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BBVA Compass Partners With Social Money Site SmartyPig

Site intended to help consumers save money now has a U.S. bank its customers can work with.

Furthering a recent trend of banks offering or partnering with social money and personal financial management sites, BBVA Compass and SmartyPig today announced a strategic alliance in which BBVA Compass will serve as depository institution to SmartyPig's customers in the United States and work with SmartyPig to expand their shared customer base.

BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates as the U.S. arm of the BBVA Group, a global financial services group with assets of more than $765 billion and operations in more than 30 countries. SmartyPig is an online banking application that combines Web 2.0 user applications with the social networking platforms. Through its consumer finance site, individuals and families can obtain interest on their savings, in addition to cash back rewards of up to 12 percent when they make purchases at premium retail and travel companies.

SmartyPig says it empowers people to rid themselves of the "buy now, pay later" mindset through its platform that allows customers to save for specific financial goals like a wedding, a vacation or a flat-screen TV. A goal can be funded through monthly recurring deposits from existing checking or savings accounts or can be made with one-time contributions. Deposit amounts are set by the customer or can be calculated by using an interactive calculator to determine the amount needed each month to reach the predetermined goal. Savings accounts associated with SmartyPig accounts will be provided by BBVA Compass and FDIC insured.

"SmartyPig has led the charge in creating the next generation of banking solutions, leveraging Web 2.0 features that have the ability to motivate people to use their money more wisely," said Rick Claypoole, senior vice president and director of consumer deposits at BBVA Compass, in a statement. "Customers today are concerned with reducing debt levels and an unstable economy. We share SmartyPig's vision that the time has never been better to help consumers get back to the basic idea of sensibly saving for the things they want in life."

SmartyPig customers will receive notice today via e-mail allowing them to choose whether to continue their SmartyPig accounts with BBVA Compass as their new bank.

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