Innovation That Matters

In online auction, banks bid on consumer savings

Financial Services

Instead of researching which bank offers the highest interest rate, Dutch consumers can now put their money up for auction, getting banks to bid on their savings. After registering with new online facilitator Spaarbod, consumers state how much money they’d like to put aside, for how long and on which terms. The website automatically calculates the best rates that are currently available to all. At that point, consumers can sign up for that offer. However, they can also wait and see what banks will bid at auction. Spaarbod sends their data—minus personal details—to participating banks, who make an offer in a sealed-bid auction. Within a day, a user receives an email listing the five highest bidders, and can pick the best offer. The service is free for consumers, and banks pay a commission for every bid that results in a savings deposit. Spaarbod’s method is an interesting example of the intention economy at work. Buyers state a purchasing intention, and companies compete for their business. Which, in theory, turns selling into a buyer-oriented process, and alleviates the need for advertising. One to watch! (Related: Shipping market capitalizes on intentions.)



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