The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

BMO – first bank (but not Credit Union) with RSS auto-discover

Someone at BMO just pointed out their new implementation of RSS autodiscover. So what you may ask! Well that means when you browse to personal and business pages of the bmo site with Firefox or IE7/ Vista you will see the orange RSS symbol appear in the address bar, and clicking it will show the RSS feeds, and podcasts available.


I have been most remiss, and apoligise to both North Shore Credit Union, and VanCity, both of whom had RSS autodiscover implemented. While my topic was Banks, I also use CU’s as positive examples and missed this opportunity. Thanks Benry and William.

RSS/News Feeds

Source: BMO Bank of Montreal – Personal Finances

This is fundamental to RSS and making it usable for people. Because it works from any page, this means the need to have a central RSS page is eliminated other than for those who want to read about your feed/ beginners etc. You will note this symbol appears at any blog you visit, because of course the blog has a feed.

For example I happen to know that ScotiaBank have a podcast, so I went to where there is no autodiscover. I had to use search, and eventually located the podcast, after ending up on a page with the transcript, accidentally. I had to root around to locate the podcast link.

I believe this is a banking first. Few banks have RSS feeds let alone autodiscover.

Kudo’s to the BMO team for this new initiative. I am sure explaining the significance of this internally is at least 85% of the battle 🙂

Technorati tags: , , ,

Written by Colin Henderson

January 12, 2007 at 11:04

Posted in Banking Strategy

12 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Come on Colin. We’ve had autodiscover RSS on our site for over two years. BMO has no first there.

    Funny you should mention trouble finding the Scotia Podcasts. I mentioned this to Michael Seaton on, where he blogs. He explained that the reason is the use of different servers, blah, blah, blah.


    January 12, 2007 at 22:49

  2. Oh, you did say “bank” not “credit union”


    January 12, 2007 at 22:57

  3. I did say Bank, but it was not a deliberate omission. I am not aware of any Credit Unions, who have autodiscover on their main CU site pages. Please comment with any that I have missed 🙂


    January 12, 2007 at 23:34

  4. Apologies to Benry, when I found your initial comment in the Akismet spam filter. I religiously go through that, but its easy to miss the odd one – so apologies for your first comment just showing up now.
    And I will officially grant you the first there!! I would also note though, that NSCU have auto on the first page only, whereas BMO have it throughout.
    Disclosure: I used to work at BMO but have been independent these last few months. This implementation of auto-discover is since I left. I avoided self promo while I was there, and tended the other way if anything.


    January 13, 2007 at 11:46

  5. I’ll add the “title” attribute this week so you have a better idea as to what you are about to view. We only added the RSS to our home page and rates pages as that was the common point for members seeking the feed. However, not a bad idea (and easy) for us to throw it up everywhere.

    Vancity, also just added RSS. It too uses the model from our site with AutoDiscover. Like us, they have only one feed.


    January 14, 2007 at 22:13

  6. Thanks Benry … its been a great discussion, about how to integrate RSS to a web site, as opposed to a blog.


    January 14, 2007 at 23:57

  7. Hey there. We implemented RSS feeds on back in November. We are by no means first, but we do have auto-discover on every page.

    We actually use our RSS feed as a site-wide update, so it contains updates on news, rates and promos. We had a rush of adoptions after the auto-discover code was in place, even before we had a chance to promote it. There are people who definitely want updates from us via RSS alerts.

    William Azaroff

    January 15, 2007 at 12:43

  8. Thanks for bringing me up to speed. I knew the Credit Unions were generally doing a very good job, but somehow missed the obvious ones. I am going to update the post accordingly.


    January 15, 2007 at 15:08

  9. North Shore CU may be doing a good job publicizing its feeds to the 40% of users surfing via IE7 or Firefox (source:, but to those using “vintage IE 6 or earlier,” the feeds are virtually invisible.

    Until the orange doo-dad in the address bar is more widely understood, financial institutions would be well-served promoting their feeds in a variety of ways.

    I like how Vancity puts both the RSS feed icon and “what is a feed” link on the right-hand navigation of home page.

    Jim Bruene

    January 16, 2007 at 17:04

  10. Jim … Your point is well taken. I would add that no-one is doing this optimally yet, and FI’s could all take lessons from the news industry imho. There, RSS has been adopted large scale and many sites do a good job, with examples that FI’s could use.


    January 16, 2007 at 23:47

  11. I really struggled with how to get this across. RSS is so user unfriendly to describe. Once you start using it, it all makes sense, but until then forget it.

    If you see any other examples of sites promoting RSS well, I’d love to see them. I used CBC and other news sites as a model.

    William Azaroff

    January 17, 2007 at 14:31

  12. I’d say VanCity is excellent.

    If I (just me) was going to change anything, it might be to suggest introduction of categories, versus all one feed. But I would be guided by your users, and absolutely not me 🙂


    January 17, 2007 at 17:08

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: