CIC Startup Micronotes Emerges From Stealth to Help Yodlee Appify Online Banking

The online banking space is taking a cue from Apple’s iTunes App Store.

No, you won’t be seeing Sudoku puzzles or restaurant recommendation tools on your online banking interface, but you will be seeing plug-ins designed to enhance your online personal finance management experience. The marketplace for these apps, unveiled yesterday, is the Yodlee FinApp Store, and one of the first companies hawking its wares in the store will be Micronotes, a startup working out of the Cambridge Innovation Center.

Redwood City, CA-based Yodlee, a maker of online platforms for personal finance management founded in 1999, launched the FinApp Store as part of its newest software release, Yodlee 10. “We’re enabling new innovation to come to online banking at a much more rapid pace,” says Yodlee chief product officer Peter Hazlehurst. Apps available via the store include an automated tax filing tool from H&R Block, a savings app called BillShrink, and Micronotes‘ KulaMula FinApp, which aims to market deals to consumers as they work on their finances online.

“Our mission is to radically change the way marketing is done today,” says Micronotes senior vice president of field operations Christian Klacko, through targeted marketing and engaging the consumer in a conversation.

Micronotes makes the consumer data found in online banking profiles available to companies, who then engage the customers they think make the best fit for their products—based on details like transaction history—through surveys in the KulaMula app. Consumers using Yodlee’s finance management platform, either directly or through their financial institution, can choose whether or not to bring the KulaMula application into their interface. Those who opt in will see a dashboard of several different brands looking to market to the customers with specific coupons and offers. Each survey lists what product it centers around, for example the word “toys” would appear under the Sears logo on the dashboard if it’s marketing a toy coupon to consumers. Users answer a few questions from the brand, and at the end receive an e-mail offer, like $10 off of a $30 toy purchase. The questions typically center around consumers’ shopping habits regarding that particular product. For a demo of a survey, go here.

It sounds like there’s a lot at stake when it comes to security of the customer’s information, but Micronotes says that’s one of the many benefits of working with Yodlee. “Because we are working with Yodlee, which has all the security requirements and platform in place, we are … Next Page »

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