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.
- Small Bank Tries to Beat Big Banks at Their Own Tech Game
With 22 branches and $2.2 billion in assets, Rockville Bank is on the smaller end of the banking spectrum. But the lender has made a big commitment to virtual banking. The Rockville, Conn., company decided last year to create a position dedicated to overseeing its mobile, online, ATM and customer support center services. Now the role has been filled by a woman on the front line of digital banking for nearly two decades: former Bank of America (BAC) online and mobile product executive Donna Patel. Rather than attempt to beat big banks in the race for whiz-bang apps and sophisticated platforms, Rockville plans to focus on harnessing technology to better serve its customers.
- Loyalty Startup Seeks Credit Union, Bank Partners to Help Feed the Hungry
Mogl, a startup that’s created a restaurant loyalty mobile app, continues to gain credit union and bank partners for its program, which provides cash back for meals out, with the option of donating the money to local food banks. Financial services partners could benefit by becoming top-of-wallet while also helping to feed the hungry, and in turn, improving their brand images. Currently, the California startup counts nine credit unions, one bank, and two airlines as partners. Three additional credit unions are finalizing their participation in the program. Unlike some apps that use Yodlee or Intuit to power the user’s ability to link in outside accounts, Mogl has users enter in – or swipe in — their payment data. The information is sent to the card associations, which send back a token. Mogl does not store any card data.
- Two In Five Americans Will Use Mobile Wallets By 2017
One-fifth of U.S. smartphone owners used a mobile wallet in 2013. That comes out to 40 million Americans, according to Parks Associates. The market research firm forecasts that this number will grow 183% to 113 million, or 43% of smartphone owners, by 2017. One factor that will likely drive growth is an explosion in payments technologies coming onto the market, which will have broader application beyond payments, including mobile loyalty programs and in-store marketing. These will give a greater number of smartphone users and merchants a reason to start using and accepting mobile wallets.
- How OnPoint Community Plans to Build Enthusiasm For Mobile Payments
OnPoint Community Credit Union is using person-to-person payments as the foundation of building consumer comfort with mobile as a channel for money movement. The $3.4 billion-asset credit union is adopting Fiserv’s Popmoney system, which includes a mobile and online version. Popmoney allows consumers to direct funds to a recipient’s mobile phone number, e-mail addresses or bank account number. “We’ve had very little mobile payment capability, so this is our entry. The opportunity is there to allow members to move money to other members and non-members’ accounts,” says Jim Armstrong, senior vice president of technology and human resources for OnPoint.
- Check Your Mobile Metrics
Just five years ago, mobile banking seemed futuristic, the stuff of sci-fi; but today, it has emerged as a must have. That’s a powerful statement by Credit Union Times Correspondent Robert McGarvey in this week’s page 1 story (5 Mobile Banking Trends to Watch in 2014). How many credit unions still think of mobile banking as an optional, whiz-bang feature?
- Who are your most valuable Twitter followers? A new firm from ex-Dwolla staff wants to find out
Payments platform Dwolla has lost its head of business development and its developer evangelist. Alex Taub and Michael Schonfeld have moved on to start their own company called Modern MAST that will develop products aimed at commerce, advertising tools, and APIs. In a post announcing the move, Taub says that the separation from Dwolla was an amicable one and that the two now-cofounders decided that it was the right time to begin their own venture. Why advertising technology? Over the next five years, it’s estimated that $350 billion will be allocated towards next generation ad tools and Modern MAST wants a piece of that.