The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

A new use of the Wesabe API makes switching banks easier

Marc at Wesabe writes about two companies, and their use of the new Wesabe API.  I wanted to focus on one of them with a Banking context – BankSwitcher.

Wheaties for Your Wallet » Blog Archive » LessAccounting, BankSwitcher, and the Wesabe API

BankSwitcher is a service to help people switch their accounts from one bank to another. They just launched their site yesterday, with Wesabe API support baked in from the start. They use your Wesabe transaction data to identify automatic payments and deposits you have set up at your old bank, and to create a “Switching Checklist” that helps you make sure you get everything switched to the new account with no fuss.

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The BankSwitcher CEO posted about their launch, and their use of the Wesabe API, in Wesabe Groups.

Such a simple concept, yet powerful, and disruptive to Banks.  This changes paradigms.

This from the CEO of BankSwitcher contained in the Wesabe forum.

Hi, I’m the CEO of Facilitas, a financial services technology start-up
based in NYC. We’ve just launched BankSwitcher, the first-ever
Web-based tool to make it easier for consumers to switch banks.
BankSwitcher instantly identifies all the forms and instructions a user
needs to switch banks and generates a personalized Switching Checklist
that can be downloaded, printed and saved.

Written by Colin Henderson

September 15, 2007 at 22:23

5 Responses

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  1. Nice. Imagine an FI putting something together like this. Sadly a form, however helpful, still creates work for the end user making the switch. Much like the Switch service provided by Davis & Henderson here in Canada to many banks and credit unions — the onus is on the consumer. First folks to figure out a way to make this all automatic, with a few clicks of a mouse will win the game.


    September 15, 2007 at 23:41

  2. Thanks for the comments. I wanted to give some background on the issues raised:

    — Rules governing ACH transactions require a manual switching process. Our dream is to make switching happen with a few mouse clicks and I know we will get there one day. Today, ACH originators (e.g., billers) are required to have a signature from account holders to authorize new payment instructions by NACHA (the organization that governs how ACH transactions are handled).

    — Top billers are moving away from paper. Not all billers require signatures on paper forms. The top billers (credit card issuers, wireless providers, etc.) have implemented voice-recording systems and use digital signatures (email verification) in-place of signatures on paper forms. This makes it much easier for consumers.

    — Knowing who and how to switch everything is half the battle. Two of the biggest challenges consumers experience when switching banks is to 1) remember all of the electronic transactions going in and out of the account and 2) understand exactly how their electronic payments were originally set-up (because the switching instructions will be different). BankSwitcher solves these problems in less than 10 minutes and provides the easiest/fastest to execute instructions possible. We’ve already called nearly 2,000 billers to capture their specific instructions and forms and we’re adding more every day as more people use BankSwitcher.

    — Bank and Credit Union implementations of BankSwitcher will have more automation. We’re offering BankSwitcher to banks and credit unions that want to increase customer acquisition rates and improve the on-boarding experience of their new customers. These implementations will have an automated process to transfer the online billpay information from the old bank to the new one.

    rob rubin

    September 16, 2007 at 13:04

  3. […] Coverage from Colin addthis_url = ‘’; addthis_title = ‘Switching+banks…’; addthis_pub = ”; […]

  4. […] 2. The Bankwatch: […]

  5. […] I guess I am a bit behind the times (well by a week or so anyway). It looks like Wesabe and BankSwitcher are already making it easy for your unhappy members to switch …. The good thing is they will let you throw your hat in the ring to maybe pump up your aquisitions. […]

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