Brad_strothkamp [Posted by Brad Strothkamp}

For years now, every new secured site function has had a business case built on getting users to access their accounts more often. So much so that you’d think every online banker would now spend half of their day checking out their accounts online. The reality is that there are just a few functions that can really drive incremental increases in activation.

I am happy to say, I have found one. Here the story.

Everybody is painfully aware how much accessing credit reports is becoming a common desire among consumers. Television commercials from companies like Experian with their Web site are raising the awareness of this important piece of financial information. A few weeks ago, Fair Isaac briefed us here at Forrester about their service called FICO Scores on Statements. The poor name they choose for this function overshadows how innovative of a function this really is.

The gist of the function is simple. Financial services firms can integrate a user’s credit scores into their online banking session so that every time the user logs in they can easily get access to their credit score. Credit scores are updated on a monthly basis (as they are for other services), and the user can pay to get more detailed access to their credit history.

Why do we think this is such an interesting function?  Because it:

·       Is relevant and related.  Credit scores and account balances go hand in hand. It makes sense to access credit scores through online banking because both reveal the financial health of a consumer. Having these two functions integrated brings together two pieces of highly relevant financial information.

·       Makes for better educated consumers.The more consumers see their credit score the more educated they become. Washington Mutual and the Consumer Federation of America have conducted at study the last two years that consumers are becoming more educated about the credit scores, but could save billions if they knew more.

·      Is revenue generating. Not only will consumers visit a site more to view their credit scores, but also they will pay to view more detailed information about their credit. The opportunity to generate incremental revenue is easy to see.

·      Leads to cross selling opportunities.There is a very good chance that a consumer accessing their credit scores is doing so in preparation of a purchase they want to make. Firms could use this fact to target their products like loans and cards to this group.