What We’re Reading: Mobile Banking, Banking Relationships and Hybrid Bank Cards

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.

New Tool Helps TD Bank Speed Social Media Queries to Reps

Bank Technology News

The latest incarnation of TD Bank’s buildup of a broad social media program for North America—the embedding of Twitter staff within the contact center—is only a few months old, but the bank has already discovered the formula to win an impressive spike in the use of social media to resolve customer queries. By embedding its Twitter experts with the contact center, and tying the two staffs’ efforts together with a real-time online monitoring and analysis engine, the bank has seen a 25 percent monthly growth in Twitter use for customer service for each of the past three months.

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U.S. Bank Offers New Mobile Banking Tool for Businesses

Bank Systems & Technology

U.S. Bank (Minneapolis) announced that it is rolling out a new tool for its business customers designed to provide secure banking services via mobile devices. The bank’s offering, called Mobile SinglePoint, will allow businesses to connect to their account information wherever they are located. It is an extension of U.S. Bank SinglePoint, the web portal to the bank’s suite of treasury management services, and SinglePoint Essentials, a basic suite of services for small businesses. Mobile SinglePoint uses the same security standards and policies as SinglePoint and SinglePoint Essentials, the bank said.

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To end a banking relationship, don’t just walk away

Baltimore Sun

To end a banking relationship, don’t just walk away. Breaking up with a bank can be hard to do — and expensive if you don’t do it right. Ending a relationship with a bank takes a little more work than starting one up. Both sides bear responsibility, but consumers should be extra vigilant. You might assume it’s over, but the bank might not have gotten the message. And that misunderstanding can have serious repercussions, because fights with a bank can end up damaging your credit history.

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When is a bank not a bank?

Finextra

Who will ultimately win in this market depends on a complex mix of brand, technology and customer service. And if, as expected, payments become increasingly mobile-based, the organisations providing the hardware and the technology could be better placed than traditional banks to benefit. Consumers tend to have a good relationship with their mobile phone provider whilst many banks are rebuilding their brands four years into the financial crisis. A potential spanner in the works is security, or a perceived lack of it. The UK’s newspaper hacking scandals have made mobile telephone security a contradiction in terms to many people.

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Bank Offers Hybrid Card

New York Times

It’s one of those things that makes you wonder why it wasn’t available before. Fifth Third Bank has just introduced Duo, a piece of plastic that works as both a debit card and a credit card. Fifth Third, based in Cincinnati, says that while various institutions have been testing the cards, it is the first to formally offer it to consumers. Research with its own customers suggested that there was a significant demand for the two-in-one cards, said Stephanie Honan, a spokeswoman for Fifth Third.

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Banks Brace For a Season Of Fall-Offs

New York Times

As if the troubles in Europe were not enough, two months of the most turbulent markets in decades are expected to seriously damp trading results for the nation’s largest banks. There are still 13 trading days left in the third quarter ending Sept. 30, and Wall Street firms will not release their final numbers until the middle of next month. But a sharp fall-off in summer trading seems poised to weigh heavily on the banks’ earnings — and perhaps accelerate another round of layoffs expected in the coming months. After helping lift Wall Street’s results during the financial crisis, trading revenue is projected to fall for a second straight quarter.

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Why is there no killer app for paying all your bills online?

Reuters Blog

If you want to manage all of your money and all of your monthly payments in one convenient online place, you’re pretty much out of luck. But if you want one system where you can auto-pay your cable bill through your checking account, review your mortgage statements from a different financial institution and coordinate payment for soccer sweatshirts on the fly, you’re dreaming of a future world that doesn’t yet exist. “The industry is at a crossroads,” says Mark Schwanhausser, senior analyst at Javelin Strategy & Research, which just released a study on online banking behaviors. “I’d like to be able to see more things in one place, yet banking systems are not yet satisfying those needs. Online banking needs a pick-me-up.”

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