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CUs reach younger members through MyMoney on Facebook
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (3/25/08)--Credit unions can reach a younger audience through a new online banking application on Facebook. Fiserv’s MyMoney, which was built on the Facebook platform and went live in early February, allows credit union members to manage finances from their Facebook profile. Users can search for credit unions online, check account balances, review transaction history and transfer money between accounts. Fifty credit unions have signed up for MyMoney. Fourteen currently use it, Fiserv said. “I love the appearance of it,” Dan Veasey, director of marketing at Piedmont CU, Danville, Va., told News Now. “It has the ease of use like the rest of Facebook.” Like most credit unions, Piedmont is looking to draw younger members. Piedmont is located in a rural area of modest incomes and has an average member age of 48. It recently launched online banking, which about 500 to 600 members of the total 6,500 use. Veasey recently surveyed members about Facebook, and 40% said they’d heard of the social network, while about 10% were either using it or live with someone who is. Christian Financial CU, Roseville, Mich., also deployed the application. It’s been “really good” so far, Lauren Vance, marketing manager, told News Now. The credit union has not begun promoting the application externally. “We’re in the process of training our employees on it right now,” Vance said. The credit union has 30 “fans” on its Facebook page so far. Because Christian Financial has Fiserv’s iSwitchkit, Facebook users can join the credit union through Facebook and begin managing their accounts, she added. Christian Financial plans to promote MyMoney through Facebook ads and would like to have 500 members on it within the first year. Members have responded positively to MyMoney because it’s easy to use. Some were concerned about security, but “once they’re on it, they feel comfortable,” Vance said. Veasey also noted that he spoke with a younger member about MyMoney who expressed concerns about security. Veasey pointed out the application has multi-layered security. MyMoney is convenient for people who already use Facebook because they can do their banking without having to visit an external site, Vance added. Fiserv created MyMoney to leverage the growing popularity of Facebook, with the goal of helping credit unions attract new members from younger generations. About 94% of the 18 to 24-year-old audience does not belong to a credit union, Fiserv said. “Many credit unions we’ve spoken to are looking for ways to attract younger members,” said Jay Slavin, senior vice president of Fiserv’s Galaxy Business Line. “We researched and recognized the popularity of Facebook with this demographic, and proactively created the MyMoney application to fulfill this need.” Along with leveraging the viral marketing capabilities of Facebook, credit unions can create their own pages on Facebook by adding their logo and information about the credit union, such as recent news, rates, services, events and other details. MyMoney uses multiple layers of security to ensure that only members can access their account. In addition to the standard privacy features offered by Facebook, MyMoney uses a 128-bit encryption and a built-in two-way security system to let members know they’re connected to their credit union, and to let the credit union know a legitimate member is accessing the account. MyMoney can be used by any financial institution, regardless of its core processing system, Fiserv said. “With Facebook’s increasing popularity, viral marketing opportunities, and enhanced security measures, we felt the MyMoney application was the perfect avenue to help our clients connect with this generation,” Slavin said.
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