Facebook Gifts Marketing Drills Down On Sweethearts



Facebook is furiously attempting to make its mark on social commerce.

The social networking giant recently released its multi-purse gift card, in a clear effort to further expand the cash it collects from payments.

From @AmerBanker:

Facebook generated $810 million, or almost 16% of its revenue, from “payments and other fees” last year, the company said in its latest SEC filing. That figure has exponentially increased since the Menlo Park, Calif. company began tracking the revenue it received from those transactions in 2009.

Facebook also generates a profit from facilitating its digital currency, Facebook Credits. Each credit costs 10 cents. Users can exchange those credits for digital items to display on their Facebook pages or to upgrade games played on the social networking site.

My biggest question is: Is this type of targeted social efforts (not unlike Amex’s, in the post below) going to be effective?


#AmexSync Begins Its Big Marketing Push

American Express is reaching out directly to its cardholders over twitter in order to promote its new social media commerce method — Amex Sync.

The process allows Amex customers to tweet #HashTags at merchants in order to make purchases.

In addition, every time you tweet #AmexSync, the New York credit card company tweets this back:

Amex’s thrust into social payments helps validate the concept, which has been pushed by startups (Chirpify and Dwolla) for at least a year.

From @AmerBanker:

Up until the New York credit card company announced Monday it will allow its cardholders to purchase real-world items over the social media platform, there was doubt that Twitter transactions would ever get off the ground. “Amex definitely legitimizes it,” says Rakesh Agrawal, a consultant on mobile payments and marketing. “They are a major player that has tens of millions of cardholders, and they are willing to spend on marketing.”

He adds that while social media spending doesn’t work for all kinds of purchases — “You are not going to tweet a hashtag to buy a car,” Agrawal says — there is definitely a sweet spot.

Moving Past Passwords

From @AmerBanker:

As banks struggle to move past passwords, a Silicon Valley startup is taking a stab at a fingerprint and facial recognition standard backed by some heavy hitters — PayPal and Lenovo among them.

Nok Nok Labs, which was created a year ago by the founder of the data security vendor PGP, says it will eventually sell server software that will make the process of verifying the identity of online and mobile bank customers easier and more effective. The company plans to release its developer tool kit in March.

Nok Nok is using a protocol created by the FIDO Alliance (short for Fast IDentity Online) that lets applications, browsers and servers speak the same language for authentication. According to members of the alliance, Nok Nok is the first company to turn the standard into working code.

Bankers As Venture Capitalists

From @AmerBanker:

Financial services companies with a keen eye for innovation are making venture capital investments.

They’re funding and incubating early-stage, high-risk technology companies. They’re seeding their investments in Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley in New York City, Silicon Prairie in the Midwest and wherever else such companies are creating financial technology.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria recently said it would invest $100 million through its newly created BBVA Ventures arm.

Internal Email: Diebold CEO Pushed Out

From @AmerBanker:

Thomas W. Swidarski has stepped down from his positions as president and CEO of Diebold (DBD) and resigned from the company’s board of directors under pressure from the board, a spokesman said.

His resignation was disclosed in an SEC filing Thursday along with fourth quarter results after a series of disappointments that have frustrated investors.

Here’s an internal email I was sent that announced Swidarski’s departure a half hour before the company made his departure public last Thursday:

From: Henry Wallace – Associate Mailbox
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:30 AM
To: DL-Diebold All; DL-Sales Agents
Subject: Diebold making senior leadership changes
Importance: High

 Dear Associates:

 My communication to you this morning is not easy, but I feel strongly that we share the following announcement with you first.  In a few moments, we will issue a press release announcing that Tom Swidarski is stepping down from Diebold and the board of directors, effective immediately.  The board has begun the search process for a new CEO.  As executive chairman of Diebold, I will assume leadership of the company until that person is in place.

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From @AmerBanker:

After months of internal testing, GreenDot (GDOT) is rolling out a beta version of its mobile consumer checking account, the aptly named GoBank.

The launch of the iPhone and Android app is the culmination of several acquisitions, including the purchase of Bonneville Bancorp in Provo, Utah (now Green Dot Bank) and geolocation company Loopt.

The test puts the prepaid card company in the same league as Simple (formerly BankSimple), which is itself in beta; Movenbank, which plans to launch in late February; and American Express, which is marketing its Bluebird fee-less, prepaid account with Walmart.

What sets GreenDot apart, asserts chief executive Steve Streit, is the company isn’t relying on a third party to hold its customers’ deposits.