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Foursquare and Mobile Banking – What’s the Connection?

Strategically Speaking
Sep 26, 2013

Author: Jennifer Geis,

Tech Crunch recently published an article, No Check In Required: Foursquare Starts Rolling Out ‘Proactive’ Push Recommendations On Android. The article announces a new version of the Foursquare app that makes a big move toward offering  a ‘post-check-in’ experience, one that doesn’t require the user to officially and proactively check in to a specific merchant. Instead, the new feature automatically beeps or buzzes a user’s phone with targeted and personalized recommendations based on that user’s physical location, without needing them to check in at all.

For example, you could walk into your favorite Starbucks location, and because it is officially fall, it may buzz your phone to let you know that the pumpkin lattes are now being offered. Or, you may visit a new restaurant that you’ve never frequented before, and as you walk in, it may buzz your phone to let you know that they give away a free side salad to all new customers.

How does this relate to mobile banking? And, does it really tie into financial services? The link to financial institutions in this scenario is the potential to inject FIs into the buying experience by putting mobile deals in the hands of consumers and letting them not only select extra savings from their mobile device, but also select how they want to pay, from which account the money will be deducted AND provide real time information on available balances AT THE FINANCIAL INSTITUTION.

What if, you entered into Nordstrom’s to buy the newest pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans, not officially ‘checking in’ on Foursquare, but just entering the store, and as you shopped, you received an email or text that said ‘Today only, Citizens of Humanity jeans  - 25% off’! You know you just got paid yesterday but aren’t sure if the $220 pair of jeans is within your budget this week. So as you get the offer, you also check in with your bank to see if the available balance in your checking account will cover the purchase. And, sure enough – your checking account (and your financial institution as your trusted resource) tells you to go ahead take the plunge and make the purchase!

And then, because you’re so happy with your purchase, you posted a comment on FaceBook that said ‘Great sale at Nordstroms today! Love my new jeans!’.  The merchant gets a purchase that otherwise may have not been made and the bank gets an extra login to mobile banking that may not have been made and both receive a happy customer. That match of consumer behavior and technology capability is the future direction in shopping and cash flow forecasting.

Customer voice and personal recommendations are the best form of advertising. It kind of reminds me of the digital version of the popular Geico Insurance TV commercials, where the Geico Gecko, says ‘I just saved $500 on my car insurance by shopping at Geico’’!  Love that commercial!

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