Posts Tagged ‘Geezeo’

Banking On Rails

Over the years, I’ve watched the Ruby on Rails (RoR) community really grow.  Being a Delphi (and classic ASP) programmer, the language really appealed to me.  I still think Delphi has the best object-oriented implementation in the client/server environment.  Because RoR seemed similar to me, I started reading up on it a few years ago.

RoR is open source, which wasn’t an option for use at work, but I loved the potential of the language.  Now that I’ve started on my magical journey, I’ve decided to dive head first into the language.

Over the years, I’ve built quite a library of books and PDFs on the language.  However, I’m more of a “hands-on” kinda guy.  So last month I attended the Ruby on Rails course offered by Pragmatic Studio.  This class included three days of hands-on training and was taught by Chad Fowler and Dave Thomas.  Considering the contributions of these two to the Rails community, I’m not sure I could have had better instructors.

I highly recommend this course and will be taking Part II once I have a bit more experience under my belt.  The only criticism I had was, there wasn’t an “answer key” given at the end for all the exercises.  It would have been nice to use as a reference.

My friend Tom Wilson, over at Jack Russell Software, also recommended Code School, which is developed by Envy Labs.  There are two Rails courses available on the site, Rails for Zombies and Rails Best Practices. Both are split into five lessons with multiple exercises that you complete in the browser.  If you get stuck, you are able to get hints that will help you complete the exercise.

I went into these courses thinking it would be about basic stuff that I can read in any Rails book.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  Quite a few of the exercises dealt with material that was more advanced than the material reviewed with Pragmatic Studio.  I think it would be in the best interest of any level Rails developer to go through both of these online courses.  I’m sure you’ll come away with something new that you’ve learned.  Rails for Zombies is free while Rails Best Practices is currently being offered at a discount for $45.

I’ve already started to apply the knowledge I gained from Code School into the project I’m working on.  One thing I’ve learned from the courses at Pragmatic Studio and Code School is, I really need to start digging into the Rails framework.  Also, I need to live on GitHub.  Looking over the code from other people is another great way to learn.  I always seem to find that in Rails, there’s an easier way to accomplish your goal.

If you’ve been thinking about incorporating Ruby and/or Rails into your development environment, you’ll be in good company.  There are quite a few FinTech companies that use Ruby on Rails.  Some examples are The Garland Group, Geezeo, Jwaala, and BankSimple. If things work out, my start-up will be another.

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.