MoneyAisle (moneyaisle.com) is a real-time “reverse-auction” site that allows customers to find the best certificate of deposit (CD) and high-yield savings account rates. It is the first service from Burlington, MA startup NeoSaej. According to NeoSaej CEO Mukesh Chatter, the process reverses that of bidding sites like eBay. “MoneyAisle differs from other online auction sites, which are seller-centric, by providing buyer-centric auctions to consumers. Many sellers (banks) compete and the buyer ultimately benefits, reversing traditional seller-centric online auction methods, used by sites such as eBay,” says the company’s website.
Customers choose how much money they want to place in a CD or high-yield savings account; amounts can be from $100 to $200,000 and for periods of six to sixty months. After entering this information and the state of residence, the auction begins, fun to watch for number junkies.
The whole process is surprisingly fast, taking less than two minutes to find the winning bid. Once the final bid is submitted, the rate is locked in for thirty minutes. If accepted, the bank takes things from there.
MoneyAisle is ad-free. While the service is free for buyers, banks pay subscription fees, as well as a small fee for every successful transaction. This is a cost effective way to attract new customers, according to Chatter, as banks spend $400 to $1000 in online advertising for each new customer.
Moneyaisle also works as a platform for smaller banks to increase their customer base.
"The community banks are winning because they're reaching out to consumers they wouldn't have necessarily had access to before, which is MoneyAisle's primary business proposition," said TowerGroup analyst Bob Egan. Small banks are “getting squeezed on all sides, they can't collect enough deposits,” said Chatter.
More than $1 million was deposited in banks by customers in Moneyaisle’s first week live. The company plans to expand their auction services to include other banking services and commercial products.