VB Social Media News 18-Mar-09: Innovation Dinner, Wesabe Launches Springboard, Entropia Universe Gets Real World Banking Licence

Here I am, blogging, in Paris, in the reception of the hotel after a short night sleep. Before heading off to the EFMA event on Social Media, I wanted to make sure to relay a couple of news and mention my excellent dinner yesterday.

Innovation dinner
IMG_0765Yesterday, I had a great time catching up with a few fellow innovators in banking and online finance.

I spent the evening with Pol Navarro, Senior Director – Head of Channels and Innovation at Banco SabadellFrederic Baud, Technical Architecture and Strategy at Societe Generale, and Jean-Christophe Capelli, Co-Founder at FriendsClear.

We shared our views on many topics such as innovation (disruptive vs incremental), social media (education, key challenges, success criteria, engagement model, tactical vs strategic), twitter, facebook, personal finance management, social lending, and mobile banking.
Wesabe launches personal finance platform for credit unions and banks
Source: Debbie Pfeifer @ Wesabe

Thank you Debbie for your heads up before the official announcement. And again, it was my pleasure to promote your great work in my recent post on PR Firms, “Is the Wire really dead? Not as long as PR firms won’t get social media!“. And yes, I would be delighted to pay you, Marc, and the rest of the team a visit while I am in San Francisco in late April for my workshop on ‘Social Media & Finance’.

Social personal finance website Wesabe today announced the launch of Wesabe SpringBoardTM, a web-services-based version of its award-winning money management tools and community features for banks and credit unions.

Marc Hedlund, CEO of Wesabe: “With the recent upheaval in the banking industry and the economy, we’ve been hearing from more and more financial institutions who want to better connect with their members and help them through these uncertain times”. SpringBoard quickly arms financial institutions with our proven personal finance tools, the latest community features, and a vast database of collective consumer wisdom.  In addition to enhancing existing customer relationships, SpringBoard also helps credit unions and banks attract and service new members, including disenfranchised customers who don’t feel secure in their current institution, as well as a new generation of web-savvy users.”

This move had to be expected. Now Wesabe positions itself more as an enabler than a disruptor. (we talked about this common dilemna for startups in the online finance space quite extensively last night before dinner with Frederic and Jean-Christophe)

I have mixed feelings about this move though. I personnally believe that Wesabe’s strategy and USP are not clear anymore. Now, they are kind of competing directly with the likes of Yodlee and Jwaala. And I am sure everybody is expecting a response from soon.

I invite you to check my video interviews with:
Aaron Patzer, Founder & CEO of
Marc Hedlund, Co-Founder & CEO of
Peter Hazlehurst, SVP Product at Yodlee
Andrew Taylor, CTO at Jwaala
Entropia Universe gets real world banking licence

‘The company behind Entropia Universe – an online role-playing game that has a cash economy – has been granted a real world banking licence by Swedish regulators, enabling it to set up a virtual central bank.’

What do you think?

Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London for almost a decade, Christophe is an entertaining fintech marketing keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of digital marketing, innovation and B2B social media.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is advising a number of fintech startups on marketing and growth hacking and he is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Fintech Power 50, an exclusive annual programme helping fintech scale-ups to accelerate their growth globally.

Christophe's views on are his own.

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