What We’re Reading

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.

  • Breach at RSA Security May Threaten Bank Systems

American Banker

A severe security breach at EMC Corp.’s RSA Security may threaten the thousands of banks that use its technology. Most banks use RSA’s technology to secure access to online banking and other systems. The company is best known for its one-time passcode-generating tokens, though many banks also use its software to invisibly protect their websites. Without disclosing the exact scope of the breach, RSA indicated that it is a serious and far-reaching threat. Experts said the break-in demonstrates a weakness of passcode tokens, and advised banks to begin migrating to a multilayered approach to protect their systems.

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  • Synergistics Sees Small-Biz Mobile Bill-Bay Opportunity for Banks

American Banker

Many small businesses that do not use mobile bill-payment services are unlikely to use them in the near future, a survey suggests. Of the 327 small-business owners and executives Synergistics Research Corp. surveyed who do not use mobile bill payment, 30% said they likely would not use the service in the next 12 months, while 38% said they were “not too” likely to use it. Bill McCracken, Synergistics’ chief executive, said he believes banks have an opportunity to persuade more small businesses to use mobile bill payment because roughly 80% already use electronic bill-payment services. “This next step to mobile bill payment isn’t as big of a step as going from check to electronic bill pay,” he said.

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  • Microsite Surveys Financial Services Industry Fears

Credit Union Times

Credit unions, are you ready to share your fears? Wanting to drive an awakening in the credit union industry, James Robert Lay, grower of relationships at PTP New Media and Bryan Clagett, chief marketing officer/investor at Geezeo, have launched sharewhatyoufear.com. The new microsite is designed to jumpstart conversations about shifting the credit union industry’s strategic outlook. According to Clagett and Lay, the traditional CU model of looking at the competition in the immediate marketplace and what’s in the consumer mindset has to change to beyond the traditional geographic market and include the real competition coming from Google, Apple, Amazon or even Starbucks.

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  • How far we have come

Javelin Strategy & Research Blog

We have come a long way in the evolution of our susceptibility to attack.  And yet, in spite of the most sophisticated efforts (technically) to combat them, the most sophisticated attacks today (the APT’s) start with the human element.  Good security systems can keep us safe to a point but traditional security fails when it faces an attack that it just can’t recognize as such.  Today’s security tools are more sophisticated than ever but they cannot protect us against human nature. Without good security awareness on the part of the individual, all the tools in the world can only keep us so safe.

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  • Starbucks Card Mobile Is a Hit: 3 Million People Pay Via Phone App

Mashable

Grabbing a cup of joe got a whole lot easier this year. In January, Starbucks began accepting mobile payments via the Starbucks Card Mobile iPhone and BlackBerry applications at 6,800 company-operated stores. Today, the company revealed that more than 3 million people have paid using Starbucks Card Mobile. The mobile payments milestone was presented by chairman and CEO Howard Schultz to shareholders during the Starbucks Annual Meeting of Shareholders at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle.

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  • How Banks Could Learn From Apple’s iPad

Wall Street Journal: Writing On The Wall

Comparing the retail experience of banking and consumer technology isn’t exactly Apples-to-apples. Yet it’s closer than you might think. Like the retail-gadget industry, banks often don’t have a clear advantage on rivals. Bells and whistles are short-lived, so much of the difference comes down to marketing and consumer perception. Banks don’t have to dazzle us the way those companies do, but they need to create buzz. So how would our iBank do that?

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  • Banks Hit for Credit Union Ills

Wall Street Journal

Federal regulators are blaming Wall Street’s biggest firms for the collapse of five institutions at the heart of the nation’s credit-union industry and are seeking to recoup tens of billions of dollars in losses on securities that doomed the five. In one of the broadest accusations that Wall Street helped cripple financial institutions during the crisis, the National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA, has threatened to sue several investment banks unless they refund over $50 billion of mortgage-backed securities sold to the five institutions, called wholesale credit unions. The NCUA is accusing Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit, Citigroup Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. of misrepresenting the risks of the bonds to wholesale credit unions, which loaded up on the bonds in their role of investing on behalf of retail credit unions, according to people familiar with the situation.

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