What We’re Reading: Online Bank Security, Bank Fees and Mobile Wallet

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.

  • The Future of Leadership

American Banker Magazine

Across banking, there is a sense that the profile of leaders is in flux. The leadership characteristics we value today are not the same as what we valued 10 years ago. And 10 years from now? It’s safe to say that financial institutions will be looking for leaders with swift response times, an appreciation for the impact of new technology, an ability to manage an ever-widening circle of stakeholders, and a knack for collaboration, be it across business silos or with outside partners.

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  • Mobile Banking: Emerging Threats

Bank Info Security

Telecommunications infrastructure. Third-party applications. User behavior. All are among top security challenges for global banking institutions as they expand their mobile banking and payments initiatives. And most challenging of all: These threats fall outside the institutions’ direct control. So, how can banks get a handle on emerging mobile risks? It’s a matter of ecosystem security, says Tom Wills, a senior security and financial fraud analyst at Javelin Strategy & Research

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  • Report: Huge Spike in Mobile Transactions in Past Year

Credit Union Times

Device-focused security company iovation has announced that it has tracked a six-fold increase in financial services transactions that originate on mobile devices from 2011 to 2012. The Portland, Ore.-based company elaborated that in 2011, just 2% of the financial transactions it tracked originated on mobile devices.  In 2012 that percentage has spiked up to 12%. “The interest in mobile banking is overwhelming,” said Max Anhoury, vice president, global sales at iovation. In an interview, Anhoury elaborated that for the purpose of these metrics iovation defined “financial services” fairly narrowly to include retail banking, credit card services, payday lending, money transfer services and prepaid cards.

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  • More U.S. Banks Report Online Woes

Gov Info Security

The online-banking and website outages and glitches reported Sept. 26 by U.S. Bank and PNC Bank are likely the result of foreign attacks, says Bill Wansley, a financial fraud and security consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. Wells Fargo took a similar hit on Sept. 25, and all three new site outages are likely linked to similar online outages experienced a week earlier by Bank of America and Chase Bank, Wansley says. Late Sept. 26, published reports said that PNC acknowledged some customers reported trouble accessing PNC.com, but that the bank had implemented additional security precautions, based on threats made to take down the PNC site Sept. 27. PNC is now the fifth major U.S. bank suspected of being targeted by the group known as Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters. The group has been keeping institutions up-to-date about its targets through threats posted on Pastebin.

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  • Banks can only hope for best with DDoS attacks


Banks can only cross their fingers and hope the defenses they have in place can withstand cyberattacks like the one that disrupted the online banking site of Wells Fargo & Co., experts say. On Tuesday, Wells Fargo became the latest victim in a string of attacks on banks that started last week at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp.  A group calling itself “Mrt. Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters” claimed responsibility and threatened to hit U.S. Bankcorp and PNC Financial Services Group on Thursday, said a post on Pastebin. The latest attack took down Wells Fargo’s online banking site intermittently. The bank apologized for the downtime on Twitter and appeared to be back up on Wednesday. DDoS attacks are crude but effective.

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  • Consider The Bank Fees

NY Times Blog

An annual analysis of checking accounts from Bankrate.com finds that the average A.T.M. surcharge – the fee charged by the machine’s operator to a noncustomer – rose 4 percent to a new record of $2.50. This is the eighth consecutive year that the average surcharge has increased. And, for the first time, all of the banks surveyed by Bankrate.com for the report charge noncustomers to use their A.T.M.’s. The surcharge gets even more expensive when your own bank gets into the act, charging you – its customer – for using a competitor’s machine. This fee rose 11 percent, to $1.57.

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  • Gap, Bed Bath, other merchants join mobile wallet service


Retailers including Gap Inc and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc have joined a mobile payments network that intends to battle similar services from Google Inc and other companies. The service, also called MCX, is at an early stage and has yet to set a launch date. On Monday, MCX told Reuters it had signed up several new members. In addition to Gap and Bed Bath, they include Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc, Dillards Inc and convenience store operator Sheetz Inc. Mobile payments are expected to rise nearly four-fold to more than $1.3 trillion annually by 2017, according to a recent report by Juniper Research.

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Written by Banking.com Staff