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BNY Mellon’s Sumday offers Instagram-based investing for millennials

The executive’s “Harnessing Everyday Behaviors to Disrupt Investing” session highlighted how few Americans save their money. In response, BNY Mellon, a 200-year-old, traditionally focused financial institution, worked with digital agency MRY to create Sumday, which puts millennials in the driver’s seat of their investment account via Instagram. 

“We had to think outside of the box for this,” said Doug Magnolia, managing director at BNY Mellon, New York. “With the help of MRY, we brought two seemingly disjointed groups together, which saved time and money.”

Paying it forward
The new generation of consumers is not known to save money, with 66 percent of GDP is driven by consumers, and 4 percent is the average savings rate.

Therefore, BNY wanted to create a generation of smart savers and investors by giving them the opportunity to fund their future, by leveraging existing behaviors, such as social.

With Sumday, users can open investments accounts by putting only $1 down, and can automatically contribute to the account by using the hashtag #Sumday while they share content on Instagram.

Since smartphone users can control what they share, they tend to put extra thought into it. BNY believes a sense of confidence lies in the decision to post and share, which is a convenient opportunity to push investments.

The service allows users to forecast their investment decisions by calculating where their account will stand in one year depending on how much they invest in a month’s time.

Consumers interested in trying the service can enter their email address on and will await an invite code. The service is not live yet, but occasional announcements are being publicized through numerous social accounts.

BNY has released a Vimeo video explaining the service.

My Sumday

Mobile driving money
As traditional as the banking industry is, financial institutions have to think outside of the box and leverage mobile to appeal to millennials.

Citibank and Walmart have jumped onboard with mobile offerings that combine on-the-go technology with low fees to appeal to younger and lower-income consumers.

Following closely on the heels of Citibank’s introduction of the new mobile-first Access Account, Walmart has partnered with Green Dot Corp., which sells prepaid debit cards in mass merchant locations, to offer the latter’s GoBank checking account.  GoBank, which is available exclusively at Walmart, promises low fees as well as a range of features for mobile-centric consumers such as instant person-to-person payments via email or text message, pay-anyone bill pay and budgeting tools (see story).

Historically, augmented reality’s utilitarian use case in banking disappeared once consumers reached a branch, but Westpac New Zealand has extended the technology to support account management within its mobile app.

Westpac New Zealand is among financial institutions embracing the mobile and social revolution as transactions are more frequently executed through mobile devices. Its implementation of augmented reality adds a new dimension to mobile banking that has not been introduced before, as several banks have previously introduced AR apps but solely to enable customers to find the nearest branch or ATM by looking through the camera feed on a smartphone (see story).

A creative approach, Sumday breaks the stiff rules of banking to appeal to a nontraditional consumer.

“We all have those thoughts that someday we’re going to do this or that,” said Vishal Sapra, vice president of global business development at MRY. “Sumday responds to that and is simple, transparent and intuitive.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York