So it looks like the financial services industry has got the social commerce bug.  Yesterday we covered Amex’s innovative open-graph powered Link-Like-Love rewards program that offers personalized rewards based on Facebook Likes and activity, and today ING bank (Canada) is running a group-buy deal to acquire new customers on

The deal is on for 6 days, and the minimum number has already been achieved (4173 so far), so the deal is live (not surprising since it’s free).  ‘Buy’ the deal for $0 and get $185 deposited into your new ING Thrive cheque account when you open it and set it up to receive your salary.

It’s all a little convoluted (buy a voucher, get a code, open an account, use the code, get the money) and the ‘deal’ pretty much resembles a traditional account opening incentive – but the idea is smart. ING and other banks could build on this social commerce approach for new customer acquisition, and perhaps run an upscale version for mass affluent customers with Gilt, or run similar offers for other financial products – perhaps with a higher minimum number required for the deal to go live, with ‘live’ meaning new accounts opened, rather than vouchers downloaded.

And for social commerce platforms and vendors – could there not be an emerging opportunity for a specialist group-buy platform for financial services products?  For example, if 500 people clubbed together to get car/holiday insurance – what sort of group-buy deal could insurers offer?  Or if a local residents association members could save with a group-buy deal if they went through one home insurer.  Or, more extreme, what if a neighborhood could get 1000 people willing to switch their bank, if a new bank opened up local branch?

That would be collective buying power in action.