What We’re Reading This Week

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.

  • Breaking Up Silos Could Help Banks Thwart Identity Theft

American Banker

Technology is driving down the rate of fraud for banks, though the cost to consumers for identity theft crimes is going up. Banks are finding it easier to block fraud attempts if they have invested in systems that show all customer relationships at once, analysts say. At the same time, more banks are shifting costs to consumers by not covering as many expenses related to identity theft on debit cards. “While a zero-liability policy is in place at most banks for credit card transactions, only 44% of the top 26 [U.S.] banks we surveyed had a zero-liability policy in place for PIN debit purchases,” said James Van Dyke, the president and founder of Javelin Strategy and Research, and one of the report’s contributors.

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  • More than half of all computers aren’t traditional computers anymore


According to professional services firm Deloitte’s Technology Predictions 2011 report, non-PC computing devices such as smartphones, tablets and non-PC netbooks are predicted to outsell traditional PCs for the first time. This year is set to be a turning point for how people use computers and information.Non-PC devices put a world of information and computing power at peoples fingertips. This unprecedented capability will lead to breakthroughs in everything from operating systems and enterprise computing to government services, privacy and regulations

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  • Will Tablets Change Banking?

Celent Banking Blog

Tablet computing is on an obvious growth trajectory, but is this trend something banks should be acting upon, and if so – how? Said another way, led buy Apple’s iPad, will tablets change banking? We see tablets contributing to financial services channel delivery both inside the branch network and as a viable self-service channel on its own…. As a self-service channel, tablets will likely emerge as yet another development opportunity. No one really wanted another delivery channel to manage, but this one looks like it’s a keeper.

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  • US identity fraud plummets – Javelin


The number of American identity fraud victims dropped by 28% to 8.1 million in 2010 with total losses also down $19 billion on the previous year, according to an annual report from Javelin Strategy & Research. The survey of 5004 US adults, sponsored by Fiserv, Intersections and Wells Fargo, shows a three million fall in the number of victims from 11.1 million in 2009. Total annual fraud was down from $56 billion to $37 billion, an eight year low. Javelin partially attributes the drop to the more stringent criteria financial institutions are applying to authenticate users and determine credit risk, as well as more Americans monitoring accounts online and using protection services that can provide updates to mobile devices.

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  • Free checking now harder to get, keep

Belleville News-Democrat

Reversing a trend that began in the mid-1990s, big banks are imposing new fees on their least-profitable customers — those who want just a bare-bones checking account. Those who can’t maintain fat balances or don’t use other services that make them more lucrative to a bank, probably will need to cough up about $100 a year if they want to stay put. Blame the financial crisis. As part of the reforms adopted after the banking system’s near-meltdown in 2008, the federal government has made it more difficult for banks to impose credit-card late fees, debit-card overdraft penalties and other charges.

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  • Ditch the App Store


Over the last few months the tech industry has been inching toward e-book nirvana. For one thing, gadget makers keep improving e-readers while slashing prices. (I’m going to renew my bet that Amazon will begin selling the Kindle for less than $100 by the end of the year.) The bigger story, though, is the explosion of e-book purveyors. Two years ago I lamented that Amazon looked certain to gain a monopoly over the e-book market, an outcome that would have been terrible for writers, publishers, and readers.

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  • Study: Card Issuers Face $25 Billion Revenue Hit

Wall Street Journal

New card regulations could cost U.S. card issuers up to $25 billion a year in lost revenue, according to a study from Boston Consulting Group that is one of the first to add up the total cost of various regulatory changes. The consulting group said various changes from the CARD Act, the Durbin amendment and Regulation E will take away 29% of the revenue that U.S. issuers, mostly retail banks, collect from retail card transactions. Moreover, the new rules may open the door for more regulations, including possible changes to credit cards. The consultants said that, in response, issuers will transform the card industry, selling more products to each consumer and moving further into mobile banking.

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Written by Banking.com Staff