What We’re Reading: Branches, Apple, Security and Square

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.

  • Capital One Turns to Responsive Design for Website Delivery

American Banker

With people no longer tied to their desks, customers are now checking their bank’s website from more than one type of device. So, in an effort to keep up, Capital One is enacting an online strategy to fit its website users’ screens using a technique called responsive design. Branchless bank startup Simple has been using adaptive web design and advanced mobile design since its inception, says spokeswoman Krista Berlincourt, in an email. The company was founded in 2010 and it launched in beta last summer.

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  • The Evolving Branch Environment

Bank Systems & Technology

According to SNL Financial, 1,118 more financial institution branches were closed than opened in 2012 – representing the largest such discrepancy in eight years. Yet by all accounts, the branch remains one of the most strategic assets banks have in servicing customers, delivering new products and services and growing deposits. Driven by continued consolidation within the industry, lower operational budgets and decreasing foot traffic at the physical branch, banks are evaluating the traditional branch structure to increase profitability and efficiency at the branch level and new technologies are being leveraged to achieve this.

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  • Android, iOS Dominate Smartphone Market; BlackBerry Falls

Bank Systems & Technology

Android and iOS, the number one and number two ranked smartphone operating systems worldwide, combined for 92.3% of all smartphone shipments during the first quarter of 2013, while Windows Phone jumped past BlackBerry for 3rd place, according to a recent report from IDC. According to IDC, Android smartphone vendors and Apple shipped a total of 199.5 million units worldwide during Q1 of 2013, up 59.1% from the 125.4 million units shipped during the same period in 2012. Samsung remained the leader among all Android smartphone vendors, the firm reported, wit 41.1% market share. Following Samsung was a long list of vendors with single-digit market share, and an even longer list of vendors with market share less than one percent, said IDC.

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  • DDoS Attacks: What Banks Report

Bank Info Security

Leading U.S. banking institutions remain quiet about the ongoing distributed-denial-of-service attacks they’ve suffered since the fall of 2012. Last month, we pulled the year-end 10-K earnings reports filed by the nation’s top 10 banking institutions (see Top Banks Offer New DDoS Details). Those top 10 include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley, U.S. Bancorp, Bank of NY Mellon, HSBC North America and Capital One. Among them, seven acknowledged they had suffered from some sort of DDoS activity in 2012 that impacted online- and/or mobile-banking services; Morgan Stanley, Bank of NY Mellon and Wells Fargo did not mention DDoS.

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  • The Next Wave of Mobile Banking

Business 2 Community

In the U.S market today, retail banks offer a standardized mobile banking application. They enable their customers to monitor expenses, transfer funds and pay bills. This provides the convenience and ease of banking for the “on the go” customer. In general, mobile banking is an expanding market and has changed the way customers manage their funds. However, it is arguable that the user experience of each of the retail banks applications is similar. The application allows the end user to view their account balance, transfer funds and pay a multitude of bills.

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  • Digital Usage Policies and the ‘New’ Desktop

Credit Union Times

The PC desktop is changing, so fast that what used to confidently be called the “desktop” is undergoing the sort of rapid evolution bound to throw up new and unfamiliar security challenges. Technological developments such as smartphones, tablets and mobile operating systems can be wheeled out to partly explain this change. However, it is to the humble user rather than computer architectures of network topologies that we must pay the closest attention if we are to understand how the business desktop will be reshaped from the ground up over the next decade.

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  • Why Your Facebook Account Is More Secure Than Your Bank Account

Daily Finance

Earlier this month, federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging several men with bank theft on massive scale. According to prosecutors, the thieves loaded stolen account data onto magnetic stripe cards, which they then used to steal $45 million from ATMs around the world. As financial institutions reconsider their security procedures in the wake of the breach, much of the attention will naturally fall on America’s reliance on magnetic-stripe cards, instead of the more secure chip-and-PIN (also called EMV) cards used in other parts of the world. While they’re at it, though, the banks should also consider another big security black eye: The fact that it’s easier to hack into your bank account than it is to crack your Facebook account.

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  • Banks should follow Apple, Starbucks in branch redesigns

Fierce Finance

Banks have steadily moved away from the traditional branch with its long teller queues toward more of a retail store experience. The inspiration these days tends to be Starbucks and Apple retail outlets. Umpqua Bank in Oregon, for example, offers free internet service, an espresso bar, and meeting space at some branches; Capital One plans to offer coffee in its “café” concept branches. Bank of America plans to open at least a dozen “flagship” branches, which will include “power bars” to allow people to plug in gadgets.

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  • Square’s next step: Sending cash to friends by e-mail with Square Cash


Sending cash to people by e-mail may be the next big payment feature to spread across the Internet (even though it’s 2013, and it feels like we should have had this years ago). Payment service Square is currently testing an invite-only service called Square Cash, which you can use to send money to anyone’s debit card with a simple e-mail, TechCrunch reports. Google launched a similar feature last week when it announced Google Wallet integration with Gmail, but Square’s version looks even simpler.

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Written by Banking.com Staff