Yesterday I attended the Finovate Conference in San Francisco. Out of the 36, 7-minute demos I sat through (whew!) only a handful stood out as innovative and interesting. During the networking session, I had a chance to meet with one of those companies — a company called Segmint. While the Segmint Web site does a less-than-stellar job communicating the benefits of their software, I had a chance to speak with David Hadley, CTO of Segmint. When I did, the opportunity was clear to me. But before I get there, let me explain the void a company like Segmint fills.

Most of the on-site, online marketing efforts of financial service firms are still rudimentary in nature. Few have moved beyond basic, non-targeted banner advertisements. But unlike other industries, financial services offers the unique opportunity of going WAY beyond anything retail, travel, or any other industry can provide because in financial services we get a daily, on-going snapshot into customers’ financial lives – what they buy, where they buy it, the channels they use, and the fees they pay.  Problem is for the most part nobody uses this incredible information. Exceptions that I am aware of include cross-sell efforts by firms like, Wells Fargo, and Royal Bank of Canada. What I saw from Segmint yesterday takes this a step further.

Segmint sits between the front-end and the back-end and listens to all customer online transactions. Clients set up profiles of users they want to identify, and Segmint listens to transactions and builds a list of customers that fit those profiles. For example, a client may want target customers that own a home, have a home equity loan, are Gen X, and consistently make payments to their credit cards. Segmint would be able to determine on-the-fly that a customer fits that profile by listening for certain transaction types. These profiles can then be used (on the fly again) to specifically target customized promotions (e.g. banners, text links, etc) to specific segments within the secured site, the public site, or even externally.

This type of targeting is the future of financial services for those innovative enough to harness the power and execute on the opportunity.

I encourage you to provide your thoughts or ideas on how best to use technologies like Segmint.