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Google Reaches for Your Wallet

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 26, 2011 04:00 PM

Last week, Google launched a new service, Google Advisor, to help consumers make money decisions and compare financial products: credit cards, CDs, checking, and savings accounts.

Today, the search giant unveiled its own financial product, Google Wallet, at a press conference in New York, with partners Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint, sharing the stage.

Can Google Banking be far behind?Continue reading...

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JPMorgan Chase "Most Improved" in Q1 Bank Brand Report

Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 3, 2011 01:00 PM

"Sentiment analysis" is becoming increasingly important form of analysis, one that has been made possible by the vast increase in content and social chatter across the web, when customers are more than ready (see above) to air their grievances online — particularly when it comes to brands that have a hand in their wallets.

General Sentiment is one of the firms that scours and analyzes over 40 million sources of content, "listening" in real time to public opinions expressed regarding, among other things, brands. With bank brands such a hot topic of social chatter in these cash-strapped times, the social-media analyst just released its Retail Banking Report  for Q1 2011.Continue reading...

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US Consumers Hunker Down as CEOs Stay Optimistic

Posted by Dale Buss on March 29, 2011 04:00 PM

After a relatively rosy first couple of months of the year, US economic reports are more mixed in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the resulting disruption in manufacturing and supply networks, as well as with rising oil prices amid war in the Middle East.

While domestic auto sales appear to have continued their recovery in March, for instance, American consumer confidence has dipped again lately. New Conference Board data shows that consumer confidence dipped 8.6% in March, "pulled down by gloomy expectations about the economy and labor markets." 

Even so, with calamity and strife causing global jitters from Japan to Libya and everywhere in between, IHS Global Insight has been telling its clients worried about the US economy: "Relax."Continue reading...

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Study: Financial Brands Overlook "Unsuspecting" Millennials

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 17, 2010 10:00 AM

Not surprisingly, trust in financial institutions has nose-dived since the recent worldwide financial meltdown. 

Research firm Mintel Comperemedia says less than one-third (only 28%) of respondents in a new study say they trust the financial services industry and the company suggests that "much of the trust that many brands enjoyed over decades has eroded and that will have to be re-earned." 

An added challenge for such institutions is the fact that there are simply too many investment choices; consumers "are afraid to make a bad decision and choose the wrong product."

What's a bank, investment firm or insurance company to do?Continue reading...

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Citi Reinvents the Credit Card

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 28, 2010 10:00 AM

The rest of the world is abandoning the black magnetic strip on the back of credit cards, moving instead to embedded chips. While new U.S. passports and some state licenses use such technology, U.S. credit card companies have not made any significant advances beyond the use of the strip in recent years. But that's all about to change.

Next month Citibank will begin testing a new 2G credit card, which incorporates an embedded chip and a battery, along with two buttons and lights. The buttons let cardholders choose whether to pay for a purchase with credit or "thank you points" (rewards), according to the New York Times.

Citi plans to offer the new card to existing account holders of two rewards accounts.Continue reading...

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Citi Supports Fair Lending in the U.K.

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 21, 2010 11:00 AM

Citi's commitment to boosting communities in need includes bringing microfinance lending to communities in need — even in developed countries.

It's been working with grassroots organizations including Fair Finance, a London-based social enterprise founded by Faisel Rahman, a former World Bank staffer. The goal of the partnership: support fair lending and financial services for local entrepreneurs and struggling individuals in the underserved community of East London.Continue reading...

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Raymond James Pitches "Tales of Financial Pragmatism"

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 20, 2010 10:00 AM

It's a fanciful scenario, to be sure: Emily Skinner, a "fastidious librarian," lives to the improbable age of 187, enjoying life to the fullest every step of the way because she had the money she needed to do so — thanks to the prudent investment strategies of U.S. financial advisory brand Raymond James.

This is the first in a series of "Tales of Financial Pragmatism," a new ad campaign that the firm hopes will differentiate its financial services in a marketplace in which consumers are still reeling from economic shock. The message is carefully constructed to appeal to prospective clients who have taken a much more conservative approach to investing their funds.

Mike Gray, president of ad agency Martin/Williams who developed the campaign, thinks the timing is just right.Continue reading...

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ING Direct Adopts New U.S. Slogan

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 1, 2010 10:00 AM

ING Direct may have just replaced cheeky Scots comedian Billy Connolly in its Australian marketing, but in the US it's attempting to go for the funny bone with slightly tongue in cheek spots.

This week unveiled a new campaign and slogan in the US, with a new catchphrase — "Touch the Ball" — replacing "The Road to Happiness," which featured a spokesperson in an orange 1962 Chevy Impala saving people from bad financial situations.

In the spot above, a job applicant's cellphone emits an embarassing toilet flush sound as an alert for a checking fee. Another spot features a family in slow motion, representing the glacial rate at which they're paying off their mortgage.Continue reading...

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