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

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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.

18 Responses to “Introducing Wesabe Springboard, our new platform for credit unions and banks”

  1. stephanie Says:

    Congratulations Wesabe!

  2. Celent Banking Blog » Banks need to jump onto the PFM bandwagon Says:

    […] Wesabe announced today that they will start to sell their PFM offering (dubbed Springboard) to banks and credit unions. Wesabe is not the first vendor to start selling directly to banks. Earlier this year, Geezeo made a similar announcement. These are win-win moves for both the banks and the software companies: – Bank PFM tools cannot compete with the rich solutions offered by non-bank providers. They need to update their offerings in order to remain competitive and keep clients attracted to their sites. For more info see my post on PFM Meets Social Networking. –  The non-bank PFM providers have been struggling to make money. Their products are offered free of charge to consumers and their online business models are questionable. Direct sales to banks will provide a much needed revenue stream. […]

  3. T Says:

    Hey, that’s great news for all involved – congratulations!!

  4. Rehan Says:

    A more useful thing for banks to do would be to start offering OAuth access to your data – wesabe/buxfer/whatever can get revocable read-only access.

  5. David Powell Says:

    So if they cant make money and they are switching strategies, what happens if they are unsuccessful with the banks?

  6. Christopher D. Ritter Says:

    This is best news I’ve heard all week!

  7. Charlie Park Says:

    David, I know you know that opening up a new channel isn’t the same as “can’t make money,” and that it isn’t the same as “switching strategies.” I’m not sure why there’s hostility in your question. (And if I’m misreading the tone of your comment, I apologize.) But this seems like an excellent way to broaden the userbase in a way that both meets the needs of their current users and meets the needs of potential customers (the banks). Everyone wins here.

    As mentioned in this post, the more people use the service (be they coming directly through wesabe.com or through a bank’s frontend), the service will only get better. It expands their reach in a way that is completely in-line with their strategy. And rather than going back and forth here, if you want to talk further, you can e-mail me at charlie@monotask.com.

    To Wesabe – I’d like to recommend SpringBoard to one of my banks (a local bank, here in Virginia). Any suggestions for how to do that?

  8. Marc Hedlund Says:

    David – it’s certainly fair to ask, but for the record, we aren’t switching strategies. We were not generating revenue before this launch. We’re choosing a revenue strategy based on demand, which is (in my view) the right way to do it.

  9. Scott Reeves Says:

    That “Reminders” section is looking mighty tasty. Any chance we’ll see that on the main site anytime soon?

  10. MattH Says:

    So I don’t really see why this is of any benefit to Wesabe customers… The two biggest draws of Wesabe for me are:

    1. Only have to use one website to look at my multiple accounts
    2. I *don’t* have to use my crappy bank’s web sites

    The biggest downsides of Wesabe are:

    1. The data from the banks is incomplete (transaction names from ING, lack of info about pending transactions)
    2. Wesabe only has a read-only relationship with the banks, no ability to perform actions (schedule transaction, send e-bill immediately)

    This announcement is only good for web devs of big banks and bad, I would argue for people like me. Now they can say “Hey we’ve got all these great features on our website, you don’t need to use the regular Wesabe any more.” My bank account’s are my data. And I should be able to interface with them however I wish, not be beholden to the sluggish pace of innovation of the banks. In short, wake me up when you announce the banks are opening up an API that makes Wesabe better.

  11. Marc Hedlund Says:

    Matt,

    I understand the concern. That said, the two downsides you list are both helped by integrating with banks. Nearly all of the people talking with us *do* want to open an API to make the integration closer. Of course they want you to have a better experience on their sites by working with us, but they also want the people on Wesabe to be happy with the service they provide. So, I think you’ll get both benefits, provided that your bank(s) or credit card(s) choose to work with us.

    Also, a lot of our site improves the more people’s data we see (transaction editing and tagging, tips, cutback suggestions, etc.). We think working with bank populations will improve every one of those parts of the site.

  12. Marc Hedlund Says:

    Scott, You’ll see that full UI added to our main site as soon as possible.

  13. Tom Says:

    Can’t wait to see that UI on the main site!

  14. Roundup: Xbox defects rise, Windows Live Messenger comes to websites, and more » VentureBeat Says:

    […] Wesabe launches SpringBoard platform for banks — The platform takes Wesabe’s personal financial management tools and offers similar services to banks and credit unions. […]

  15. Mathew Says:

    Hi Guys.

    I’m a Wasabe fan. I have a concern: have you ever seen a bank web site that incorporates such a slick UI? It seems that what you have built has NO congruence with the banking industry.

    Online banking sites are optimized for security. They are not optimized for a great user experience. Every new feature implementation takes a long time and requires tremendous scrutiny to ensure it is secure.

    Banks implement third-party products like CheckFree and Metavante and Yodlee. Look at the UI’s of those products. Look at the implemention guides (if you can find them). “Serious” products. Not “fun” products. Not rounded corners or reflections.

    Just my thoughts. Good luck!

  16. Wesabe to Power Bank and Credit Union Personal Finance Communities with White-label Deals | Velt Says:

    […] Wesabe to Power Bank and Credit Union Personal Finance Communities with White-label Deals March 21st, 2009 | Tags: Today, Wesabe (company blog post) joined Geezeo (press release) in officially pursuing a strategy of white-labeling its personal finance services for banks and credit unions (note 1). Wesabe CEO Marc Hedlund told me they have three deals in various stages of the contract process, but none have signed on the dotted line yet. […]

  17. Banks need to jump onto the PFM bandwagon | Velt Says:

    […] Banks need to jump onto the PFM bandwagon March 21st, 2009 | Tags: Wesabe announced today that they will start to sell their PFM offering (dubbed Springboard) to banks and credit unions. Wesabe is not the first vendor to start selling directly to banks. Earlier this year, Geezeo made a similar announcement. These are win-win moves for both the banks and the software companies: – Bank PFM tools cannot compete with the rich solutions offered by non-bank providers. They need to update their offerings in order to remain competitive and keep clients attracted to their sites. For more info see my post on PFM Meets Social Networking. –  The non-bank PFM providers have been struggling to make money. Their products are offered free of charge to consumers and their online business models are questionable. Direct sales to banks will provide a much needed revenue stream. […]

  18. Jamie Says:

    Hey Marc & the Wesabe crew,

    Springboard looks great. I’d be thrilled to have Wesabe services better integrated with my bank. I just had a conversation with KeyBank customer service telling them they had better get it together. Services like Wesabe are making people realize that there is something better out there, services that add real value and help people track their money, report on their financial behavior and be smarter with their money. I told KeyBank they better start playing nice with services like Wesabe or customers will be taking their business elsewhere (I was nice about it, just wanted to make sure my voice was heard).

    I think banks would be crazy to not be looking at services like Springboard. Most have terrible online banking, proven by the fact that so many people are rushing to Wesabe and other like services desperate for a better way to track their financial data. Can you imagine a bank that had Wesabe and a Turbo Tax like service built in?? Talk about making your life easier!!! Are there other Wesabe community members that are also fed up with bad online banking experiences? Any recommendations on banks that have good online banking? Wouldn’t you consider a bank that used a service like Springboard? I would love to hear from other community members with your thoughts.

    Now, about that cool looking Springboard UI. It’s been eight days and I’m counting them, waiting to see the changes to the consumer Wesabe. Any changes we might see a preview larger than the image above? 😉 Thanks, keep up the good work.

    Happy tax time Wesabe community!

    Jamie

    PS. How is the iPhone app coming??

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