Should Banks Target PFMs At Younger Audiences?

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

By Bob Landry, VP, Customer-Centric DeliveryChannels

Personal Financial Management “PFM” has garnered a greatdeal of interest in the retail banking community in the last yearbased on the success of free internet sites targeting the internetgeneration including Mint.com (acquired by Intuit last year at thistime) and SmartyPig.com.What separates these new sites from thevenerable old PC-based Intuit Quicken and Microsoft Money is asimpler interface and a new younger “voice” focused on the youngergeneration.While the growth of older full-function PFMs stalled atabout 12 million users, the internet PFMs have awakened a newaudience of young adults looking for a smarter way to run theirfinancial lives during this recession when people are worried thatthe “rainy day” they were going to save for may be nextweek..

American Expresses just announced a new offering in theyouth oriented PFM space called Currency (getcurrency.com).The siteis not a complete PFM, but provides a good example of how a socialnetwork-based, lifestyle-oriented financial advice solution couldring a bell with the younger generation.Created in partnership withFederated Media, the site provides tips and suggestions on savingand spending and allows members to share their experiences withfriends through Facebook.They also offer an iPhone app calledSocial Currency that extends the application into their day to dayspending activity.

As banks are looking to add PFM capabilities to theironline banking solutions they need to look for ways to keep itsimple, make it mobile, and attract the younger generation who willdrive revenues for the next 20 years.Some banks are offering someinteresting solutions today.PNC’s Virtual Wallet provides a greatexample of a full-function,youth -riented PFM and SunTrust’s LiveSolid demonstrates how to communicating with customers using thelifestyle approach.

Read related feature PaymentsJournalarticle:

American Express, HelpsYoung Adults Take Charge of Their Personal Finances with the Launchof an Innovative Digital Platform