Following several months of new product releases, tools, and web promotions, the pace slowed across the industry this February. A few firms revamped their sites this month, and as the athletes took to the slopes in Vancouver, one firm promoted its 2010 Winter Olympics sponsorship online.
ING released new public, private and advisor sites, with the most significant revamp occurring on the advisor site. New navigational systems and promotional images enhance the appearance of all three sites. Oppenheimer revamped its advisor site, and TradeKing incorporated its social community content within the revamped Account Summary page. TD Bank unveiled its revamped paper statement layout, while Discover updated its private activity and statement section.
Following Schwab’s January 8th announcement that it would be cutting online stock trade commissions to a flat $8.95 for all customers, both Fidelity and E*TRADE Financial lowered online commissions in February. Fidelity reduced the commission for online equity trades to $7.95 for all clients. Previously, the firm offered a tiered commission structure based on trade frequency and household assets. E*TRADE Financial lowered their commissions for all stock and option trades from $12.99 to $9.99 (standard) or $7.99 (active traders). E*TRADE also previously utilized a tiered commission structure.
In Other News
• Going for Gold – As the 2010 Winter Olympics commenced in Vancouver this month, Charles Schwab promoted its sponsorships of the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding teams via new images added to their public and private sites.
• CARD Act Regulations – With new credit card legislation taking effect on February 22, 2010, six firms in our Credit Card Monitor coverage group debuted new card holder statements, featuring late payment warning information and calculations to aid cardholders in understanding how best to pay off their outstanding balance.
• Streamlining Security – In an effort to streamline its private brokerage experience, Bank of America has adopted a login security process that mirrors the Merrill Lynch brokerage login system. Bank of America now offers identical security questions, SiteKey image and password requirements. Both sites still function independently of each other, requiring separate logins. Bank of America already utilized similar login processes for its retail bank and cards sites.