features Launched!

On Tuesday of this week, I gave a first glimpse into some of our new social features we’ve been working on to those in attendance at Finovate in NYC. And today I’m excited to announce that they are now LIVE! These new features exist in your profile under a new tab called “Sharing”.

SmartyPig: New Sharing Tab

Facebook and Twitter Integration

New features introduced today expand on SmartyPig’s existing social media functionality and are a first in the banking industry! SmartyPig users now have the option to securely connect their existing Twitter and/or Facebook account to any goals that they have chosen to share with friends and family. When Twitter is connected to a shared SmartyPig goal, SmartyPig will automatically post to that Twitter account any time funds are added towards meeting a goal. The Facebook connect feature works similarly, posting to the Facebook user’s wall every time funds are added towards meeting a goal that they have chosen to share. The best part about this connectivity is that the posts and tweets happen automatically. So even if you are not logged in to your SmartyPig, Twitter or Facebook account, SmartyPig will continue to post tweets and wall posts on your behalf when funds have been added to your goal. Again, this type of connectivity is a first in the banking space so we are really excited to get your feedback. Check out the screen shots below from my own personal account! Connecting to your Facebook or Twitter account is simple. Here’s the Facebook and Twitter connect pages.

SmartyPig: Facebook Share Page - not conneceted

SmartyPig: Twitter Share Page - not conneceted

Once connected, the page expands and you can now select the goals you would like SmartyPig to post/tweet on your behalf. In addition, you can include a link to your SmartyPig sharing page, so friends and family can easily contribute to your goal!

SmartyPig: Facebook Share Page - connected

SmartyPig: Twitter Share Page - connected

And here is an example of what a tweet and wall post looks like to your friends and followers, anytime funds are added to your goal (via recurring monthly contribution, one-time adds of money and gifts from family and friends).

SmartyPig: Facebook Wall Post

SmartyPig: Twitter Tweet

Enhanced Widget

Second, we heard loud and clear that you wanted more customizable options for the widget so we completely enhanced the widget creation process. As of today, we launched an entirely new customizable widget that allows you to include multiple goals, customize messaging and graphics, link to your SmartyPig sharing page and integrate with over 28 social destinations like Facebook, MySpace, blogger and more. Here is the widget creation page:

SmartyPig: Widget Creation

And here is a sample widget:

SmartyPig: Widget

Setting and achieving a goal is a very empowering experience and many of you enjoy involving your friends and family in the process. Please test run the new Facebook and Twitter connect features and enhanced widget and let us know what you think.

Thanks!

Mike Ferrari, co-founder
@mferrari

Great Customer Tweet

We\’re obviously conscious about how people are engaging with our tool. This is why we\’ve set up numerous customer touch points via our blog, Twitter, Facebook and Get Satisfaction.

This came across my reader thru Twitter and we can\’t help but want to share it with everyone.

\"Twitter

This goes back to our roots regarding changing people\’s behavior with how they save and the true feelings of accomplishment they get using SmartyPig. And it is the very reason I started out on this journey some two odd years ago of creating this system. Because in the end there is nothing more optimistic than setting a goal. And there is nothing more satisfying than reaching it.

Thanks, Mike

The Future of Banking and The Social Web

Banks, 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 services 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 services 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 share investment ideas), Kiva (loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries) and our company, SmartyPig (web 2.0 social piggy bank), are using the Social Web premise of sharing and organizing to revolutionize financial services. 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 services will not only grow, but become increasingly attractive to new consumers. Why? Because these individuals and families still trust their peers more than they trust A-list bloggers. They want to interact the way they do everywhere else on the Web.
(more…)