To Facebook or Not to Facebook

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With the release of the Movenbank Alpha Site, several of our Alpha Team members have asked about our use of Facebook for registration and logging into movenbank.com.  We at Movenbank have a tremendous respect for the need to secure private data, especially information about your financial behavior so we thought we’d take a moment to talk about Facebook, your privacy and how we use your data.

Are we only going to use Facebook?

Absolutely not.  As we build towards our full banking service we will supplement the registration and login features with additional authentication channels, including a private, Movenbank-specific user identity as well as other popular social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn.

Why Facebook?

Facebook provides a secure and accessible framework for user management that we were able to hook into very easily. Facebook also has several hundred million global users and a large percentage of the United States, our first market, has Facebook accounts. So we decided not to re-invent the wheel and instead focus on Movenbank’s long-term goal of providing you with a financial service linked to your behavior and financial life. Many other startups have made the same decision.

The primary driver behind our release of the Alpha site was to begin developing a relationship with you, our users, and to gain an understanding of how you interact with your money.  We are using that information to identify your Financial Personality, which will allow us to formulate financial insights and guidance to help you improve your financial health and behavior.

Up until the alpha launch, we have only requested one piece of information from you to begin getting to know you – an email address.  We’ve used that email address to provide you with updates on our progress and to send you your invitation to our join our Alpha Team.

We’d love to be able to refer to you by your name instead of your email, we’d like to know where you live so we can see if there is location-based advice we can provide you with, and we’re curious about who your friends are because they are an important part of who you are.  You’ve already told Facebook all of that information, so why should you have to tell us too?

So what’s the advantage for you?  Now that we know a little more about you, we can make your future experiences quicker and easier. We really won’t need to ask you to fill out an application form when we begin offering financial products.  We just need to ask you to confirm your identity at sign-up.  How easy is that? This is just one example of the many ways we’re working on making your banking and financial services experience easier.

What data are we taking from your Facebook profile?

The short answer to that question is “only data that you allow us to take.” But I know that doesn’t mean very much, so here’s what we’re really doing:

We are collecting the information available on your Facebook profile’s “Info” screen that you have marked as Public.  We are using information like your first and last name, current location, and profile picture to customize your Movenbank Dashboard.

We are looking at your list of friends, identifying which of them are also Movenbank Alpha Team members and are showing you each other’s personality, but only if both of you both choose to share this information.  This additional step is an opt-in feature and your personality will not be displayed unless you explicitly enable sharing on your Dashboard. Don’t see your friends? Get them to turn on sharing… you both might be surprised what you see.

And here’s what we are NOT doing:

We are NOT sharing any of your data with any external parties

We are NOT going to publish content to your Wall unless you click on a Share link from our site

We are NOT going to send a bunch of spam to your email address or to any of your friends

And that’s all there is to it.  Our goal is to get to know you as best we can through your online presence and we picked Facebook as a starting point for that relationship.

What information about me is going to be available to Facebook?

Movenbank is its own website with its own data storage facilities that are completely segregated from Facebook.  The fact that we are using Facebook to support our registration and login functionality means we are using Facebook for only that.

As you work your way through our financial personality questionnaire, Movenbank will collect the answers you provide and store them in our own secure environment.  We use your answers to determine your personality and then display that for you on your dashboard.

The data that you provide to us through this process is for Movenbank’s use alone and will not be shared with Facebook or any other parties without your express permission.  As your financial services partner we value your privacy and we want you to trust us just as we trust you – as we work together to reboot banking.

And that’s about it.

We’d like to thank our Alpha Team members who have taken the time to ask us about Facebook and we look forward to continuing to work together to build you a great financial experience.  As always, feel free to ask us if you have any questions, or leave a comment below.

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