Since the summer, a number of credit unions and other financial institutions have turned to Facebook as a possible strategy to generate new loans.
Shastic, a technical services provider in Berkeley, Calif., previously rolled out AutoCalcubot, a social loan calculator for financial institutions. The tool allows lenders to take advantage of their Facebook presence by saving auto loan estimates on their pages as well as soliciting feedback from friends and family, the company said.
Credit Union Times first reported on AutoCalcubot in June.
AutoCalcubot said its Alert Me feature monitors interest rates changes and notifies the user of savings opportunities. Shastic said the tool can also increase loan revenue by directing prospects from Facebook to the financial institution’s online loan application.
Despite the prevalence of Facebook in the daily lives of most financial consumers, Shastic said a recent study revealed that only 15% of financial institutions use Facebook to engage with users interested in loans. The study found that even fewer create any kind of lead generation activity from their Facebook pages.
The $3.2 billion Kinecta Federal Credit Union in Manhattan Beach, Calif., said AutoCalcubot has created initial enthusiasm among its members.
“Given the cost that we pay for Calcubot, for the annual fee, I can tell you that those funded loan applications will truly cover that many times over,” said Shannon Doiron, director of marketing.
Shastic said there are 30 credit unions among its customers, including the $3.4 billion Logix FCU in Burbank, Calif., $1.2 billion Numerica CU in Spokane, Wash., and the $863 million Scott CU in Edwardsville, Ill.
Shastic said there is a growing shift among some financial institutions from a purely physical world to a hybrid digital/physical world or bricks and mortar to clicks and bricks.
The company said with AutoCalcubot and its sister product, MortgageCalcubot, credit unions and banks can convert Facebook users from casual car shoppers to loan savants who prefer their financial products.
The company said it is backed by Berkeley Ventures, a high-tech incubator in Berkeley, and is also a partner with mobile banking solutions provider Access Softek, which works with over 300 financial institutions.