What We’re Reading

Below are interesting stories the Banking.com staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • Online Banking Quietly Booming

American Banker

Consumer research conducted recently by Novarica found that not only are 38 percent of the U.S. population avid users of online banking services (versus the 12 percent to 18 percent of mobile banking users, depending on whose estimate you go by), but the number of people who prefer to use the online channel for basic banking transactions has grown around 30%. Online banking is now the go-to destination for 70 percent of Novarica’s survey respondents when researching products and for 68 percent when checking account balances. Sixty percent of consumers prefer to transfer funds online, again more than any other channel. For those of us old enough to remember 1995, when Security First Network Bank opened the first internet-based bank and got the stalled online banking movement moving, these numbers are high.

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  • The Two Different Worlds of Bank Tech — U.S. and the Other 194 Countries

Bank Systems & Technology

Remember, the U.S. is the only country that apparently believes in free enterprise whereby any group of fat-cat-businessmen who can put together $8 million in capital (maybe more now after the reform) can apply for a bank charter. That relatively easy process has meant lots of banks over the years. There are 15,215 banks and credit unions in the U.S. right now, diminishing at a rate of 3 percent per year. That’s not a mystery; It has been every Fed Chairman’s hidden agenda to have fewer banks.

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  • Firms enlist smartphones to provide cyber security

Boston Globe

There’s a new weapon of choice in the battle companies are waging against cyber crime: your smartphone. Companies are enlisting smartphones as another layer of protection, say security professionals, because they are cheaper and their widespread popularity makes it easier for firms to reach a broad swath of customers. “People can forget their keys and lunch at home, but no one forgets their phone,” said Ward Howell, director of security solutions consulting at Q2ebanking, an Austin, Texas, firm that provides banking services to regional banks and credit unions. Software can turn smartphones into security tokens that spit out new passwords frequently like RSA’s popular SecurID key fobs.

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  • 5 Tips for Becoming a Process-Driven Organization

Gonzo Banker

While various companies have made great strides in improving their efficiency and creating real, tangible results in terms of productivity gains, financial organizations seem to have done this despite the fact that they continue to do a notoriously poor job of evaluating and improving their processes. But with all of the regulatory changes thrust upon us the past few years and the lost revenue that will accompany them, there has never been a better time to focus intently on what banks can control: how work gets done in our own shops. Many bankers have made attempts at process improvement and reengineering, and many feel the results have been mediocre at best. At Cornerstone, we have found five key elements that consistently permeate process-driven organizations.

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  • The Top 17 Most ‘Social’ Companies

The Huffington Post

When you think about the most social media-savvy companies, what firms come to mind? Intuit or The Limited may not be at the top of your list, but they’ve just been crowned some of the United States’ “most social” companies, according to new research from NetProspex, a sales and marketing database company. As part of its annual “Social Business Report,” NetProspex developed a ranking for the most social media-savvy businesses in the United States based on a measurement called the “NetProspex Social Index (NPSI),” a number that takes into account what NetProspex calls “social presence,” meaning “the number of employees with social media profiles across Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook using a company email address,” and “social connectedness,” or “the number of connections across social networks”

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  • Would you tweet by telegraph?

Javelin Strategy & Research Blog

The velocity of money now moves at the speed of electrons. Moments after shoppers swipe a credit or debit card, financial institutions move money around the globe. And yet, despite the accelerated speed with which consumers can spend money, they still must rely on antiquated methods to track how much money they have left or where they spent it. Though we live in an era of smartphones, laptops and tablets, banks and credit unions still seem to think an old-fashioned checking account register is an adequate means to track spending. Frankly, it’s as if they are suggesting that their customers head to a telegraph office to send a tweet or post an update on their Facebook wall.

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Written by Banking.com Staff