Simple Honey has been acquired by OpenCoin. Building the “Ripple” protocol for a new virtual currency and distributed open source payment network, OpenCoin will be composed of the simplehoney consumer engagement team to focus on usability. The simplehoney team has successfully launched targeted vertical applications for the travel and shopping categories. At OpenCoin, they will help build a new open source, distributed payments network and virtual currency called Ripples.
The average consumer will spend $7041 on holiday related purchases. Debt consolidation loans represent 51% of all loans on Prosper, and have shown consistent growth over the past 5 months. Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending can replace high credit card interest rates and constantly changing monthly payments with lower rates and fixed, predictable payment terms. Data shows that even as consumers were preparing to spend money on gifts for this year, more than 14.1 million of them were still paying off holiday-related spending from last year, up from 13.6 million in 20092. Interest rates on Prosper.com start at 6.59%4 APR for best borrowers. Fixed rates range from 6.59% to 35.84% APR.
Celebrating its 5-year anniversary, Prosper.com will run a special one-day promotion for borrowers, holding all for new loans submitted on February 17, 2011, the Company will cover the borrower’s second month’s payment up to $300. Intent on removing barriers for borrowers, the website offers social and financial benefits for individual investors. Prosper lenders and borrowers have more than 1 million members and approximately $220 million in funded loans. Prosper’s five years of experience and actual P2P lending data and risk management team lets borrowers get rates as low as 5.9% APR.
Prosper.com peer-to-peer lending marketplace with over one million members and $214 million in funded loans announced that interest rates have been reduced on many loans. With this, rates on new loans for Prosper borrowers with better Prosper Ratings will be significantly lower by as much as 2.66%. Loans listed by borrowers on the site are funding at a rate of nearly 100%, allowing for the lower rates. Prosper Marketplace peer-to-peer lending marketplace has over one million members and more than $214 million in funded loans.
Mint.com money management solution has raised $12 million in Series B
financing, led by Benchmark Capital. Mint.com hosts an Internet-based
consumer financial management application with over 160,000 users, for
who the organization manages nearly $10 billion in transactions. Moreover,
the site provides users with free tools for budgeting, a social spending
comparison feature and support for investment accounts, including brokerage
accounts, mutual funds, IRAs and 529 plans. The product is useful for
demonstrating what the user’s money is spent on and for providing money-
saving tips. Mint.com works with over 5,000 banks, credit cards and
investment accounts on a daily basis to provide its services while
Capital manages over $3 billion in committed venture capital to
in need of financing.
San Francisco-based Pay By Touch has hired Catherine Muriel, former CMO at ELOAN, as its new Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to joining E-LOAN, Muriel served as CMO of Upromise, the country’s largest private college savings loyalty service. To date, patented Pay By Touch biometric services enable 3.5 million shoppers to quickly and securely access personal accounts using a finger scan to identify themselves, make purchases and cash checks at 3,000 locations nationwide.
A new survey reveals that VISA scored a 7.7 in how they treat their online customers compared to an overall industry average of 5.7. The Customer Respect Group says its overall score was in line with the overall cross-industry average of all sites evaluated in 2006 to date. However, the score was marginally higher than that achieved six months ago. Financial services firms demonstrated a strong improvement in online communications, but a slight drop in site usability, especially for users with visual impairments and other disabilities.
A new survey shows that VISA scored best in “Business Principles” and in “Privacy.” The Customer Respect Group says VISA scored 9.6 versus an industry average of 4.7 for “Business Principles” and in “Privacy,” VISA topped the list with a 9.4 versus a 5.3 industry average. The highest scoring firm in “Simplicity” was TD BankNorth (9.6 vs. industry average of 7.2). For “Attitude,” Wells Fargo topped the group (8.5 vs. 5.7). In “Responsiveness,” World Savings Bank was first (8.8 vs. 4.8). The “Customer Respect Index” is a qualitative and quantitative in-depth analysis and independent measure of a customer’s experience when interacting with companies via the Internet.
The Q3 “Online Customer Respect Study of North American Financial Services Firms” has found that VISA, American Express, and Capital One rank among the highest in delivering the best online customer treatment. With a financial services industry “CRI” average of 6.8, Discover, MBNA, Providian and MasterCard ranked among the lowest. The study, by MA-based The Customer Respect Group, found that as a group, only 17% of credit card issuers provided email forms for contact, compared to an industry average of 83%, and the same percentage did not answer email queries. The research also found that 66% of credit card issuers share customer date with business partners or third parties, compared to an financial services industry average of 38% for business partners and 15% for outside parties.
CUSTOMER RESPECT INDEX 2005
American Express 7.4
Capital One 7.1
INDUSTRY AVERAGE 6.8
Source: The Customer Respect Group
A new survey shows that Bank of America provides the best online banking experience for customers while Capital One did best among credit card suppliers. The Customer Respect Group says its survey also found that American Express topped the “Diversified Financials” list. The research found that Providian provided the worst online experience among credit card suppliers. The Customer Respect Group also says that 43% of surveyed firms share personal data with business partners or third parties, one of the highest industry percentages measured compared to 59% six months ago. The “Customer Respect Index” is a qualitative and quantitative in-depth analysis and independent measure of a customer’s online experience when interacting with companies via the Internet.
Experian Consumer Direct reported that consumers in only 10 U.S. cities have above average scores. Minneapolis topped the list at 707, followed by Boston at 705, and Washington, DC at 693. The average credit score for the U.S. is 678, according to Experian. The credit scores were compiled from the “Experian National Score Index,” which is based upon a nationwide sampling of three million consumer profiles. The Index is formulated using Experian’s consumer credit score model, called the “PLUS Score.”
Metropolitan Areas Credit Scores
Washington, D.C. 693
New York 688
San Francisco 686
Experian Consumer Direct has acquired a performance-based Internet loyalty marketing company. MetaReward is a developer of tools and technologies that enable Web publishers to offer performance-based marketing offers. The company has more than four years experience building technology platforms and developing marketing relationships. The MetaReward network is visited by more than four million consumers each month. MetaReward properties include NetFlip, FreeGiftCentral, MovieTicketSource and MisterPoints reward programs as well as the ExpertsOnCredit credit advice site. Third party Web publishers include both large, highly trafficked Internet properties and small to medium-sized Web sites and services. Experian did not disclose the terms of the purchase.