How banking comparison sites impact consumer search and your website

Online banking comparison sites like NerdWallet, Credit Karma, Bankrate and The Points Guy are dominating web search so thoroughly that banks and credit unions appearing on those platforms actually build credibility and earn trust for being there. Getting on those sites often costs money, and a new twist on institution-comparison site affiliation is emerging.

Comparison websites’ role in the marketing of bank, credit union and other financial service continues to evolve. These websites, which frequently enjoy better traction with Google and other search engines than banking sites themselves, already straddle an unusual range of roles from advisory and rankings for consumers to editorial to paid-promotion for brands. Their increasingly central nature to digital sales of banking products is now being augmented by the beginning of another role: direct sales partnership with financial institutions.

Comparison websites for financial services are a growing subset of the trend of comparison websites in general. Among the better-known ones in the U.S. are NerdWallet, Credit Karma,, WalletHub, The Points Guy, The Ascent (a banking-oriented site operated by The Motley Fool), The Balance,, and ValuePenguin, DepositAccounts, MagnifyMoney and CompareCards (all four of which are owned by LendingTree, itself a leading online marketplace lender). There are others, such as FindABetterBank, operated by Novantas, the banking data and consulting firm, and Wise Bread.

All of the foregoing sites are national in scope. There are also sites operated by nonprofit organizations, such as Consumers’ Checkbook, a family of sites that compare banks and many other types of local businesses in seven metropolitan areas, including Washington, D.C., as well as a national edition.


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