USAA proves the value of Web site ratings and reviews to financial services

Numerous conversations over the last few months with financial service firms has proven one thing to me - most are dealing with questions around social media and social commerce and yet few are sure how best to proceed. Much of what has been written thus far centers around the role social can play in the areas of marketing and brand, but there are beginning to be more stories that are surfacing around uses directly related to eBusiness on a firm's Web site.


The best case I have seen for social on a Web site came from USAA and is part of a case study I wrote with Tom Vaughn, director of social media at USAA. View Now.


What separates USAA's story from others we have heard?  It is backed up with direct ROI and metrics in areas that drive the business - conversion and sales. USAA was able to prove that providing ratings and reviews using Bazaarvoice's solution drove an incremental 15 thousand plus products sales in a nine month period.


So should you rush out and add ratings and reviews to your Web site? Probably not since most financial services Web site fail to get the basics done right. But assuming you have the basics down, I would consider adding this one to your functionality roadmap.



A Dire Year For Banking Platform Vendors

For the past couple of years, I have worked on the analysis of global banking platform deals at this time of the year. Currently, I’m again working on the results of a global banking platform deals survey, this time for the year 2009. Accenture and CSC did not participate in 2009, and former participants Fiserv and InfrasoftTech continued their absence from the survey, which started about two years ago. The 2009 survey began with confirmed submissions from a total of 19 banking platform vendors.

We would have been glad to see more participating vendors, in particular some of the more regionally oriented ones. However, US vendor Jack Henry & Associates as well as multiple regional vendors in Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America did not participate. Nevertheless, the survey saw some “newcomers” from the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East, for example, Top Systems in Uruguay, Eri Bancaire in Switzerland, and Path Solutions in Kuwait. Consequently, the survey now covers banking platform vendors in all regions of the world except Africa and Central America.

However, 19 was not the final vendor count: One of the 19 vendors, France-based banking platform vendor Viveo, dropped out of the survey because Temenos acquired it shortly before Viveo provided its data. Another vendor simply told us that it only saw business with existing clients and, in the absence of any business with new clients, it saw no sense in participating. While all other participating vendors won business with new clients (whether the rules of the game allowed Forrester to count that business or not), 2009 was not the best of times.

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