Numerica, STCU Adopt Lead-Generation Loan Calculator for Facebook

Numerica Credit Union and Spokane Teachers Credit Union (STCU) are among the first financial institutions to begin using Calcubot, an affordable Facebook widget that is both a next-generation viral loan calculator and a powerful lead-generation system.

Despite the overwhelming success of Facebook and its nearly complete dominance of social media, many financial institutions only make limited use of the social network’s power. However, this unparalleled reach gives credit unions a unique opportunity to compete with big banks, whose size and scope often dwarf smaller community-based credit unions.

By using Facebook as a development platform, Calcubot uses the pervasiveness of Facebook to begin giving all financial institutions greater access to the general public. Credit unions can install a branded version of Calcubot on their Facebook page, thus turning the credit union’s followers into a viral promotion network.

Small financial institutions typically boast higher consumer-satisfaction ratings, and the goal of Calcubot is to provide these financial institutions with a turnkey portal to reach a sea of consumers with user satisfaction as the decisive competitive factor as opposed to budget.

Numerica’s Facebook page and STCU’s Facebook page now each feature a mortgage calculator icon that takes users into Calcubot, a mortgage calculator that uses for simple estimates of the value of the home, the size and term of the loan, and the interest rate to calculate a monthly payment. And according to KayCee Murray, project manager with Numerica, Calcubot is “so easy to install the IT department is not required and it can be live in a matter of minutes.”

Thanks to its social network connection, Calcubot then allows loan estimates to be saved and feedback to be solicited from friends, family and advisors. It also introduces an ‘Alert Me’ mechanism that monitors interest rates and notifies the user of potential savings opportunities via email or text message. Finally, Calcubot directs prospects from Facebook to the credit union’s online loan and new-member application systems.

“Facebook provides a cost-effective way for financial institutions to communicate with customers and prospects,” said Ron Shevlin, senior analyst at Aite Group, “but most institutions under-utilize the power of the platform to engage consumers.”

This was reinforced by a study conducted by Shastic of 200 financial institutions ranging from $200 million to $5 billion in assets. According to the study, the top three uses of Facebook are posting current promotions (96 percent), notifications about charity work and events (63 percent) and collecting member referrals (16 percent). Only 10 percent attempt to drive prospects to their website.


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Posted in Around the NW.