Banking Startup 'Tribed' To Form Banks for Niche Market Segments; Company introduces 'Wag, the bank for dog fanatics'

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Tribed today introduced itself to the banking community by launching a new website at http://www.niche-banking.com, and unveiling its plans to develop an extensive series of small, highly targeted online-only 'direct' banks. The company says its goal is to make financial services more relevant to consumers, by providing banking member experiences that are tailored to extremely narrowly defined member segments, who share in a particular passion. As the first example of its concept, Tribed today launched Wag, a new website aimed at the most avid dog fanatics, at http://www.dog-bank.com.

Tribed is a niche banking startup that creates banking experiences for niche communities

Tribed: Banking experiences for niche communities

By framing personal finance and banking services in the context of people's passions, we are finally making banking services relevant.

Tribed today introduced itself to the banking community by launching a new website at http://www.niche-banking.com, and unveiling its plans to develop an extensive series of small, highly targeted online-only 'direct' banks. The company says its goal is to make financial services more relevant to consumers, by providing banking member experiences that are tailored to extremely narrowly defined member segments, who share in a particular passion.

As the first example of its concept, Tribed today launched Wag, a new website aimed at the most avid dog fanatics, at http://www.dog-bank.com. The website is currently an online publication providing unique content about how personal finance topics intersect with and impact the lifestyle of the fanatical dog lover, and facilitating discussion with community members about these topics. Once the company has completed the setup of its direct banking operations, the website will offer those services as well, while continuing to provide ongoing content. Currently accepting unlimited reservations for its service, Wag will cap initial membership at 1,500 members to maintain a high quality group of engaged dog fanatics.

“It's no secret that banking products are generic commodities—and in large part, financial institutions have allowed the experience of consuming them be just as commoditized. While being necessary evils, banks lack relevance to the member's life, and the result is rampant consumer apathy. Brand engagement is nearly non-existent among banking members,” Stephens said.

Tribed plans to develop dozens of its highly targeted front end banking experiences, managing each one separately with a team of people who are part of that niche community. In other words, Wag will not only exclusively serve fanatical dog lovers, it will also exclusively employ fanatical dog lovers. Tribed will manage every member-facing aspect of the banks, and will outsource banking operations—from transaction processing to compliance—to a white-labeled FDIC-insured bank as a supplier. The company says it has developed a unique business model that gives serving small member segments a viability that traditionally minded, brick-and-mortar financial institutions could never achieve.

“Why is money relevant to a consumer?” founder Jeff Stephens asks rhetorically. “It's relevant because it's a critical tool for helping that person live the type of life they want to live. And that life is centered around whatever that person is passionate about. By framing personal finance and banking services in the context of people's passions, we are finally making banking services relevant.”

The company plans to have banking services operational for the members of its niche banks by early 2013.

About Tribed
Tribed is a division of Creative Brand Communications, Inc. a Portland, Oregon-based financial services branding consultancy. For more information, please visit http://www.niche-banking.com.

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Jeff Stephens
Tribed
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