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.
- When Email’s in Doubt, Banks Turn to Twitter to Alert Customers
When online scammers recently targeted Westpac Banking Corp., the Australian bank used another online venue, Twitter, to warn consumers not to trust email. The alert was in keeping with a trend of using social media to publicly expose online fraud attacks in real time. Dave Jevans, chairman of the Anti-Phishing Workgroup, said Twitter Inc.’s microblogging service can be an effective way to spread security warnings. “There’s 500 million people on Facebook, and a lot of people don’t even read their email anymore,” said Jevans, who is also the chairman of IronKey Inc., a security firm.
- Mobile Payment Integration Isn’t All About Systems
Banks intent on bringing mobile payments to a wide swath of customers will soon have to make difficult decisions about devices, partnerships, vendor management and employee training. “It’s never been more important to have an integrated view across the enterprise,” said Titi Cole, payments and solutions executive at Bank of America Corp. Cole was part of a diverse roster of bank executives here at the Mobile Banking and Emerging Applications Summit, hosted by SourceMedia Inc., the publisher of American Banker. Bank of America is pursuing mobile payments on a number of fronts, including clearXchange, a cooperative person-to-person payments venture that is recruiting bank partners.
- Montgomery County Employees FCU Offers Mobile ‘Triple Play’
The $81 million Montgomery County Employees Federal Credit Union in Germantown, Md., is now offering its 14,600 members the “triple play” of mobile banking options. Those are SMS text messaging, mobile Web browsing and downloadable applications, in this case for iPhones. Functionality includes balances, transfers, histories and bill pay. MC EFCU is using Intuit Financial Services technology to offer mobile banking and based its decision to offer the channel on focus groups and member surveys.
- The Future of Personal Finance
Thanks to the potent combination of an aging population, the competitive pressures of globalization and advances in IT, individuals have been forced to take greater responsibility for everything in recent decades — from saving for retirement to paying for college. The future will be all about simplification. The financial-services industry has created a dizzying set of products and services for dealing with household risk and responsibilities. From now on, the innovation mantra will be managing these risks comprehensively, from hedging against a drop in income to making sure you’ll never run out of money to monitoring household finances with a tap of a finger.
- Court: Passwords + Secret Questions = ‘Reasonable’ eBanking Security
A closely-watched court battle over how far commercial banks need to go to protect their customers from cyber theft is nearing an end. Experts said the decision recommended by a magistrate last week — if adopted by a U.S. district court in Maine — will make it more difficult for other victim businesses to challenge the effectiveness of security measures employed by their banks. In May 2009, Sanford, Maine based Patco Construction Co. filed suit against Ocean Bank, a division of Bridgeport, Conn. based People’s United Bank. Pacto used online banking primarily to make weekly payroll payments. Patco sued to recover its losses, arguing in part that Ocean Bank failed to live up to the terms of its contract when it allowed customers to log in to accounts using little more than a user name and password.
- What is the ROI of banking innovation?
An executive on the front lines of product development at a major financial institution recently asked Jim Bruene this question: How can I prove that innovation really matters to the bottom line? Banks are both retailers (branch and online) and manufacturers (checking accounts, loans). But today, the P&L from banks’ digital efforts is more like the Gap than Apple. They have to sell a lot of extra checking accounts and car loans to justify even a modest website investment.