My two arguments were:
-Most people’s “friends” on their social networking sites aren’t really friends but sometimes acquaintances, and would not want their financials broadcast to these people they barely know.
-ANZ said the “new venture is targeting Generation-Y in an attempt to teach financial responsibility and promote savings.” However they offer incentives for their customers to convert their savings and/or interest earned into gift cards; which appears entirely contradictory to ANZ’s mission.
Shortly after posting, SmartyPig’s co-founder, Michael Ferrari responded with the following:
First off I want to thank Michael Ferrari for taking the time to comment. I think that he helped to help paint a clearer picture of SmartyPig's intentions. I think it’s also important to note that the article originally quoted, neglected to mention that the widget has a privacy setting and doesn’t have to be broadcast to everyone (for those of us who don’t want to share our financials). While I personally cannot see myself sharing my financials on Facebook, I can see the value of SmartyPig’s widget if I could change my privacy setting.
However, I must still push back – but not at SmartyPig, but at ANZ. As stated in the beginning of this post, I have two gripes: privacy, and hypocrisy. Michael addressed the issue of privacy, but what still rubs me the wrong way is that ANZ is promoting and what almost seems like encouraging customers to convert their savings and interest earned to gift cards. If their goal was to “attempt to teach financial responsibility and promote savings” to Echo Boomers, then why are they trying to get us spend our savings on gift cards?
I don’t think this is just an issue with ANZ, but with banks at large. All the “perk” that go along with savings programs, credit cards, etc. encourage more spending, not saving. It’s the same irresponsible spending habits that got us into this financial crisis in the first place. If we’re to progress out of the recession and truly learn from our mistakes, we need to change our spending/saving habits moving forward. Having our “savings institutions” encourage more irresponsible spending habits is only furthering the process.
A sincere thank you again to SmartyPig’s co-founder Michael Ferrari.