Spain's CaixaBank has unveiled an app that lets customers check their bank balances and make transactions through Facebook.
It's astonishing that it's taken so long for Caixa to implement this.
And it's more astonishing how few other banks have implemented a Facebook channel (a financial services term which I usually argue against, but in this case it gets my point across).
Facebook penetration is so high, and with APIs already produced by financial services companies for mobile apps, creating a Facebook app should be a standard business approach.
While we're at it, why not use Facebook Connect to log into Internet banking? It's more secure than a 4 digit PIN number for my card. And a lot more traceable.
Maybe the way to value from Facebook users is thourgh hyper-targeted marketing and not thourgh banking transactions. The consumer banking segment is so unprofitable today it's going to take lots more than a Facebook-to-bank app to bring the business back.
In what was arguably a global first, ICICI Bank did this over 2 years ago in India (http://www.finextra.com/news/fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=23331). At the time, I'd commented that, since I found no compelling reason to switch away from NetBanking, I was unlikely
to use the FB channel beyond my trial for novelty's sake. I predicted right. But that's only me. With more banks launching FB Banking, we'll soon know how many customers really wish to use social media for banking.
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