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Archive for the ‘Mobile Banking’ Category

Making Mobile More Secure

Security concerns about mobile banking has apparently been part of the reason for the slowing of growth in the channel.  Fortunately, some very smart people are working on solutions that will help ease those fears.

Apple will be releasing facial recognition technology in their iOS 5 update.  This means that mobile banking apps for Apple products will be able to implement a new layer of security.  I can imagine that developers will jump all over this feature.  One can only hope that vendors will be aggressive with implementing this also.

You can read more about the update over on ReadWriteWeb.

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It’s A Mobile World

Apple recently released their third quarter earnings and the iPhone and iPad combined for 68% of all of Apple’s revenue.  The iPhone actually makes up 46.6% of the total revenue, which breaks down to over 20 million units and $13 billion.

In case you’ve been sitting on the fence about implementing that mobile strategy, it’s time to go all in.  Android device sales have been keeping pace with Apple devices.  In the near future, more people will access the web from their mobile device than their computer.  You can bet they’ll be looking for that cool mobile banking app also.

The Ultimate Mobile Banking App

January 7, 2011 3 comments

I am absolutely giddy about the iPhone 5 coming out with NFC enabled. No more debit card, just wave and pay. Now I just need that ultimate mobile banking app that will take advantage of the technology available. So what should this mobile banking app have? I’m glad you asked.

High Level Security
With everything going mobile, security needs to be a priority. There have already been instances of poor security with mobile banking. As customers begin to access financial services through this channel, they must feel comfortable with using the service.

Basic Functions with a Twist
Of course at minimum, customers should be able to view their accounts, transfer between accounts, and pay bills. But instead of the typical online banking layout, why not go ahead and take a PFM approach? Mint and Geezeo are good examples of this.

View Check Images
If I can view images on online banking, why can’t I on mobile banking?

ATM/Branch Locator
Hey, no need to pay ATM fees when I can find the closest ATM and get directions on how to get there.

Alerts By Location
In case you didn’t know, customers LOVE getting balance and transaction alerts. This alone will drive up your mobile banking adoption. But what I would like to see is my app having alerts pushed to me within 15 minutes with geo-tagging. It would be great to click on the alert and it show the map location of where the transaction was made. This would have huge potential for fraud protection. Of course, payment processors would need to start providing this location information. For now, it seems we can only get the merchant name, depending on the transaction file you look at.

Mobile Payments
With NFC now available for Android Gingerbread phones and Apple coming with their version soon, mobile payments will take off. You can bet that Microsoft and RIM will follow suit or get left in the dust. A lot of people are eagerly awaiting this feature.

Remote Deposit Capture
USAA is the poster child of this with over 35% of RDC coming from phone apps. Vendors are now starting to offer this as a stand-alone app. I think integration of this function is way better.

Pay People
PayPal has shown that people want this feature. Surveys have also shown that customers would love to have this function provided by their bank or credit union.

Mobile Awards and Coupons

Rewards checking has become very popular. Cardlytics offers one of the better products that I’ve seen. But imagine getting specials pushed to you through alerts. These awards could even be sent to you based on your GPS location.

Video Conferencing
Skype is now offering video conferencing on their phone apps. Mobile banking adoption is supposed to steadily increase. As branch visits go down, being able to video chat with a branch officer about accounts, investments or insurance will be a welcome feature.

Mmmm…Gingerbread

November 17, 2010 1 comment

Mobile payments are about to get a serious toe-hold in the US.  In case you haven’t heard, Google is about to release the newest version of Android, Gingerbread, which will support NFC.  Once Apple releases their next iPhone in 2011, you can expect adoption to increase exponentially.

So what does this mean to banks and credit unions?  Most won’t be affected for a while.  But the big boys like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank and JP Morgan will really start to feel the pain sooner rather than later.  Mobile payments will allow users to connect their credit and debit cards to their phone.  But that’s only if Google and Apple decide to play nice.  They could set themselves up like PayPal, which means that everything would flow through ACH.  If that happens, you can kiss interchange fees goodbye.  The bigger banks would feel this first because their customers are among the early adopters.

Now, you can stick your head in the sand and hope that adoption doesn’t happen for another 10 years, or you can start planning your strategy today.  One thing I’d look at is charging a fee for any ACH withdrawal.  The second is getting familiar with iOS and Android.  Because if you aren’t planning to adapt, others are.

First ODP, Next Interchange

October 19, 2010 1 comment

Brett King, of Bank 2.0 fame, has a post over on Finextra titled The iPhone 5 Debit Card – coming soon.  In the article he discusses the potential impact of Apple’s iPhone 5.0 that will most likely be released next fall.  One highly anticipated feature is contactless payments, which is something I wrote about here.

Brett poses a question of “how will banks compete against Apple, Google, Microsoft and the carriers in the credit card space?”  Apple already has customers that setup their credit cards to use for iTunes.  You can bet that Google and Microsoft will do the same.  Google is better positioned than Microsoft, with their Google Checkout.  But I think Brett missed one important area.

For most banks and credit unions, credit cards aren’t a huge revenue source.  I’m willing to bet that those interchange fees they get from debit transactions has way more income.  I happen to use PayPal for a lot of online transactions.  One thing I recently noticed was, my PayPal account currently has $0 in it.  However, PayPal is able to directly transfer from my checking account to pay for any transactions.  This means that PayPal gets a percentage, but my bank gets nothing.  As far as my bank is concerned, it’s just an ACH transfer.

So, when mobile payments finally take off, it won’t necessarily be banks and credit unions that benefit.  With electronic transactions being the dominate form factor for payments, losing the credit card market isn’t what should keep executives up at night.  It’s losing the debit card transaction market.

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Cash

September 6, 2010 Leave a comment

I am SO looking forward to the day when I no longer need to carry cash around.  With the advancement of smart phones, mobile payments and companies like Square, the day may be here sooner than we think.  Somaliland, a small country in the horn of Africa, just may be leading the way.

Somaliland could very well become the world’s first cashless society.  Given the fact that cash pretty much doesn’t work there (17,000 shillings = $1 US and the highest denomination is 500 Shillings) and the advancement of their mobile banking industry, getting away from cash is becoming a necessity.  Carrying wheelbarrows of money around isn’t that feasible.  However, using such services as Dahabshiil is.

Now, who thought that a small African nation would be the catalyst in changing the world to a pure electronic format?

You can read more over at TechCrunch.

Hope You’re Checking That Rearview Mirror

August 14, 2010 Leave a comment

While bank and credit union executives plan their mobile strategy or take a “wait and see” approach, industry outsiders keep on innovating. PayPal is updating their iPhone app so that you will be able to take pictures of checks and deposit directly into your PayPal account. As an additional bonus, PayPal has partnered with a number of charities so that you’ll be to donate directly to the charity of your choice. You can read more at TechCrunch.