Six Lines

Banks as Groupon Competitors

Posted by Aaron Massey on 11 Jul 2011.

Kashmir Hill has a fantastic post up on Forbes about how banks plan to compete with Groupon:

It’s a clever privacy work-around. Just as Facebook allows advertisers to specifically target certain kinds of users based on their profile information (without actually providing that profile information to the advertisers), banks plan to allow advertisers to send deals and coupons to their customers based on what they’ve bought before. That way, no user data actually leaves the network — instead, deals just enter the network. Each time a customer cashes in on one of those deals, the bank gets a commission.

Definitely read the whole post.

The idea of this as a ‘privacy work-around’ doesn’t completely sit well with me. There are a lot of folks who would consider this a privacy violation, but there are also a lot of folks who wouldn’t. Many bank customers would welcome these discounts since none of their personal information is being provided to advertisers, especially if it reduced some of the flat fees associated with their accounts. Still, I would probably prefer if these services are Opt-In rather than Opt-Out.