What We’re Reading: The Debit Card Switch, Point of Sale Systems and more on Bank Transfer Day

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.

  • PayPal Tests Its Point of Sale System at Office Depot

American Banker

PayPal Inc., which has been testing a point of sale payment system with Home Depot, is reportedly testing the same system with Office Depot Inc. The system, which PayPal is testing at 51 Home Depot stores, is also being tested at “a few” Office Depot stores, Reuters reported Sunday, citing an interview with the president of Office Depot’s North American unit. PayPal, a unit of eBay Inc. of San Jose, is testing a method for accessing its online payment system at the point of sale with or without a plastic card. PayPal users who choose to forgo the card can enter a phone number and a PIN instead.

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  • NACHA Campaigns to Make “ACH” a Household Word

American Banker

Scott Lang wants folks who are using NACHA’s automated clearing house network (ACH) to watch their language, particularly when discussing the actual service. “Different organizations were using different terms [for 'direct payment via ACH'], says Lang, senior vice president of association services for NACHA. To fix that problem, NACHA, a nonprofit that manages the ACH network on behalf of 10,000 financial institutions, has launched a micro site and campaign get financial institutions, merchants, and other stakeholders in the ACH network to use the phrase “via ACH” in their marketing materials, on their websites and in in-store displays. “Direct deposit has a very high awareness rate,” Lang says.

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  • Banks Turn to Staff Scheduling Software to Cut Costs

American Banker

At Bangor Savings Bank, making sure there were enough employees in its 54 branches at any given moment was itself a laborious expenditure of human capital — a process that was no longer fitting given the need to optimize resources amid declining branch volume. Consequently, the bank has outsourced its staff management to a web-based software that matches teller schedules to anticipated volume. Such programs have been well used by larger banks in the past, but are now gaining traction at smaller banks. Beyond reduced branch volume, these banks are also facing lower fee income and increased regulatory expense, and are looking to shed costs anyway they can.

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  • Wells Fargo Underscores the Importance of Aligning Channel Strategies

Barlow Research Analyst’s Journal

As digital banking touch points expand, the customer is benefitting from 24/7 access through alternative lower cost service channels. It’s a win-win situation as long as the experience for both the bank and the customer is reliable and consistent. Execution is everything. As technological advances are made, the challenges are simplifying usability, eliminating downtime and ensuring consistency.

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  • The State of Bank and Credit Union Marketing in the U.S.

Finextra

Today’s bank and credit union marketers are facing a period of big data, increasing devices and more communication channels than ever before. In addition, consumers are challenging the pricing and service levels they receive from their financial institution, and are willing to speak their mind using lightning fast social media channels.  To better understand what bank and credit union marketers are thinking and doing during this period of unprecedented change and opportunity, Jim Marous partnered with Jeffry Pilcher from The Financial Brand to develop the 2012 Bank and Credit Union Financial Marketing Survey. More than 300 bankers responded from banks and credit unions of all sizes thanks in no small measure to our many friends on Twitter who helped distribute the links to the survey.

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  • Bank Transfer Day Trademark Quest Turned Over to CUNA

Credit Union Times

At the urging of South Carolina credit unions, CUNA has taken over the drive to formally own the “Every Day Is Bank Transfer Day” slogan. But it might take until spring before the slogan can be adapted widely in CU ads across the U.S. after CUNA wins formal approval on a trademark application now pending with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The hand off of the legal maneuvering to CUNA by a group of South Carolina CUs led by the $1.3 billion South Carolina FCU, North Charleston, and the South Carolina Credit Union League took place last month. It came just after the “Bank Transfer Day” Facebook founder, Los Angeles art store owner Kristen Christian, spoke during a CUNA webinar.

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  • By 2020, half of all Visa Europe’s payments will be mobile

GigaOm

Visa Europe sees a very mobile future and now predicts that more than half of all Visa payments in Europe will be mobile by 2020. The credit card company shared its prediction as part of a look back at 2011, in which Visa Europe users spent €1.16 trillion ($1.48 trillion), up 14 percent over the previous year. Visa Europe, which exists as a European membership organization that licenses Visa Inc.’s brand and technology, expects 2012 to be a turning point as it starts rolling out its own mobile payment and digital wallet services. Visa Inc. introduced its digital wallet offering in November called V.me, which will start rolling out this year.

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  • The Debit Card On/Off Switch from City Bank of Texas

Net Banker

City Bank of Texas has been a mobile innovator for more than four years, launching a ClairMail-powered mobile site in Oct 2008. City Bank now offers a full range of apps including Android, iPhone and iPad, which make for a pretty impressive graphic (see below). And, in a world where most apps look pretty much the same, it has managed to pioneer several unique features: Debit card on/off switch: If customers ever want to switch off their debit card, because it was misplaced, or if funds are running low, they simply move the toggle on the My Cards page of the mobile app.

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