What We’re Reading: PFM Tools, Mobile Banking and Social Banking

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.

  • Competition, Not Creativity, Gets the Profitable Customer

American Banker

A recent American Banker online survey asked what to do about unprofitable customers. Most responders said that bankers must be more “creative” and find profitable ways to keep these customers. What a remarkably wrongheaded notion. First, when bankers get creative, the consequences can be catastrophic. Auction rate securities were creative, as were structured investment vehicles.

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  • Mobile Banking: Today’s ‘Must-Have’

Bank Info Security

At Bank of America, with $1.45 trillion in assets, mobile banking has become a priority, says Keith Gordon, senior vice president of BofA’s security, fraud and enrollments for mobile and online banking. “We’ve seen significant growth in the number of our customers choosing to use mobile banking as a primary source to gather information about their personal accounts,” Gordon says. “As we look at the past year, the primary changes that we’ve done to our services have been really to make the product and capability easier to use for our customers.” BofA has rolled its mobile offering out to all of the major mobile platforms and applications, including a new iPad app.

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  • Banks Fight Disintermediation With Personal Financial Management Tools

Bank Systems & Technology

Banks must ramp up their PFM offerings to help customers realize their financial goals and to avoid disintermediation. Personal financial management tools represent a win-win situation for banks and their customers. But they also present a potential threat to banks. By creating a better user experience for customers and allowing banks to get a good picture of their customers, PFM solutions can benefit both banks and customers. And according to a November 2010 report by Pleasanton, Calif.-based Javelin Strategy & Research, banks are in an ideal position to offer these types of tools through their online channels.

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  • Personal shopper: App tracks email receipts

Boston Herald

Slice is a new app that’s linked to email accounts and manages ordered, shipped and delivered purchases with the precision of the NORAD Santa tracker. Slice CEO Scott Brady said he and a team of Stanford Business School engineers started building the app using Yahoo accounts because most of those 93 million users have had their accounts for a number of years, and thus have more data to work with (Normandin has used Yahoo for 13 years). There is an iPhone app, however, and a Google version that can be synched up with one Yahoo account per log-on (Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt was an initial investor). Since launching Nov. 15, Slice had processed “a little over 6 million transactions” as of last week.

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  • The 20 Best New Startups Of 2011

Business Insider

From the smallest panoramic camera in the world to a new mobile bank with access to 40,000 fee-free ATMs, startups have launched some cool things this year. Simple wants to get rid of bank fees altogether and become a whole new mobile bank. Founders: Alex Payne, Josh Reich and Shamir Karkal. Funding: Raised $10 million in August and has raised ~$13 million to date. What it is: People keep their money in more than one place and they get charged a lot of money by every bank.

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  • Should Social Sign-in be Used For Financial Services?

Celent Banking

Earlier this week, startup Movenbank came under fire for allowing users to its alpha site to sign in using Facebook credentials. Should Facebook be used to identify and authenticate users at a banking site? Facebook Connect isn’t ready for prime time for online or mobile banking. There are many who are going to disagree with me here, particularly given the popularity of Facebook Connect.

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  • 5 Steps to Take Back Control Over Your Money


Do you sometimes feel like you’re living paycheck to paycheck and not knowing where your money went by the end of the month? Regardless of how high your income is, what really matters is how much you make relative to how much you spend. If you’re earning $3k and spending $2k a month you’d probably be less financially stressed than if you’re making $8k but spending $9k a month. Here are some steps to help get you back in control over your finances:

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Written by Banking.com Staff