This morning Personal Capital sent out an email offering $10 to every end user who links an account to their service. Here's their email header image, followed by some of the text in their email:
This Valentine's Day, we're sharing the love with our users. What can show we care more than offering $10 to each user who links an account? Consider those chocolates for your husband already purchased. Or those flowers for your wife already bought. We'll share the love with you so you can share the love with those most important in your life.
When you link an investment account to your free, secure Personal Capital dashboard, you'll receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card. Cupid is standing by to get this gift to you.
It's a bold marketing move, and it shows the value of getting end users to add all their accounts in one place. Personal Capital knows that if they can be the one-stop hub for everything related to investment accounts, they'll be the first place their customers turn for new financial products. They'll essentially own the entire user experience when it comes to investment accounts, and they'll get all the revenue that follows — which will be worth far more than $10 to them in the long run.
Financial institutions should take note. As the industry shifts to valuing and even paying for end users to add outside accounts, consumers will find and settle on a one-stop hub for all their financial needs. Banks and credit unions should ask themselves whether they're positioned to become that one-stop financial hub and reap all the revenue that follows, or whether they'll lose out to third-party companies that aggregate accounts. Either way, it's certain that consumers are seeing more and more incentives to centralize everything in one place. It's also certain that whoever wins at convincing consumers to centralize their accounts with them will become the primary financial hub and will win market share from the competition.