Berkeley, Calif.-based Shastic, creator of what it says is the first Facebook loan widget for credit unions, recently unveiled Calcubot Cloud, touted as the first loan marketing application to use cloud technology to connect Facebook with a financial institution's website.
Calcubot Cloud enables users to explore a loan on Facebook and continue their investigation on the Web − or vice versa − without having to start over again, the company said.
The application walks prospective loan customers through an interactive buying process tailored to a credit union's lending products, Shastic said. Users can save loan calculations in the cloud to access them from anywhere and they can opt to receive alerts when interest rates fall to a desired level, the company said.
“Market research that we have conducted of technology solutions available to credit unions, as well as our experience talking to our clients and analysts and our knowledge of the market, confirms that Shastic is the first company to market this type of product,” said Ariel Gomez, CEO of Shastic, a portfolio company of Berkeley Ventures.
“This type of technology represents the start of an important industry trend to increase the effectiveness of online lending by using the cloud to make it easier for customers to shop for loans cross channel,” Gomez continued. “People hate entering the same information twice. Forcing them to do so substantially reduces conversion rates.”
Last year, Shastic launched Facebook Calcubot, a widget that lives and operates entirely within a credit union's Facebook page, but the new product offers much more flexibility, he said
“The new Calcubot Cloud is a stand-alone version of the Calcubot Facebook app that can be placed either on a credit union's website or even a partner's site, such as an auto dealer's or a realtor's website to create a network of interconnected gateways,” Gomez explained.
“And it's a cloud solution, which means that everything the member does in regards to estimations for loans, gathering feedback from friends and family, and rate-savings alerts are saved on our secure cloud and accessible cross platform. So, members never have to re-enter data ever again.”
Current credit unions using the Facebook Calcubot that update to Calcubot Cloud will be able to create their own cloud by setting up additional Calcubots anywhere they need them, Gomez said.
“For them, it's almost a flip-a-switch installation process,” he added.
Kirtland FCU recently became the first credit union to launch Calcubot Cloud.
“Calcubot Cloud is a gateway to online lending that really keeps people engaged,” said Judy Ruiz, vice president of marketing at the $645 million institution in Albuquerque, N.M. “Users can shop for loans cross channel without any data re-entry.”
Ruiz said the social aspect of Calcubot Cloud lies in its ability to be shared with the end-user's Facebook friends with the click of a 'Like' button, which creates viral brand awareness for credit unions.