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.
- Connect and Follow: Leveraging Social Media for Business Results
Companies need to change the way they look at their employees, says Nathan Egan, the CEO of PeopleLinx, which provides solutions that help companies leverage social media for business and marketing. Businesses have known for several years now that their customers are on social media, and that they can glean important information from listening to their customers on those networks. Financial services firms are generally well ahead of the game in monitoring their customer interactions on social media because of compliance issues, Egan, a former sales executive at LinkedIn when the social media site was still in its infancy, observes. One reason both companies and employees should be interested in using social media to develop business and marketing leads is the ability to track returns, Egan says.
- Google Presents Biggest Threat to Banking
The Google Wallet product announcements at I/O 2013 present a perfect illustration of how Using Optical Character Recognition, Glass could determine the type of television the customer is eyeing. This presents an absolute horror scenario for banks. After you link your Google Wallet with your checking account, there is no need to interact with the bank. This means the complete dilution of the customer relationship. Customers then stop logging into Internet and mobile banking and banks miss out on the opportunity to cross and upsell products
- KeyBank to Certify Small-Business Experts
The Internet is teeming with offers of credit-card processing services, loans and other products geared toward small businesses. But KeyBank plans to deliver something that business owners may not find online: trustworthy advice. This year, the bank is rolling out a program to certify 300 of its frontline employees as small-business experts. “We’re just trying to increase their acumen so they can think more broadly about what their clients’ issues are,” says Maria Coyne, executive vice president of the branch network for KeyBank, the main subsidiary of Cleveland’s KeyCorp.
- Brighter Than Big Data
Despite competition from nonbank providers like Google Wallet and a growing consumer shift away from traditional checking accounts, credit unions are best positioned to provide what the consumer of the near future will demand. So said ProfitStars Director of Strategic Insight Lee Wetherington during his May 21 general session at the CUNA CFO Council Conference, held at the Wild Horse Pass Spa. The financial services consumers of the future will demand transaction services that better enable them to make better financial decisions, including nudges against potentially harmful behavior, Wetherington said. Only their financial institutions have the data to enable such a service, he said.
- Tiny Tri-Cities Beats Big Boys With Mobile RDC
With just $25 million in assets, 4,000 members and one credit union branch, Tri-Cities Credit Union in Kennewick, Wash., rolled out a mobile check deposit application on May 22. A big deal to this small credit union is that it became mobilized before the other two credit unions in the county – $1.2 billion HAPO Community Credit Union in Richland and the $1.2 billion Gesa Credit Union – have theirs up and running. “We’re not in competition, “said Doug Wadsworth, president of Tri-Cities Credit Union. “But it sure is fun to be first.” The Tri-Cities area comprises Kennewick, Pasco and Richland, a metro area of about 250,000 people in southeast Washington.
- Why Walmart poses a major threat to the mobile payments hierarchy
It’s been roughly nine months since more than a dozen leading U.S. retailers including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Sears and 7-Eleven first banded together to create Merchant Customer Exchange, a nationwide mobile commerce network designed to support smartphone-enabled purchases, consumer offers and mobile marketing promotions. The MCX initiative remains a work in progress, but here’s what we know: Its ranks now encompass more than 30 merchant brands representing $1 trillion-plus in annual sales, 80,000 stores, 4 million employees and 700 million payment and other customer accounts. All of those merchants will accept the forthcoming MCX wallet, a cloud-based solution supporting barcode-enabled transactions.
- Bank’s Lobbyists Help in Drafting Financial Bills
Bank lobbyists are not leaving it to lawmakers to draft legislation that softens financial regulations. One bill that sailed through the House Financial Services Committee this month — over the objections of the Treasury Department — was essentially Citigroup’s, according to e-mails reviewed by The New York Times. The bill would exempt broad swathes of trades from new regulation. In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill.
- Consumers Prefer ACH Bill Pay, But Billers Still Missing Opportunities
A recent study of billers across the United States reveals while a majority of consumers prefer ACH for bill pay when offered the option, there remains a rich opportunity for billers to migrate paper checks to electronic payments. The study found that the great majority of billers – more than three-quarters of those that offer electronic payment options – offer Direct Payment via ACH, and now, almost 50 percent of consumer bills are paid through this method. Forty-two percent of consumer bills are still paid through the mail, and 11 percent are paid with credit/debit cards. The findings illustrate one of the hidden problems in a highly developed electronic payment market such as the United States: consumer education can still move the needle, something many stakeholders often forget.
- Mobile Wallets 2.0: What’s in your mobile DNA?
Convenience has made mobile wallet technology an increasingly popular payment tool for those looking to save a trip to their back pocket and simply wave their phone instead. However, transacting only scratches the surface of how mobile wallet technology will ultimately revolutionize customer experience at point of sale. Like a physical wallet, mobile wallets have also become identity carriers. The potential lies in the ability to leverage data, which will allow mobile wallets to become virtual identity carriers, and, ultimately a customer’s mobile DNA, which will deliver greater insights to brands.