Banks not embracing “social” media


A single-dealer platform (SDP) is, among other things, a way for a bank to interact one-on-one with its institutional clients; indeed some of our SDP customers have asked us to include chat capabilities and other social media feeds into their SDP interfaces. With that in mind I thought I’d sit in on the Finextra live webcast from Sibos Amsterdam yesterday on Social Media and Financial Services.

Sadly it became clear that while the banks are embracing the “media” piece, they aren’t really using the “social” aspect of Social Media. Mostly they appear to be using it as yet another broadcasting channel rather than an opportunity to truly interact with their customers. Take as an example – Citi, who proudly claimed that marketing via Twitter drove up visits to their Sibos microsite – while that’s clearly a result, it’s also an opportunity to converse with their customers missed.

I’m not alone in holding this view. Jorge Yui, a Finextra community member, expresses much the same opinion in his post. But if you don’t believe us, and you have a spare hour to watch the recording and make up your own mind, you can register to watch it here.

The contrast between the banks’ approach and that of Sungard – which as a technology vendor is less restricted by regulation – was stark. Sungard is using social media to converse with specific audiences: its blog site, which is a directory of each of the company’s nine blogs, is impressive.

The attitude of the banks to social media reminds me of the introduction of instant messaging (IM) which was initially proscribed but then gradually permitted as both customer pressure and suitable recording technology enabled the banks to meet their regulatory obligations. Let’s hope the move to embrace social media as a viable channel for direct interaction with clients doesn’t take so long.

In the meantime a bank can always build an SDP to find out what its individual clients want to research and trade…

One Response

  1. Banks definitely aren’t alone in the respect of using Twitter for broadcast only. There are a large number of businesses that have a Twitter presence, it’s almost on the essential checklist of services any business should have after a website, but so many of them Tweet out but don’t interact. The whole point in social media is interaction. Whether it’s on an individual level or a business one, Twitter has a reply button for a reason!

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