Facebook users want Web 2.0 banking

Facebook users want Web 2.0 banking

New research has found that around half of Facebook users would use Web 2.0 applications for online banking, while a quarter would even consider switching banks to obtain Web 2.0 services.

A poll of 1000 Facebook users aged between 18 and 34 by Web 2.0 specialist WorkLight found that 48% of respondents would take advantage of online banking with Web 2.0 gadgets if their banks offered the service, while one in four would consider leaving their bank in order to obtain online banking through networking widgets.

The survey reveals 55% of men would consider managing personal finances with Web 2.0, compared to 45% of women. Meanwhile 53% of 25 to 34 year olds are open to the idea, compared to 45% of 18 to 24 year olds. The older age group is also more likely to switch banks for Web 2.0 gadgets than 18 to 24 year olds.

Commenting on the survey findings, David Lavenda, VP, marketing and product strategy, Worklight, says: "To lose a quarter of your customers to competitors who have provided secure Web 2.0 banking would bear a significant impact on existing business. This is particularly true at a time when financial services companies are struggling to retain and acquire customers in a market that saturated with new competitors and countless new offerings."

In 2006 research group Gartner called on financial services firms to use Web 2.0 applications such as wikis, podcasts and blogs in order to improve cross-enterprise collaboration and deliver personalised information to clients.

But research conducted last year by IT specialist Conchango found fears over brand damage are preventing the UK's major retail banks and building societies from implementing Web 2.0 applications.

However, as Worklight encourages banks to adopt Web 2.0 technologies, a new person-to-person social lending Web site is launching today, looking to take advantage of the increasing difficulties US students face securing loans from banks in the post-credit crunch market.

The credit crisis has led to traditional lenders such as banks and credit unions declining some student borrowers who would previously have qualified for college loans. The new GreenNote site is the second P2P marketplace in the US dedicated solely to student loans to launch in the last month, following in the footsteps of rival Fynanz.

To use the service, students set up an online profile and then connect to their social networks to get loans from friends, family and communities. Students must borrow as least $1000 although lenders can offer as little as $100.

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