SmartyPig, a Web-based savings program that entices consumers with high-yield interest, cash incentives from retailers and – best of all – online contributions from friends and family, is expected today to announce its first major banking partnership that melds Web 2.0 social tools with traditional banking relationships.

The Des Moines, IA company, which in the U.S. offers an online savings account directly through its own site, will announce an alliance with the AUS$392 billion Australia New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) to offer a new savings product on ANZ’s site.

SmartyPig will look to build on this deal to offer similar arrangements to other regions – none were disclosed – by pitching this as a way for banks to boost deposits, particularly with the younger, social computing demographic.  

In a recent report, Gartner analyst Stessa Cohen wrote that social computing vendors “can support service differentiation and enhance relationship value, both of which retail banks sorely need and are too slow to deliver.”

Companies like SmartyPig may “also solve problems banks face in deploying new products and services – especially online –by… delivering a fun and easy-to-use customer experience – a rare achievement for banks,” according to Cohen.

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