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.
- Mobile On/Off Switch for Debit Cards Now in Testing
A new system lets consumers deactivate debit and ATM cards from a mobile device, reactivating them only as needed. The security system, which one bank is testing, has the potential to make stolen card data less valuable, since a card would work for payments or cash withdrawals only when the legitimate customer permits it to. The technology, called card lock, is part of Diebold Inc.’s MobiTransact mobile banking platform. Consumers would have the flexibility to keep a card switched off at almost all times – or to lock it only in high-risk situations, such as when it has been misplaced, says Thomas Swidarski, the company’s chief executive.
- In Mobile Payments, Card Companies Trusted More than Facebook
Even though consumers increasingly trust nonbanks such as Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. with their personal information, they trust credit card providers more. In fact, the popular social media phenomenon Facebook ranked last among companies consumers would trust to support mobile payments in an Ogilvy & Mather’s online mobile-shopper survey of 500 U.S. consumers, says Gareth Evan, director of digital at its Ogilvy Action unit. The marketing communications firm conducted the survey in June. “When we talked to consumers as well as brand manufacturers, vendors and retailers, we started to see themes come out, and one of them was trust in new services being offered,” says Evan.
- Intuit GoPayment Partners with Verizon Wireless
In a move that may enable large numbers of very small merchants to begin accepting credit cards, Intuit announced that its GoPayment merchant tools will be sold at 2,300 Verizon Wireless stores. Sharna Brockett, an Intuit spokesperson, said the importance of the deal is that it will put the tools in front of many more small businesses. “This is the first time many smaller businesses can easily and affordably accept credit cards on their phone,” Brockett said Thursday.
- Customer Experience Lessons From Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs is stepping down as CEO of Apple. That’s a big loss for Apple. Jobs transformed Apple from a niche computer maker to one of the most influential technology/consumer product companies on earth. Under his leadership, Apple developed iPods, iPads, iTunes, iPhones, Apple Stores, etc. That’s an incredible portfolio.
- Citibank customers are gadget-freaks. Wells Fargo customers? Not so much.
Citibank has the highest concentration of gadget-loving consumers in the US, with nearly four in ten of their account-holders saying they are “the first to try” new technology when it becomes available. Citi’s customers are more than twice as likely as the average US online citizen to crave and brave new gizmos and gadgets. Citibank is in entirely different position from which to market and launch the likes of mobile, social, online and other channel-based payments and financial services, as our Bank Benchmarking data show in spades. Bank of America and Chase have significantly more early-adopters than other larger US institutions, but they still trail Citi in this regard by a combined ratio of about 1.5x!
- Fewer Banks In the U.S. Considered To Be at Risk
The number of banks on the government’s list of institutions most at risk for failure fell in the second quarter, the first drop since before the financial crisis began. Twenty-three lenders came off the list of so-called problem banks during the second quarter, bringing the total to 865, according to data released Tuesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Not all the troubled lenders will inevitably fail, but the F.D.I.C. considers them most at risk, making the quarterly update one of the clearest measures of the banking industry’s health. It was the first decrease in the number of problem banks since the third quarter of 2006.
- Banks start offering payday loans ; Financial institutions target most-strapped customers for revenue
As regional banks ready for new federal regulations expected to cut into profits, some of them are zeroing in on the down-and-out customer to turn a buck. More banks are doling out short-term, high-interest loans to customers in dire straits. Observers worry that the loans signify an industry wide shift toward making money on desperate consumers and — more broadly — slapping more fees on services for everyone. “If the banks want to maintain their revenue growth, they’re going to have to come up with new profits and new approaches,” said Richard Bove, banking analyst at Rochdale Securities.