What We’re Reading: Cyberattacks, Mobile Bill Pay and Social Media

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.


  • More Banks Hit by Cyberattacks than Initially Thought

American Banker

Last week’s cyberattacks against U.S. banks were more widespread than reported, industry experts say. Though JPMorgan Chase and BB&T are the only big banks to confirm a denial of service attack on Tuesday, roughly a half dozen institutions endured digital assaults at around the same time, according to Radware, a security firm that has investigated cyber intrusions on behalf of financial firms. Tuesday’s attacks “were the largest attacks we’ve seen to date in scale,” Carl Herberger, a vice president of security solutions at Radware, told American Banker. “The one that was advertised to the world was Chase, but I can tell you that almost on an hourly basis banks were being attacked, which is a very substantial campaign.”

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  • Funny Ads, Social Media Can Help Small Banks Stand Out

American Banker

Small banks would attract more young customers if they embraced social media and got more creative in their advertising, according to bankers who have turned to more daring marketing. About 87% of people between 18 and 29 use social networking sites and 61% bank online, according to materials from a session called “Developing & Marketing Products Aimed at the Younger Generation.” The research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that Among those ages 30 to 49, 68% use social networking sites and 68% bank online. In contrast, only 30% of community banks use social media such as Facebook or Twitter, while 60% provide customer account alerts by email, according to a 2012 ICBA technology survey.

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  • Should Banks Charge Fees for Mobile RDC?

Celent Banking Blog

Last week, the Chicago Tribune broke a story that PNC was considering charging fees for its mobile remote deposit capture (RDC). Hundreds of US financial institutions now offer mRDC and that number will likely double in the next year. RDC is quickly becoming a staple mobile banking capability and all but two financial institutions offer it free of charge. The revenue opportunity is uninteresting. Most mRDC users deposit just a few checks per year.

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  • 1 in 4 Tablet Users to Pay Bills via Their Devices by 2017, Juniper Report Finds

Fierce Mobile IT

The new Juniper report, Mobile Banking: Handset & Tablet Market Strategies 2013-2017, found that as consumer tablet adoption continues to rise, there will be significant migration of purchasing and transaction activity from laptops and desktops to tablet devices. Indeed, the development of the ‘couch commerce’ trend within the payments industry will be increasingly replicated within the banking industry.

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  • Bitcoins and Amazon: Bringing E-Commerce to a Country Near You

Javelin Strategy & Research Blog

It is a testament to the tenacity of bitcoins that the virtual currency has managed to survive the roller coaster it has been riding for the past two years. As Javelin has documented in multiple blogs, the currency has been linked to drug trafficking, been the target of a Trojan virus, had the value of the coins plummet after being hacked by a Hong Kong-based hacker group, had nearly $250,000 worth of bitcoins stolen from the virtual currency exchange Bitfloor, faced direct criticism from the Attorney General and DEA, and was the subject of the FBI’s Intelligence Assessment report. Any one of these catastrophes alone would normally mean the decimation of a fledgling currency, but bitcoins have managed to not only survive, but to increase functionality in the wake of disaster. Consumers today can now use their bitcoins to make online transactions and have the purchases shipped throughout the globe, using Amazon’s shipping service.

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  • Should you switch to an online-only bank? The growing appeal of Web-based checking and savings accounts


With financial institutions making a push into online-only checking and savings accounts, some industry insiders say this could be a defining year for Internet banking. But does it make sense for customers to adopt a purely web-based model? Overall, online-only banks saw their deposits rise to $364 billion in 2012, up 32% from 2010 and more than 400% from 2004, according to Novantas, a research firm. More players large and small have been wooing those migrants: New Jersey-based financial firm CIT, for example, recently announced that it has landed 50,000 customers and $5 billion in deposits in less than 18 months since the launch of its internet-only CIT Bank.

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  • Report: Tablet boost to mobile banking

Mobile World Live

A quarter of tablet PC users will use their device to pay bills by 2017. That is one of the headline findings of a new report by Juniper Research. Because of a sharp rise in tablet adoption, Juniper calculates that users of transactional tablet banking services will number almost 200 million in 2017. The research firm says this will account for around 19 per cent of total mobile banking customers in 2017, up from 9 per cent this year.

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  • Next in Mobile Banking: Photo Bill Payments

New York Times

U.S. Bank this week introduced a mobile “photo bill pay” service, which allows its online and mobile banking customers to snap a photo of a paper bill with their phone and have the information automatically loaded into their account; Then, they can pay the bill electronically. First Financial Bank in Abilene, Tex., began offering the service earlier this year, too. U.S. Bank is offering the service as part of its mobile banking app, which is available on Android phones as well as the iPhone and iPad. Niti Badarinath, the head of mobile banking at U.S. Bank, said that only about 20 to 30 percent of active online banking customers at the biggest banks use e-bills. And those who do prefer e-bills still have to deal with merchants that don’t offer them — and it’s not just mom and pop stores, but sometimes larger companies, too.
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  • Social media regulatory guidance for U.S. banks: a road map for the finance industry


In January 2013, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) addressed the risk of the use of social media without specific guidance by federally supervised banks, and certain nonbank entities (collectively, banks), called the Social Media: Consumer Risk Management Guidance (PDF). It completes the set of guidance available and confirms that all major regulators are adopting a similar risk-based approach to adaptation of traditional rules for social media.  It makes two points: 1. The same traditional standards apply that have applied to pre-electronic forms of communication; 2. The financial firm must apply a risk-based approach in building a compliance program to manage the new, largely operational risks created by social media.

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Written by Banking.com Staff