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.
- Mobile Home Banking: How 5 Banks Take to the Road (slideshow)
Wells Fargo’s (WFC) mobile ATMs were used for disaster recovery after Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast last year. PNC Bank opened a temporary pop-up branch in Atlanta to test out a relatively unexplored market for the Pittsburgh bank. Fifth Third Bank’s (FITB) “ebuses” provide job hunting tools, credit counseling and financial education resources for customers. In past years, BankUnited’s (BKU) bank on wheels has included an ATM and teller window.
- The Promise Of Payments
Payments are a classic illustration of a long-standing paradox around technology’s role in banking. Technology has enabled banks to process payments more quickly, efficiently and securely, to profitably offer payments products and services (such as credit and debit cards) to a wider array of consumer and corporate customers, and to make effective payments handling a foundation of multifaceted and revenue-generating client relationships. Payment technology also has created many challenges for banks.
- Many Online Lenders Driven From Business
After years of futile attempts to drive high-cost online lenders out of business, at least one state’s regulators appear to have hit on a successful strategy: cutting off their access to the payments system. Since Aug. 5, when New York state regulators put a target on 35 specific lenders that it said were not licensed to make loans in the state, at least nine of the companies have halted operations. Key to the state’s effort was a letter it sent to more than 100 banks in which it pressured them to prohibit online lenders from accessing customers’ checking accounts. The banking industry has largely been mum about how it has responded to the regulatory edict, but it appears banks are falling quickly into line, according to American Banker, an affiliate of Credit Union Journal.
- Giant reality-check
“China’s banks are not real banks,” says Andrew Rothman of CLSA, a broker recently acquired by China’s CITIC Securities. The country’s biggest financial institutions are so closely held by the state that they are, in effect, arms of the treasury. Cosseted by rules that protect them from competition, they deliver huge profits in good times: bank profits as a share of China’s economic output equalled nearly 3% last year, whereas the highest ratio achieved in recent decades by American banks was only 1% of GDP (in 2006). In bad times the state is there to clean up, just as it did during a surge in dud loans in 1990s.
- Enterprise Gets Serious About Cloud Computing
The use of the cloud within the enterprise is still growing at a healthy pace, but in a much more disciplined manner than in recent years. New data suggests that cloud computing is becoming less of an experimental tool but a production workhorse in the enterprise. The data comes from just-released 2013 State of the Enterprise Cloud Report, an eight-page whitepaper from Verizon to positively portray its Verizon Terremark unit within the cloud market. Even taken with that grain of salt, the data within was interesting, such as: [Since January 2012 to June 2013], the use of cloud-based memory increased by 100 percent, and cloud storage by 90 percent.
- Gartner: Only 38% of Organizations Use Cloud?
A report by IT research firm Gartner, Inc. found that only 38 percent of all organizations surveyed in the report use cloud services today. But we wonder: Does the report reflect the fact that many employees use cloud services — Dropbox, Box, Google Apps and more — on their own and without corporate approval at work? Regardless, cloud use continues to rise. According to the report, 80 percent of organizations said that they intend to use cloud services in some form within 12 months, including 55 percent of the organizations not doing so today.