Silicon Valley-based KeyPoint Credit Union has teamed with mobile banking outfit MShift to develop an application that enables customers to access their Web accounts from within online social networking site Facebook.
KeyPoint CU - which serves technology companies including Apple and Google - is the first financial institution to launch account access via Facebook.
The application provides customers with secure, one-click access to online bank account information. The CU says all account information data is encrypted with a minimum of 128 bits and no user data is stored on the Facebook servers.
The system also provides users with information from and about KeyPoint CU and includes a social forum for members.
The application has been developed using MShift's mobile banking technology and the Facebook API, which enables companies to integrate applications and gain access to Facebook's 24 million users.
"The Facebook banking application is our latest secure channel providing access for our high speed members," says Juli Anne Callis, EVP and COO, KeyPoint CU.
"Our current membership is significantly younger and more globally mobile than the typical credit union member. That means we need to be out there scouting for the ways to bring value in the form of the latest convenience to our existing members or risk losing them," adds Callis. "What better way to make a difference in the overly commoditised retail banking market, then to link our banking service into our member life style experience and their main social networking platform."
KeyPoint CU is not alone in developing financial services for the rapidly growing Facebook community.
Earlier this year Californian start-up Lending Club launched a person-to-person service on Facebook, while rival lending platform Prosper introduced its Fantasy Banker application which allows users to bet on real-life, real-time loan listings on the Prosper Web site.
In August TD Canada Trust also moved to tap into the growing use of social networking sites by launching an application on Facebook that enables roommates to track and manage how they split household bills.