Banking on Facebook: An Overview of Banks with Transactional Facebook Apps

25 June 2014
Stephen Greer and Jacob Jegher

Abstract

While Facebook can be a medium for customer support and marketing, only recently have banks started to explore the possibility of using the platform for banking transactions. Most financial institutions aren’t sold on the idea, but a small number of banks, scattered across the globe, have developed Facebook banking apps and have a willingness to experiment.

In Banking on Facebook: An Overview of Banks with Transactional Facebook Apps, Celent profiles eight banks, digging deeper into their social media initiatives. How have they used social media? What are the challenges?

The goal of this report is to illustrate what can be done with social media, and to demonstrate that it’s important to experiment even if certain projects don’t end up bearing fruit. Although Celent is bearish when it comes to Facebook transactional banking, a social media presence is no longer a “nice to have.”

Financial institutions with Facebook banking are banks that consistently and overtly make social media a priority. They prove to have a keen understanding of social networks, often developing well defined and effective strategies. Most banks, however, will do well to watch and learn from them, rather than emulate them.

“Banks all over the globe are coming up with ways to actively engage users,” says Jacob Jegher, Research Director with Celent’s Banking Group and coauthor of the report. “Yet the question remains: are these responses to user demand, or bank-driven campaigns to squeeze value out of social media’s popularity?”

“It’s hardly a stretch to say that mobile and social have disrupted how consumers engage with others and consume content,” adds Stephen Greer, Analyst with Celent’s Banking Group and coauthor of the report. “There has been some social activity in the banking space, primarily focused on services and marketing, but only recently have banks begin to experiment with what social can mean to their business.”

This report examines the latest trends in social media through the lens of Facebook banking. The report first looks at how banks have used social media and the challenges of getting the channel right. Then Celent profiles Facebook apps banks have deployed. Finally, the report gives recommendations for banks looking to engage more actively in social media or Facebook banking.

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