SmartyPig, a US online saving service that uses Web 2.0 technology to enable account holders to deposit money and receive funds from others, has recruited ANZ Bank to launch the system in Australia.
The ANZ service will be based on the US site, which lets users create a profile and explain their saving goal and how much money they need to raise. SmartyPig then suggests a monthly contribution to be automatically deducted from the customer's bank account.
Customers can also add a SmartyPig "widget" to MySpace and Facebook pages so their contacts can contribute to the fund.
Brian Hartzer, CEO, ANZ Australia, says the bank will be the first in Australia to introduce a savings product based on Web 2.0 and social networking technology.
"We know that young people have unique needs when it comes to their finances. They look for simple, efficient and secure ways to manage their money and are more likely to bank online, as they are very comfortable with the technology," says Hartzer. "Partnering with companies like SmartyPig who can innovate and get to market rapidly helps us extend our point of difference."
"This is our first foray into international territory, and ANZ is a terrific partner to prove the model overseas," says Jon Gaskell, co-founder, SmartyPig. "ANZ has a clear strategy regarding the introduction of distinct propositions to reach a very important, very socially plugged-in demographic."
In the US, customers that have reached their savings target receive the funds and interest on a SmartyPig debit card, which can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted, including ATMs. Customers can also request their money on a gift card from partner retailers - including Amazon, Bloomingdales, Gap and Macy's - which offer an additional "incentive boost" of up to five per cent on top of the amount saved.