What We’re Reading: Small Business Banking, Mobile Growth 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.


  • Small Business Owners to Banks: Meet My Needs

American Banker

Small businesses want banks to add more of a personal touch. Nearly a quarter of owners of companies with less than $10 million in annual revenue want their bank to make adjustments to meet their individual needs, according to a survey published Monday by U.S. Bank (USB). More than 20% of small businesses owners also want their banks to make more money available and to connect them with other small business owners. A fifth of those who participated in the study want their bank to serve as a financial mentor, according to the fourth edition of the Small Business Annual Survey.

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  • Using Big Data to Fight Phishing

Bank Info Security

Using so-called big data to develop phishing intelligence systems that can connect e-mail attacks to specific criminal activities and groups over time is a good way to thwart targeted schemes, researcher Gary Warner of the University of Alabama at Birmingham says during an interview with Information Security Media Group. Rather than relying on e-mail signatures to filter out spam, Warner says organizations should rely on the e-mail data and statistics they collect. “We need to do more proper analysis of the log data,” he says.

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  • Mobile Growing, But Still Not Preferred Channel

Bank Systems & Technology

Jason Malo, a research director in the CEB TowerGroup’s Retail Banking and Cards practice, reported that the majority of mobile bankers use the channel for alerts, with occasional transactional capability. According to a recent TowerGroup survey of mobile banking consumers, 54% said the most important mobile function to them was being able to receive notification from their bank about irregular account activity or changes to their account. That was followed by 51% who reported their most important mobile function was bill pay capabilities, while 46% listed notification of low account balance as the function they most wanted from mobile banking. 43% of respondents listed remote deposit capture capabilities as what they most desired from the mobile channel.

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  • Banks plot major shrinking of branches

Crain’s New York Business

To cut costs bankers say hello to banking’s brave, new, cramped world. At about 1,000 square feet, [a new prototype branch is] 75% smaller than the traditional Wells Fargo outpost upstairs. Driven by changing consumer behavior and the urgent need to reduce costs, banks are devising ways to cut their branches down to size. Wells Fargo opened its first next-generation branch in April in Washington, D.C., and is looking to open seriously shrunken branches in New York and other major cities. JPMorgan Chase & Co. has started building branches that are 25% smaller than older models.

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  • A New Social Media Platform For Advisors

Financial Advisor Magazine

The progress of social media is inexorable and inevitable. Yet many financial advisors are still trying to figure out how to play the game without getting into hot water with regulators. Finect, a New York City company, has recently rolled out an online platform aimed specifically at the financial services industry. The company believes it can help financial advisors meet their professional and compliance needs in the social media era. “Financial advisors are tiptoeing around social media and are looking for help to move forward,” says Jennifer Openshaw, Finect’s president.

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  • In-Branch Tablet Banking Kiosks: Ideas, Opportunities and Costs

Financial Brand

The introduction of the iPad brought with it a whole new world of marketing opportunities for banks and credit unions. What are some examples of things bank and credit union marketers are currently doing with tablet kiosks? Jon VanderMeer, CEO/Kiosk & Display: The capabilities for kiosks and tablets is about 99% the same, only the form factor is different. Potential tablet uses include: In-branch demos, training and troubleshooting, onboarding new customers into online banking, and digital alternative to printed brochures where branch visitors can review and compare products.

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  • Financial Pain Ensues When Custodians of Health Fail to be Good Stewards of Privacy

Javelin Strategy & Research Blog

The healthcare industry stores massive amounts of PII, and it is incumbent on them to protect that data from theft. According to Javelin research, approximately 1 in 9 data breach victims in 2010 were fraud victims – this correlation grew to 1 in 4 as of 2012! Social Security numbers are the keys to the castle when it comes to financial accounts.  In our 2013 Banking Identity Safety Scorecard, 80% of the institutions examined still allowed consumers to authenticate themselves with SSNs.

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  • Mobile Remote Deposit Capture and More Convenient Banking

Main Street

Mobile remote deposit capture (MRDC) has become banking technology’s must have for 2013. But MRDC is just the beginning of how the camera changes banking. Next up: picture bill pay. It works like this: You get a bill. You could input biller data – account numbers, addresses, all those details – into online banking. Or you could snap a picture of the bill and let the software – developed by the same folks who created MRDC – populate a payment form with all that information that has been harvested from the bill.

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  • Banking by Voice Gets Test From U.S. Bank

The Street

Smartphone users are just getting used to issuing voice demands to make phone calls, get directions or ask for dining-out options. Now mobile phone users may be getting another audible option: using voice commands to conduct personal banking. U.S. Bank is testing a voice-banking service that enables customers to check account balances, review transactions and pay bills solely through voice activation. For now, U.S. Bank is limiting the app test campaign to its FlexPerks Travel Rewards program and to its employees; the voice-activated technology comes from Nuance Nina Mobile, and is now limited to iPhone and Android phones.

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Written by Banking.com Staff