The KeyPoint Credit Union is reported by Jim Bruene to be the first financial institution to launch full-fledged account access through Facebook.
The application, which was developed by MShift, Inc, provides one-click access to account balance information for KeyPoint CU users. The app stands at 6 daily active users, which is 40% of the Facebook members who have installed it – so it has a whopping 15 person install base.
Checking out your balance on the site you most frequent is useful, but it’s not a gobsmackingly good experience you want to evangelize to all your Facebook friends, nor is it an engaging utility you cannot do with out. Widgets are great – for example, Wesabe has launched an account balance Mac widget which streams real time balance updates.
However, banking and other enterprise applications on Facebook and other social networks need to go beyond replicating the experience of web solutions. They need to focus on their audience as users, not as banking customers — what engages them, why would they be excited by your app — think brand recognition, think deep engagement and then think again — are you putting up an app because you can or do you have a purpose in mind. In many respects the enterprise Facebook apptivity is analogous to the early corporate approach to virtual worlds – “Woohoo, board members, we have a presence in Second Life…errrm”.
I am sure that Facebook and similar platforms will be an awesome playground for business, but on their users terms.