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.

  • Questions to ask about mobile banking and marketing

Bank Director

Recently, Google generated a fair amount of buzz with its Google Wallet app. So is this a competitor to your bank —or a simple reinforcement that for those of you not in the mobile field, it really is time to sit up and take notice?  How might your board start down this path?   Al Dominick passed along a few tidbits c/o Intuit Financial Services’ John Flora. John is the Mobile Solutions Group Product Manager—and counts banks with tens of billions in assets as customers.

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  • Cloud & Mobile: Vendor Weak Points

Bank Info Security

Cloud computing and mobile banking are two vendor management program areas that have opened up a wide range of security issues, says the FDIC’s Donald Saxinger. And in the wake of such high-level breaches like Citigroup and Epsilon, financial institutions need to look at their vendor programs, risk assessment plans and service level agreements carefully. “Now with so many services out there, it’s getting a lot more challenging,” Saxinger says. Saxinger, senior examination specialist with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., says vendor management programs are getting more scrutiny from regulators.

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  • Mobile Savings Feature Could Make Shopping a Necessity

Javelin Strategy & Research Blog

Beth Robertson recently came across an interesting idea that uses the mobile device to promote savings. This iPhone app from Putnam Investments sparked her interest because it is a step toward new thinking. Dubbed PriceCheck&Save, the app is available for participants in Putnam 401(k) plans. The idea plays on a combination of a consumer’s desire to spend with his or her need to save.

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  • Mobile Payments Venture Isis Adds Austin as a Test Market

American Banker

Isis, the wireless carrier-led mobile payments joint venture, plans to pilot its service in Austin, Texas, next year. The venture said Wednesday that it is working with local merchants there to deploy the system, which would allow consumers to pay for purchases using their smartphones. It earlier announced plans to also test the service next year in Salt Lake City with the Utah Transit Authority.

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  • Consumers Union Urges Stronger Protections in Mobile Payments

American Banker

Bankers and credit card networks mobile payment systems will be more secure than plastic cards, but a consumer advocacy group says these systems lack vital safeguards. Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, said Wednesday that it is urging wireless carriers to strengthen their customer contracts to ensure consumers are protected in the event of fraud. “As more Americans start using mobile phones to make purchases, we need to make sure that consumer protections keep pace with all the new technological advances,” Michelle Jun, a senior attorney with Consumers Union, said in a press release. “Consumers shouldn’t have to worry that a lost or stolen mobile phone or billing error could turn into a costly financial headache.”

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  • The Last Bastion of Benchmarking – Management

Gonzo Banker

There is one big area in banks that frankly has not received as much focus and discussion as others, and that’s management. While we have often been asked whether we think a bank’s team is top-heavy or whether there might be too many managers in a particular function, most banks have not looked at or benchmarked overall management count. Why not? Well, there are several reasons, many valid.

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  • Capital One Agrees to Buy ING’s Online Banking Unit

New York Times

Capital One Financial agreed on Thursday to buy the ING Group’s online banking unit in the United States for $9 billion in cash and stock, one of its biggest efforts yet to add to offerings beyond credit cards and other consumer lending. Under the terms of the deal, Capital One will pay $6.2 billion in cash and issue $2.8 billion worth of new shares to ING, giving it a 9.9 percent stake. ING will also have the right to name a director on Capital One’s board. Long known for cheeky credit card ads asking customers ”What’s in your wallet?” Capital One is seeking to build up a national banking franchise.

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