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.
- Prepaid Cards Still Have Lots of Fees: Survey
A survey by Bankrate.com compares 24 prepaid cards based on the fees they charge consumers. For example, the 2012 survey found that 14 of 18 prepaid cards charged customers a balance inquiry fee on at least some automatic teller machines. This year, 18 of 24 cards charged such a fee on at least some ATMs. In last year’s survey six out of 18 prepaid cards charged fees for at least some declined transactions. This year, nine out of 24 cards did.
- FDIC on Social Media Risks
As the use of social media grows among banking institutions, federal banking regulators warn those institutions need to be mindful of phishing and spoofing schemes. Drafted guidance issued by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council now details how banks and credit unions can prepare to mitigate the new and emerging risks social media poses. The drafted guidance, issued in January, references applicable laws and regulations banking institutions should consider when planning and conducting their activities related to social media, says Elizabeth Khalil, of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which is part of the FFIEC.
- Creating A Customized Banking Experience With Big Data
Big data opens the door for banks to group their customers according to their banking preferences, which can make customers more satisfied and more profitable. Banks have been increasingly focused on customer experience in recent years, but they’ve been taking an approach that is too broad, says Dean Nicolackis, a partner at PwC’s banking and capital markets practice. While many banks are trying to configure a customer experience that is consistent for every customer across every channel, the key to a really great customer experience is providing a different personalized experience that fits different customer segments, Nicolackis contends. Different customers just want different things – and are willing to pay for different things – from their bank.
- Are Tablets Their Own Channel And Does It Matter?
The latest research from Javelin Strategy and Research indicates that the tablet users are older; between the ages of 35 to 54, have an average household income of $75,000, and half of them consider themselves to be early adopters. When compared with mobile banking, statistics show that users spend more time on tablets. The question though is not whether it should be considered a separate channel. However, whether separate or not, the bottom line, from a customer experience point of view, the service has to be consistent, and that is the key – it has to be fully integrated into all the other channels and the interchange between the channels has to be seamless.
- SaveUp Program, Other Tools Target Millenials
Frankenmuth Credit Union CEO Vickie Schmitzer is continually focused on implementing industry innovations to attract members of all ages, but especially Millenials. That focus stems from the credit union’s work in the field. “We work as much as we possibly can with our local public and parochial schools at every grade level,” said Schmitzer. “We know they are our credit union’s future and that new technology is what attracts them to a financial institution or business of any kind, for that matter,” said Schmitzer.
- First Tech Also First CU to Launch Windows App
First Tech FCU, the credit union for Microsoft Corp., said it has introduced a new Windows Phone mobile banking application, the first credit union in the U.S. to introduce a native Windows Phone mobile banking app complete with integrated mobile deposit and bill pay functionality. First Tech launched its new Windows phone app on-site at the main Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash., giving employees of Microsoft an in-depth look at this new platform. Microsoft employees and First Tech members will be able to view the app on a giant Microtile phone display, chat with First Tech App experts and personalize their Windows Phone at a laser engraving station.
- Malware Attacks Growing, Getting Smarter, Targeting Android: Report
In 2012, 95 percent of malware threats targeted Android, says a new report. Malware attacks are increasing, getting smarter and targeting Google’s Android mobile operating system, according to a new report from NQ Mobile, a mobile security solutions provider that based the report on the findings of its Security Lab. Mobile malware threats increased by 163 percent in 2012, and 95 percent of all threats were targeted at Android, said the report. The firm estimates that 32.8 million Android devices were infected in 2012, an increase of 200 percent from the 10.8 million infected in 2011.
- Banks Are Designing Branches to Look Like Apple Stores In a Struggle to Remain Relevant
There are a few regional banks, like Umpaqua, that fully embraced “smart banking” years ago. For major, national banks, it was Citi that sparked the trend. In 2008, beginning with its Singapore location, the bank began constructing futuristic branch prototypes that swapped tellers for touchscreens, size with efficiency, and gave locations the overall look and feel of Apple stores.. Rather than reinventing the wheel when it came to modern design, Citi actually hired the services of Eight, Inc., the architectural and strategic design firm behind Apple, according to The Financial Brand.