Category Archives: banking

Twitter fans, meet Tipjoy, your new tweeting bank service

Ever notice what is missing from your cell phone? You can call, text, take photos and even surf the web — but does your mobile device carry money?

New Twitter applications may change that. Third-party services such as Tipjoy allow you to send real money via Twitter, by loading up an account that taps your credit card. Since Twitter works great on cell phones, it soon could be a backdoor for mobile phones to finally replace your wallet. Tipjoy has cleverly launched with a carrot that could attract big marketers to further promote the micropayment service: it touts charitable giving as one use, the perfect platform for cause-marketers trying to buy their way into social media buzz by raising money for charity.

Twitter itself is down with that, even promoting Tipjoy on its home page just below your follower count. If you like the ironic thought of Twitter, so often criticized for failing to monetize, eventually becoming a vast, speedy, mobile backbone of the global currency system, please tweet us $100.

Finally: PNC Bank reinvents the boring checkbook

Ah, to be 20something again and not know a damn thing about managing money. We’ve all been there, yet remarkably few banks have done anything to help teens and Gen Y learn how to control cash.

PNC Bank steps into the void by rebranding the basics of finance. Screw the bank statement — PNC’s Virtual Wallet recasts checking and savings accounts into a simple “money bar.” The service creates three types of accounts: scheduled out, money you have to set aside for bills; free, money you get to play with; and reserve, money you may want to save for a car or house someday.

The service is loaded with intuitive features that we wish we had at age 22. A calendar forecasts how much money you’ll have in the future when your next paycheck clears; reminders give you a nudge, like Mom, that it’s time to pay a bill. Why don’t other banks do this?

If you know anyone young and carefree who keeps their waitress tips in a ceramic jar, PNC’s rebranding of banking offers more than spin — it’s a clear, refreshing way to learn to get control of your finances.

Photo: Kuayvista