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.
- Chase Has the Best of the Big-Bank Mobile Apps, Forrester Says
Forrester Research has evaluated the mobile initiatives of the top four U.S. banks and declared JPMorgan Chase’s the best. The research firm gave the bank a score of 74 out of 100 on its mobile banking functionality, for providing a wide array of mobile money movement options, including funds transfer, bill payment and remote deposit capture. The other three banks — Citi, Bank of America and Wells Fargo — all scored above average in the tests. The overall research report offered a few insights into mobile banking trends: The percentage of mobile banking users has crept up to 17% as of the end of 2011, according to Forrester estimates.
- YouTube Casts a Spotlight on Banks’ Social Media Challenges
Twitter and Facebook audiences are tough nuts to crack, but the toughest of all is YouTube. YouTube, the dominant online video site, has hundreds of millions of users, but holding their attention is far more difficult than typing out 140-character messages or encouraging customers to “Like” the bank’s brand. Many of the banks that have a YouTube account devote little attention to it; they populate it with repurposed TV ads and prohibit users from leaving comments.Putting in the effort to provide professional-quality and unique content for YouTube keeps customers engaged and even prompts conversations with branch staff, as Lakeland Bancorp’s (LBAI) Lakeland Bank has learned.
- Where’s the Tech Support?
A recent survey of 1,527 mobile banking users found a gaping void in the typical mobile banking application — a lack of technical support, tutorials and advice. Asked the one improvement they’d most like to see in their mobile banking application, 60% of these consumers said links to and contact information for technical support. Easier navigation and chat tools would help banks improve their overall mobile banking adoption numbers, says Michael McEvoy, managing director at ath Power Consulting, based in Boston and Washington, D.C., the firm that conducted the survey. Another thing that would help: better education about mobile banking services.
- 7 Ways Banks Can Use Pinterest
Financial institutions could benefit from being active on the fast-growing social media website Pinterest, Corporate Insight has found. Pinterest relies mostly on images instead of text and incorporates different aspects of Twitter and Facebook to connect users. After examining the website, Corporate Insight said Thursday that it found seven financial themes for which companies could use Pinterest to increase their digital presence. These themes were retirement, savings and investment goals, credit card rewards, lifestyle, corporate mascots, contests and charitable giving.
- Ally Rolls Out Mobile Banking Offering
Direct bank Ally announced it has released a mobile banking app for iPhone and Android mobile phones. Features of the new app include the ability to check account balances, search transaction history, transfer money between Ally Bank accounts and find ATMs and cash-back locations using the phone’s GPS capability. Additionally, Ally is offering a second app for non-customer Android and iPhone users, which will locate nearby ATMs and cash-back locations in the U.S. This app is available to the public and free to download at the App Store and Google Play Store, Ally said.
- Leading the Bird: What Bankers Can Learn from Duck Hunting
Every duck hunter knows that in order to avoid coming home empty-handed, one must aim ahead of the bird – lead the bird as it is commonly referred. The idea is that if one aims directly at the bird, every shot will be a miss no matter how precise the aim. That’s because by the time the bird shot gets in the vicinity of the duck, it will have flown out of the shot pattern. What does this have to do with financial services? Tons!Today’s financial services landscape is challenged with astonishing array of changes, and the rate of change is faster than most have seen in our lifetimes.
- Gen Y Found in Branches as Much as Seniors in Fiserv Survey
Fiserv Inc. has found Gen Y consumers are not strictly tied to online and mobile banking, based on the company’s latest Consumer Trends Survey.Fiserv said its Gen Y findings include the following:Gen Y members do not limit themselves to online and mobile banking — they’re more likely than any other age segment to visit a branch, drive up to an ATM or phone a call center.For each of the banking services mentioned, Gen Y represents the highest percentage of high volume users (five or more visits/uses per month) than any other age segment. Online banking, debit cards and bank-based bill pay are the top three financial management tools utilized by Gen Y.
- Securing smartphones and tablets against banking fraud
Trusteer announced a new version of the Trusteer Mobile service which prevents mobile and online banking fraud. The service detects mobile malware infection and helps bank customers fix security vulnerabilities on their devices. End users can also turn off access to their online bank accounts from anywhere using their mobile devices and safely access the bank web site via a secure mobile browser. Financial institutions can authorize online banking transactions using Trusteer Mobile Out-of-band Authentication for Android and iOS devices.
- The Post-Cash, Post-Credit-Card Economy
In London, travelers can buy train tickets with their phones — and hold up the phones for the conductor to see. And in Starbucks coffee shops here in the United States, customers can wave their phones in front of the cash register and without even an abracadabra, pay for their soy chai lattes. Money is not what it used to be, thanks to the Internet. And the pocketbook may soon be destined for the dustbin of history — or at least if some technology companies get their way. The cellphone increasingly contains the essentials of what we need to make transactions.