Yes, it’s true and, I daresay, it had to happen! Our popularity and the social circles we keep on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are about to be used by UK banks to determine whether people are a good or bad risk for lending.
The social influence banking move is already happening in the states in fact, driven by online finance group Movenbank, with the philosophy that people with a good credit history tend to socialize together online and will be more influential than those with a poor credit history who are less likely to have a strong social following. Brett King the founder of Movenbank told the Sunday Times this week: “The better a person’s social score, the better our rates and fees will be for that individual. Someone’s reach and influence is taken into account. If someone has 5,000 friends and posts something good or bad about the service they got at a bank, 5,000 people will see that, which is inevitably good for business.”
It seems that our social capital is becoming just as important as our personal wealth, with our followers, fans and network connections being increasingly sought after commodities. In my opinion, social platforms are the new golf courses and the new country clubs where a ‘Follow’ or ‘Like’ has replaced a handshake and a Retweet is just as important as buying the next round at the bar!