What We’re Reading: Virtual Wallets, Custom Apps, Fintech

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.


  • PNC Uses Big Data to Find Virtual Wallet Prospects

American Banker

PNC Bank has launched a new video commercial series designed to entice Gen X and Y consumers to take out Virtual Wallet accounts. The campaign, which is called Be the Boss, will include 10 short videos that showcase characters who act out money-related inner doubts that the bank hopes will resonate with the targeted tech-savvy audience. (A recent college graduate worries about paying pay for an unexpected expense in one, for example, while a 30-something woman deals with mortgage payments in another.) The videos, which run as commercials on sites like Hulu and YouTube, tout products from PNC intended to help the consumer segments tackle their financial concerns.

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  • Credit Unions Home Brew Custom Apps

Credit Union Times

It may be too early to call it a trend but at a growing—albeit small—number of credit unions are using internal IT staff to develop mobile apps, rather than buying them off the shelf. “We did not see what we wanted off the shelf. We came to the conclusion that we needed to build our apps ourselves,” said Ray Black, vice president of marketing and remote delivery at the $1.5 billion Genisys Credit Union in Auburn Hills, Mich. At $5.6 billion Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union in Live Oak, Texas, Senior Vice President Mary O’Rourke elaborated that RBFCU created its own apps because “we want to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace. So we are always looking for ways to innovate, to keep our apps fresh.”

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  • Banks must take on Amazon and Google or die

Financial Times

We need to use our data to give customers exactly what they want, writes Francisco González. Some bankers and analysts think that Google, Facebook, Amazon or the like will not fully enter a highly regulated, low-margin business such as banking. I disagree. What is more, I think banks that are not prepared for such new competitors face certain death. Technology has already transformed many industries. Next in line is banking. In two or three years, only 5 per cent of consumer interaction will be through branches. The rules have changed and a new league of competitors is emerging.

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  • Negotiating the ‘Gotchas’ in Vendor Contracts

Gonzo Banker

Financial institutions thinking to move to a different core vendor may find it difficult to decipher – or even find – the language relative to deconversion fees in their vendors’ contracts. In my experience, this section may include a reference to “standard” deconversion fees or it will state that the institution will be billed for time and materials. Often, deconversion fees are not mentioned at all.

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  • Fintech Four from Last Week

Net Banker

One: Coin is an overnight YouTube sensation. Two: The latest fintech prize winners. Three: Finovera launches “PFM for your bills.” Four: Virtual currencies gain more real-world backing.

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  • Tech giants are fighting back ; Pour money into security to thwart NSA

USA Today

Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter are engaged in a costly tech arms race, with their businesses and cultures at stake. Not against one another, mind you, but a common foe: the National Security Agency. The tech juggernauts are investing in security technology, lobbying efforts and good old-fashioned PR to thwart U.S. government snooping of their data systems, often without their cooperation or knowledge. For months, the narrative has focused on data breaches and spying as tech’s biggest players quietly stewed over a sense of government betrayal, while assessing threats to their brands because of consumer outrage over invasion of their privacy.

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  • Digital wallets: Paypal, Amazon, and credit cards are top contenders (not Apple, Google)


61 percent of us have heard of digital wallets, but only 11 percent of us have used one, according to a new survey by Forrester. Interestingly, most would rather trust PayPal with their mobile money — rather than their bank or credit card company. There are three types of mobile wallets, Forrester says: remote-only wallets, proximity-only wallets, and omnichannel digital wallets. Remote-only wallets, like iTunes or Amazon Checkout, are accessible from virtual any device, but are for ecommerce transactions only. In contrast, proximity-only digital wallets are used in-store at point of purchase, typically from your mobile device.

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Written by Banking.com Staff