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.
- A revolution coming in corporate mobile banking
The corporate mobile banking market has matured quite a bit, and a slew of new devices, cheaper data plans, and faster networks are upon us. Business mobile users have the opportunity to take advantage of rich and powerful mobile banking services, provided their bank has an offering, according to a recent report from Celent. Adoption of corporate mobile banking solutions has clearly been slow moving. It’s going to be an uphill climb to bring more banks on board. It’s still a question of matching up client demands, IT budgets, and product prioritizations.
- Firms Plan to Boost IT Spending for Customer-Facing Tools
Advisors seeking better client communication tools are likely to have their wish come true. Wealth managers indicated in a survey report from Celent that they are likely to add or enhance client relationship management systems and client-reporting and client-facing technology tools within the next two years. Advisors want to communicate better with clients, said Alexander Camargo, an analyst at Celent and co-author of the report on wealth management IT spending. “The new tools being developed allow advisors to gain insight into clients” and achieve a better picture of their wealth, he said in an interview. ”
- Using recess power, Obama putting Cordray in job
In a defiant display of executive power, President Barack Obama on Wednesday will buck GOP opposition and name Richard Cordray as the nation’s chief consumer watchdog. Outraged Republican leaders in Congress suggested that courts would determine the appointment was illegal. With a director in place, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can start overseeing the mortgage companies, payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial operations often blamed for practices that helped tank the economy. Even before Obama announced the move in an appearance in Ohio, Cordray said he would begin work right away.
- Last Year Witnessed a Mobile Banking Lift Off
In the span of just 12 months, a revolution in financial transactions has occurred. Mobile banking has shifted from nice to have to must have at credit unions across the country as a stampede of institutions have embraced the idea that members demand the convenience of banking from the palm of their hands. “About 3,000 of some 14,000 banks and credit unions in the country now offer mobile banking,” said Drew Sievers, CEO of mobile banking apps developer mFoundry. “We sell mobile banking to a new financial institution every 26 hours.” At Fiserv, Kelly Rodriguez, director of strategy, sees similar penetration, “About 30% of credit unions now offer some form of mobile banking.
- New law would make it easier to switch banks
Switching banks is something a lot of people resolved to do last year because of new fees and being fed up with banks’ behaviors. Even so, a lot of people didn’t switch because of all the hassle involved. Now, just as the banks look to be raising fees again, a new law in Congress would make it easier to switch banks by letting you keep your account number — just like you can now keep your phone number. While Bank of America (BAC) and other major banks backed down over plans to charge a fee just for having a debit card, other fees look to be on their way.
- Diebold Virtualizes ATMs To Secure Banking Data
Diebold seeks to close vulnerabilities by moving customer data off physical machines onto virtualized ATMs on protected data center servers. Automatic teller machine maker Diebold has taken a novel approach to protecting bank customer data: virtualization. Virtualized ATMs store all customer data on central servers, rather than the ATM itself, making it difficult for criminals to steal data from the machines. In places including Brazil, customer data has been at risk when thieves pulled or dynamited ATMs out of their settings and drove off with them. With threats increasing worldwide at many retail points of sale, such as supermarket checkout counters and service station gas pumps, Diebold needed to guarantee the security of customer data entered at the 50,000 ATMs that it manages.
- Survey of mobile insiders says financial companies to define mobile payments
Industry analyst Chetan Sharma has published his annual survey of mobile industry insiders. Sharma solicited the opinions of 150 mobile execs, developers and “insiders,” to gauge what areas to watch in 2012. In many ways, the results of the 2012 survey look similar to 2011’s results, with mobile payments and mobile commerce once again chosen by panelists as the “breakthrough categories” for 2012. Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said mobile payments would experience a breakthrough this year, and 40 percent said the same for mobile commerce. Of the companies involved in mobile payments, nearly 40 percent of respondents said financial companies will continue to define the space, up from slightly more than 30 percent last year.