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.
- Postal Woes Spell Opportunity for Online Banking and Bill Pay
The U.S. Postal Service has announced a number of proposed steps to slash costs in recent months, after losing $5 billion last fiscal year. The agency is projecting greater losses going forward, as mail volumes continue to decline. “We’re talking inevitably about a significant and universal disruption of one of the most entrenched networks in this country, affecting every single household,” says Eric Leiserson, a senior research analyst at Fiserv Inc. “Disruption means bills get lost, payments get lost and payments are late.”
- 8 Bank Technology Trends That Will Shape the Industry in 2012
With IT budgets finally rebounding, BS&T identifies the eight trends that will shape tech spending in 2012 and determine banks’ competitive positions for years to come. For the past several years, bank IT budgets generally remained flat. The financial crisis and ensuing fallout forced belt-tightening across the industry. In 2011, however, bank IT executives finally enjoyed some breathing room thanks to some revitalized spending power.
- New law would make it easier to switch banks
Switching banks is something a lot of people resolved to do last year because of new fees and being fed up with banks’ behaviors. Even so, a lot of people didn’t switch because of all the hassle involved. Now, just as the banks look to be raising fees again, a new law in Congress would make it easier to switch banks by letting you keep your account number — just like you can now keep your phone number. While Bank of America (BAC) and other major banks backed down over plans to charge a fee just for having a debit card, other fees look to be on their way.
- 2011 changed the way we manage money
Remember way back in the first part of 2011, when Washington was arguing about taxes, homeowners were having trouble getting refinanced and investors were dumping gold? Hmmm … that makes it seem like 2011 was an uneventful year. But 2011 forever changed the way you’ll manage your money. The Chicago Tribune provided an overview of the big financial stories of the past year.
- Three New Ways to Protect Your Identity in 2012
Don’t start 2012 as the victim of identity theft. Your bank account isn’t the only casualty of identity theft and fraud; time is another significant cost. The average identity fraud case will cost a consumer 33 hours to resolve—equivalent to more than four work days. CreditKarma.com recently launched a new, free credit monitoring service that monitors your credit report on a daily basis and notifies you via email if a significant change is detected. Credit monitoring is one of the best safeguards against identity theft and fraud, and for the first time, it’s totally free.
- Credit Unions Booming From Anti-Bank Outrage
We’re highlighting people, movements and ideas that had a good year, and today we’re going to take a look at credit unions. Credit unions counted more than a million new members this year, according to the Credit Union National Association, which said that 1.1 million new members were added through October of 2011. The latest American customer satisfaction index showed credit union satisfaction scores jumped seven points to record high of 87 out of a possible 100 points. Do you think that this move toward credit unions will continue?