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.
- The CFPB’s First Year and Future Challenges: A Conversation with Raj Date
Raj Date has had a busy year. After joining the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau near the end of 2010, Date spent months helping Elizabeth Warren prepare the new agency to open on July 21. But in August he was tapped to takeover Warren’s role, temporarily serving as CFPB’s de-facto leader in addition to being the agency’s associate director for research, markets and regulations. In a recent sit-down interview with American Banker, Date said the agency is further along than he initially expected and has made great strides reaching out to the industry.
- Large Banks Are Becoming Serious About Mobile Payments
A year ago, banks expressed an interest in mobile banking and payments during discussions with Fiserv Inc. This year, those that have not already made a real play to support the technology appear ready to do so, Fiserv says. Fiserv in September worked with Forrester Research to talk with 10 major financial institutions about their plans for mobile banking and payments for 2012, according to Calvin Grimes, mobile solutions manager at Fiserv. Last year, the firms spoke with 15 financial institutions about their mobile plans for this year.
- BECU’s Wu Creates “Actionable” Mobile Alerts
A slew of tech and banking analysts have identified mobile banking as one of the hottest spots for new and expanded IT investment, with Ovum and Celent, for example, both placing mobile high on their list of bank IT priorities for the next year. As the channel matures, the new development will expand the apps beyond their early role as an information disseminator. “We’re moving toward a ubiquitous experience across a variety of channels and devices,” says Wayne Busch, a partner at Accenture, who says that for mobile, that means expanding the device’s use to meld with other touchpoints. That expansion in mobile function can be seen at institutions such as BECU, the former Boeing Employees Credit Union. Howie Wu, vice president of virtual banking for BECU, says the next step for the credit union as it expands its digital banking reach is to move more functions such as person-to-person payments and “actionable alerts” to the mobile channel. The credit union, which just finished an upgrade of its iPhone app, is scheduled to finish a similar upgrade to its native Android app by March.
- Chase simplifies checking account disclosures
Chase is making its checking accounts easier to understand. The bank said Thursday it will start providing a three-page disclosure that help consumers quickly identify the key terms of its basic checking account, such as the monthly fee and conditions customers need to meet to have that fee waived. Chase, part of New York-based JP Morgan Chase & Co., will be the first major bank to adopt a version of the consumer-friendly disclosure developed by The Pew Charitable Trusts earlier this year. As it stands, Pew says disclosures are often more than 100 pages and bury the most important fees and terms for customers.
- Experts see ‘humongous’ growth in mobile banking in Canada heading into 2012
Most Canadians still aren’t pulling out their phones to check their bank account balances and pay bills but experts and users alike expect a whole lot more will be doing so in 2012. “We definitely see there’s been humongous growth on the banking front on the phone platform,” says Bryan Segal, vice-president of the digital measurement firm comScore. Canadians are among the world’s leaders when it comes to embracing online and mobile banking, according to comScore. Last year, Canada ranked as the top country for online banking usage, with almost 65 per cent of our Internet users going on the web each month to check their accounts.
- 5 Sneaky Fees Your Bank Could Be Charging You The Exaggerated Impact of Bank Transfer Day
The numbers sounded a bit too good to be true — and it turned out that they were. The Credit Union National Association now says that about 214,000 people joined credit unions in the month or so of anti-bank fervor this fall, not the 650,000 it originally estimated. As Gov. Rick Perry of Texas might say: “Oops.”The credit union association attributed the difference to ambiguous wording in a survey that may have been misinterpreted by some credit unions. The association had asked its members to gauge the impact of Bank Transfer Day, Nov. 5, which had been designated by a grass-roots movement as the day for customers to switch from big banks to credit unions.