BMO Adds "Compare your Spending" to MoneyLogic PFM

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25 March 2011
Jacob Jegher
There has been some serious PFM activity taking place in the Canadian market. - May 31, 2010: RBC announces its myFinanceTracker solution (see blog entry here) - Dec 3, 2010: officially launches in Canada - January 31, 2011: BMO announces MoneyLogic Given that there are only a handful of major financial institutions in Canada, it's only a matter of time before the others ante up. Additionally, these competitive activities foster innovation and the expansion of feature sets. Lo and behold these feature sets continue to grow as BMO has rolled out a compare your spending tool. Those of you that have spoken to me about PFM know that I don't rank community features very high up on my PFM and online banking prioritization list (see Requires a Better Bundle). However, it's great to see a large financial institution embrace the concept of community and open up the data coffers with the intention of providing insightful information. The social features are a draw for consumers because it's always interesting to know how you stack up. There are a couple of caveats to keep in mind with regards to social and community features:
  • Consumers shouldn't make financial and budgeting decisions based on the actions of others. I don’t believe that folks should model their spending habits according to others for one simple reason - most people don’t have good spending or budgeting habits. Everyone needs their own custom-made plan and the good news is that banks are in a position to help consumers build this plan.
  • Adoption is critical. The quality of the information displayed by a comparison tool will depend on multiple factors and one of these factors is critical - adoption. In order for relevant info to be displayed folks have to use the tool. The more data points thrown into the pie the better.

BMO is in a position to take advantage of this tool. They have an entry point to provide financial education to their clients. However they have to ensure that it is properly positioned and pitched within online banking and other channels. Additionally, BMO is large enough that with decent adoption of MoneyLogic, they can collect enough data points and provide relevant info to their customers.

Stay tuned for an upcoming report on PFM that will have a section in it that addresses social and community features.


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