In May, Allstate unveiled local blogs, to help promote agents in major cities. A number of firms introduced mobile resources. Fidelity released a new Windows 8 App and TD Ameritrade added a social network to their iOS apps. Chase released a new receipt capture capability, available to clients both online and via their mobile device. Finally, firms expressed their continued condolences to the victims of the Boston Marathon, and promoted campaigns to help with aid.
Allstate Introduces Local Blogs
Allstate unveiled a series of local blogs focusing on eight cities – Atlanta, Houston, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Chicago, Phoenix, Denver and Seattle. The blogs feature local news, and insurance tips and are filled with educational articles, a traffic report, a “city buzz” Twitter feed and quizzes. Snapshots of local agents are posted on the right column of the blog, displaying their name, office address, phone number, languages spoken, awards and a photo. Allstate is planning to roll out additional city blogs in the near future. Sample stories on the Atlanta blog include, “Well-maintained Tires Can Help Keep You Safe in Atlanta Traffic,” and “Zipcar to offer rentals at Hartsfield-Jackson.”
Allstate Local Blog: Chicago
In a recent press release, Chase announced the launch of a new receipt capture capability. The new feature is part of Jot, a reporting tool that allows clients to manage their expenses online or on their mobile phone. Chase’s receipt capture allows clients to snap a photo of a receipt using their mobile phone (iPhone and Android only) and create expense reports with it online. American Express offers a similar service called ReceiptMatch, which was launched last year and recently updated. Both firms help clients manage their card receipts online and via a mobile phone.
Chase Receipt Capture
New releases and updates in the mobile space included a Windows phone app from Fidelity, and the addition of the myTrade social hub to TD Ameritrade’s iPhone and iPad apps. Fidelity is just the fifth firm tracked by Corporate Insight’s Mobile Monitor service to release an app optimized for the device. The app has a distinct look and feel from the firm’s other smartphone apps. Trading capabilities on the Windows app are equal to Fidelity’s pre-existing apps, but some research and transaction capabilities are more limited.
TD Ameritrade’s updated iPhone and iPad apps now feature myTrade, a social hub where clients can share ideas and connect with other traders. It allows users to see trades others are making and copy them directly to their own trade ticket.
|TD Ameritrade myTrade|
Scottrade Introduces Flexible Dividend Reinvestment
The new Scottrade Flexible Dividend Reinvestment program allows clients to reinvest dividends from up to five stocks and ETFs into investments that did not originally issue the dividends. Typically, firms only offer the option to reinvest in the same security that paid the dividend. Scottrade is the only brokerage firm within the e-Monitor coverage group to offer such a program. American Funds offers clients a similar dividend reinvestment program.
Financial Services Firms Continue to Respond to Boston Bombings; Step Up Charitable Efforts
A number of firms addressed the tragic Boston Marathon bombings online in May with several introducing charitable efforts to aid the victims. MFS posted a homepage image that announced a donation to OneFund Boston to support the victims’ recovery. Additionally, TD Bank stated that the firm donated $50,000 to OneFund Boston. It also launched “Coins for Caring,” a campaign to aid the victims. The campaign allowed all TD Bank customers, and non-customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island to use the bank’s Penny Arcade coin counting machine for free, and to donate their coins to OneFund Boston. The campaign ran through May 12, 2013.
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