Banking 2.0: SmartyPig Defines New Era in Banking with Innovative Use of Social Media

21st Century Piggy Bank Increases Social Media Functionality with New Twitter and Facebook Connect Features

Sep 29, 2009, 09:00 ET from SmartyPig

NEW YORK, Sept. 29, /PRNewswire/ -- SmartyPig, the leader in the social money space, unveiled new features at today's Finovate conference, keeping the company at the forefront of Banking 2.0.

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Like a modern, high-tech piggy bank, SmartyPig allows users to create specific savings goals, determine a savings schedule, automate monthly contributions from their existing checking or savings account, and track their progress while earning one of the most competitive interest rates in the country (2.01% APY). Equipped with social networking features, SmartyPig gives savers the option of involving friends and family in the process. SmartyPig customers can invite friends and family members to be a part of the process via sites like Facebook so that they can check in on saving progress and even contribute towards those goals. When a goal is reached, they can transfer the savings plus interest back to their existing checking or savings account, receive it on a SmartyPig MasterCard® debit card (which can be used anywhere MasterCard® is accepted) or opt to put it on a relevant retail gift card from name brand partners such as Best Buy, Amazon.com and Home Depot and receive up to an additional 6% cash boost, turning smart savers into smart spenders.

Increasing Social Media Functionality with New Goal Sharing Features

New features introduced today expand on SmartyPig's existing social media functionality. 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.

"Setting and achieving a savings goal is a really empowering experience and we're finding that SmartyPig customers increasingly want to involve their friends and family in the process--especially when the goal is one that everybody is cheering for, like newlyweds and their down payment on their first home," said Chairman and Co-Founder Mike Ferrari. "Our new Facebook and Twitter Connect tools allow them to share their goals more easily, communicating each step towards achieving them."

Redefining How Consumers Interact with their Financial Institutions

With thousands of people interacting with SmartyPig using social networking sites, SmartyPig's use of social media sets it apart from other financial services companies. Leveraging the latest in Web 2.0 technology, applications and websites, SmartyPig makes saving a social experience, attracting a next generation of banking customer to the time-honored tradition of saving. SmartyPig has redefined how consumers interact with their financial service partners--actively engaging them in ongoing dialogue--and currently has more followers on Twitter than BofA, Citi and Wells Fargo. The company has an open line of communication with its customers who often engage in conversations directly with executives via social networking services, as well as the company's blog.

Incredible Viral Growth

SmartyPig's use of social media has led to astounding growth with minimal marketing expenditures, thanks in large part to customers who have been quick to share their positive banking experiences with friends, family members and social network contacts. This momentum has caught the attention of the financial community, analysts, media and investors--most recently attracting a significant investment from Red McCombs, co-founder of Clear Channel Communications and long-standing member of the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans.

ABOUT SMARTYPIG

SmartyPig is a Des Moines, Iowa, based company that enables customers to open goal-based savings accounts that allows friends and family to contribute to their goals using social networking features and offers cash incentives from top retailers and vacation companies. Since launching in April 2008, the innovative social savings platform developed by SmartyPig has proven extremely popular with consumers throughout the country thanks in large part to customers who have been quick to share their positive banking experiences with friends, family members and social networking contacts. SmartyPig expects to have taken in close to $500 million in deposits by yearend with $100 million of goals being reached and redeemed. The system is based on proprietary, patent-pending technology and features the latest in security standards. SmartyPig's U.S. banking partner is West Bank, a subsidiary of West Bancorporation, Inc. All funds are held in West Bank and are FDIC insured up to the legal limit of $250,000. The company's Australian banking partner is Australian New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ).

SOURCE SmartyPig



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