Archive for March, 2009

Introducing Wesabe Springboard, our new platform for credit unions and banks

March 18, 2009

When we first launched Wesabe back in 2006, we heard from strategists at nearly every large bank, all of whom were excited by what we were doing and talked about how long they’d been thinking of similar features for their sites. We quickly realized that many of the people calling us were looking at us as an experiment for things they’d long wanted to do — an experiment they perhaps wanted to observe from a safe distance in case it didn’t work.

Fast forward to this fall. As the economic downturn and mortgage crisis developed, we started hearing from more financial institutions. The tone of the calls completely changed –- no longer were these fact-finding missions, but senior-level executives were telling us that they had watched our success and the growth of our space for the past couple of years, and now needed to help their members during these tough economic times. They saw how Wesabe was helping people with their money, how incredibly strong the Wesabe community is, and they wanted to know how they could work with us to bring those strengths to their sites — not as a long-term goal but as an immediate need. Even though the banks and credit unions who were getting in touch weren’t involved in the subprime mess, they were worried about being painted with the same broad brush as the failing institutions dominating headlines. Clearly, it was now a priority to shore up their existing customer relationships and attract some of the consumers who had seen their brand-name banks collapse overnight.

And so in January, we started testing Wesabe Springboard, a web-services-based version of Wesabe for financial institutions. The response so far has been very positive and encouraging — again and again we’ve heard, “This is exactly what we need to make our site into what our customers need right now.”

Springboard UIToday, we’re officially launching Springboard, and hope that through partnerships with credit unions and banks, more and more people will be able to get more value for their money. This revenue model will let us continue to keep the existing Wesabe site free to all our members. And because Wesabe learns from every single person who joins –- be it how they tag or rate a merchant, what Cutbacks they choose or don’t choose, or how often they return to that new restaurant down the street –- we believe that expanding Wesabe’s reach will only serve to improve our community and our ability to help people achieve their financial goals.

If you are a with a financial institution and would like to learn more about our services, you can read more here, or please drop us a line at springboard@wesabe.com.

Upcoming Appearance: It's Your Money

March 13, 2009

Its_your_moneyMarc Hedlund will be talking about what it means to be good with money at the It’s Your Money conference in San Francisco tomorrow afternoon.

It’s Your Money is a hands-on educational event for college graduates and soon-to-be grads to learn real world personal finance skills. Participants at the afternoon event will:

  • Learn surprisingly simple ways to build a personal financial safety net
  • Develop a step-by-step, practical budget with room for fun without the guilt
  • Learn how to avoid common, costly mistakes
  • Benefit from lessons learned by other recent grads who have dramatically increased and protected their savings
  • Understand how simple decisions have a big impact on their ability to spend and save
  • Gain real-world skills and long-term strategies for building a retirement “nest egg”

The conference is only $18 (to cover the venue). If you’re graduating soon, or have been out in the “real world” for awhile, this event will take the mystery out of building a secure financial future that matches your own strengths and needs.

If you happen to come to the conference, please drop by and say hello!

Free preview of Wesabe advisor Ramit Sethi’s new book!

March 10, 2009

screenshot_6.png“This isn’t your grandma’s house and I’m not going to bake cookies and coddle you.  A lot of your financial problems are caused by one person: you.  Instead of blaming the economy and “corporate America” for your financial situation, you need to focus on what you can change yourself.”          — Ramit Sethi

Ramit fans, rejoice!  The straight-talking creator of the I Will Teach You To Be Rich blog has authored a soon-to-be released book, also titled I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

And because Ramit is a Wesabe advisor, we scored an absolutely free and absolutely awesome perk for our members – an advance peek at his book, including the first three full chapters in PDF format.  Just click here and enter your email address.  We’ll send a link to the first chapter this Thursday and the next two over the next couple weeks.  NOTE: This is, as the folks on TV like to say, a limited time offer – you need to sign up by 7 p.m. Pacific time tomorrow (Wednesday, March 11) to get the chapters.

While the book targets 20-to-35-year-olds, it has practical, get-off-your-butt advice for people of any age.  It includes a six-week program showing how to optimize your credit cards, eliminate late/overdraft fees, spend consciously and invest sensibly.  Read this book, and you will save money.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich will be available starting March 29 at Amazon.com.  Congratulations, Ramit, and thanks so much giving our members an advance look.

Community Wisdom in Wesabepedia

March 9, 2009

If there’s anything to be said of Wesabeans, it’s that they’re vocal. This is great since they ask questions, let us know what they want, and write their own documentation. What? Really? Incredible!

Often we can’t (or don’t) write fast enough for the official documentation to cover everyone’s questions and needs. Enter Wesabepedia — user created and maintained documentation. Not only is it user created and maintained, it wasn’t even our idea — Wesabe users dreamt it up and put it together for the benefit of the community.

Our new user manual should answer most questions about how we envision people using Wesabe, but Wesabepedia lets Wesabeans share “how to” notes on using the site in ways we never imagined — many of them far better than what we had planned. It’s for the users, by the users, on the topics the users want, and we couldn’t be happier.

In appreciation for Wesabepedia and the people behind it, we’ve started linking to it in our “Community Resources” section under help. Explore and enjoy!

A new day for Wesabe documentation

March 9, 2009

Often a Wesabean writes Wesabe support saying, “I couldn’t find this in the help, I hope I’m doing the right thing writing in here”. Sometimes the Wesabean is a bit more direct, saying, “So, this should be in the FAQ, but I couldn’t find it”. The answer to both of those (up until now) has been a sad, “Yes, you’re right, our documentation has gaps bigger than the Grand Canyon. Don’t feel bad — it’s not you, it’s us”.

No longer! Paul and I have written, compiled, edited, organized, and perfected Wesabe’s official documentation. Ok, strike that last one, I just found a typo. As I was saying, it’s quite good and should have an answer or some advice for almost any question or problem. Check out the new Wesabe user manual, found under Wesabe help.

Also, if you do find a problem like incorrect information, missing information, or just plain confusing information, could you let us know at support@wesabe.com? We want our documentation to grow up right, and good ol’ fashioned feedback can only help.