"The importance of social media for reaching consumers directly is obvious. Everyone is on Facebook nowadays and you have to be where your members are." - Donna Handwerger, VP of Marketing Operations at Mission Federal Credit Union
BERKELEY, CA (PRWEB) March 26, 2013
Berkeley-based fintech startup Shastic expanded its client base by 66% in the first quarter of 2013, adding new financial institutions totaling $11.2 billion in assets. Shastic, the first provider of Facebook applications for the banking sector, announced Tuesday that in the last 45 days alone, 11 more institutions have adopted its flagship product, Calcubot. Calcubot is the first and only social loan calculator for Facebook.
Shastic’s remarkable growth, which builds on Calcubot’s successful initial release in 2012, underscores social media’s growing importance in the consumer financial sector. Donna Handwerger, VP of Marketing Operations at Mission Federal Credit Union notes that Facebook remains a vital yet underutilized channel for financial institutions: “The importance of social media for reaching consumers directly is obvious. Everyone is on Facebook nowadays and you have to be where your members are. We had previously been limited to daily posts to interact with our members. With Calcubot, we finally have a way to leverage the full power of social media.”
Shastic CEO Ariel Gomez remarked “Financial institutions have had a strong presence in online for a long time and they have a quickly growing presence in mobile. Facebook is the new frontier. Your FI’s high tech strategy should be a tripod of three legs: online, mobile and social”.
Engagement statistics for Calcubot usage are remarkable for an online service. 83.6% of Calcubot users complete an estimate and 17.3% of users who complete an estimate click the “Apply Now” button. Mortgages represent 50.6% of the traffic, while auto loans represent 49.4%.
Shastic customers also note that Calcubot represents a significant step forward in reducing the cost of generating loans. According to Patelco’s Online Marketing Director Ignasio Medrano, “Calcubot doesn’t take long to show impressive ROI. At a cost of $99 month, a single funded loan pays for more than a year.”
Shastic customers attribute much of its success to its ease of installation and short time to reach end users. Lance Kissler, Senior Community Development Officer at Spokane Teachers Credit Union added, “I really loved how easy everything was to set up. Start to finish it took us no more than 15 minutes over the phone and it didn’t require any training.“
Among the financial institutions that adopted Calcubot to connect directly with loan applicants through Facebook in 2013 are Patelco Credit Union ($3.8 billion in assets), Mission Federal Credit Union ($2.3 billion in assets), MidFlorida Credit Union ($1.8 billion in assets), Pacific Service Credit Union ($1 billion in assets), CoastHills Federal Credit Union ($688 million in assets), Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union ($582 million in assets), Missoula Federal Credit Union ($379 million in assets), General Mills Federal Credit Union ($308 million in assets), First Financial Federal Credit Union ($192 million in assets), Credit Union of the Rockies ($91 million in assets) and Members “First” Community Credit Union ($39 million in assets). The range in asset size demonstrates that Calcubot works for every size of financial institution.
Shastic expects sustained growth throughout 2013. “We’re only beginning to satisfy the demand in the banking industry for social media tools,” said Mr. Gomez. “The release of new social products for financial institutions later this year will broaden our market even further, making for an exciting and busy 2013.”
About The Company
Shastic, a technology company based in Berkeley, CA, created the first-ever consumer-facing tools on Facebook for the financial sector in 2012. Its first offering, Calcubot, is a simple but powerful social application that helps credit unions and banks fully engage with potential loan applicants. Calcubot’s consultative approach walks prospective loan customers through an interactive buying process tailored to a financial institution’s lending products. Shastic is a portfolio company of Berkeley Ventures.