Millenniels, Mirth, and Money: Making Gen Y Laugh and Learn Pays for Credit Unions (Part III)

This is the last post in a three part series on Gen Y  and credit unions by guest author, Kathy Klotz-Guest. The first two posts can be read here. The final post focuses on apps and games, as well as social networks. Read more below:

Apps and games: Another great way to increase engagement is to offer fun mobile and web-based applications that help people manage their finances. Infusing applications and great content with immersive gaming elements encourages interactions that are easily shareable with peers.  A great example of this approach is the game “Nickled and Dimed” at creditunionfacts.com. The object of this game is to save Joe from getting barraged by bank fees, and, by doing so, build up savings. Similarly, Park City Credit Union in Merrill, Wisconsin offers an online simulation game with avatars called “Money Mission” aimed at helping teens learn real-life financial skills. Players are eligible to win scholarships.

Another example of an application that allows users to manage their money using their mobile device (there is also an app specifically for the iPhone) is PNC’s virtual wallet application. Credit unions have been slow to take the app plunge, although this is an area to add value and have some fun at the same time. According to ComScore, the Gen Y population, estimated at 79 million with about $170 billion in annual purchasing power, uses mobile banking more than any other age group (Jan 2012).

Another fun way to provide great content is via podcasts. Recently, I listened to a podcast given by a credit union on refinancing. The delivery was staged as a fun newscast filled with great information.

Social networks: One of the most important ways to reach Gen Y members is by allowing them to share information using social networks. This facilitates peer recommendations, and there are few things as influential as recommendations from a peer group. A credit union in Canada, for example, created a community, Young and Free Alberta (youngfreealberta.com) to enable Gen Y users to discuss, share, educate and comment on issues relating to credit and money. In addition to a video series on different topics, the site offers contests including a chance to be the paid voice for Young and Free for a year.

Burbank City FCU also mixes media, including Facebook, to encourage participation. One contest, based on the premise that nobody wants to spend more time on banking, asks users to submit a photo of what they would rather be doing (stand-up comedy, skydiving, fishing, hot air ballooning, going to the dentist!). Contestants are then entered into a drawing for $100.

Fun should not be hard!

Integrating fun and humor into your social marketing strategies for all members—especially Gen Y members—can help you cut through the noise in a crowded market. Keep it simple. Start with a great story that connects at a human level and offers value. Experiment a little and see what works best for you. Educate, inform, entertain and delight your customers by surprising them.

Funny is great, but just having fun is a great start. Besides, you can’t get to funny without having ‘fun’ first. Really. Try spelling it!

About Kathy Klotz-Guest: Kathy Klotz-Guest, CEO of Keeping it Human, helps organizations connect with audiences on a human level and get better marketing results. In her 20-year career, she has led successful marketing and communications strategies for high-tech, financial and services firms. A founding fellow for the Society for New Communications Research and comic improviser with the ComedySportz San Jose Rec League, she can be reached at kathy@keepingithuman.com, or via LinkedIn and Twitter.

Untapped Opportunities…

As businesses strive to remain afloat in this post-Great Recession era, every cost must be scrutinized in order to ensure profit maximization. The challenging economic climate has resulted in the identification of an increasingly important business sector known as the “small office/home office” (SOHO). A recent Barlow Research blog post shined a light on this elusive segment and the opportunities and challenges it holds for financial institutions (FIs).

Online banking and financial management is a natural fit for the SOHO market. It is convenient, cost-saving and real-time, and allows monitoring and control of a company’s finances from any location and even on-the-go, via mobile phone. There is no disputing the popularity of mobile banking for personal accounts, and there is reason to think it will translate to the SOHO market.

SOHOs are no doubt a diverse market segment. They encompass anything from house painting to event planning to accounting (and everything in between). Each business brings different needs to the table, and any solution offered by FIs that target this market must be versatile and fully customizable.

In these economically challenging times, the search for new customers and revenue streams will continue. The SOHO segment could prove to be a great new market for FIs. SOHOs may seem small at first because individually they employ few people. Collectively speaking, though, the market is estimated to be quite large and worth exploring. With rising gas prices, time lost stuck in traffic and the high cost of office space, there is overwhelming evidence to believe the SOHO market will continue to grow and FIs stand to reap the benefits.

 

 

Millenniels, Mirth, and Money: Making Gen Y Laugh and Learn Pays for Credit Unions (Part II)

This is the second of a three part series on Gen Y  and credit unions by guest author, Kathy Klotz-Guest. The first post was published last week, and can be read here. The second part of this series discusses using videos, contests and social media. Read more below:

Video: Gen Y consumers watch a lot of online video (research firm ComScore reports the average American viewed over 23 hours of video in the month of December 2011) and, today, a growing number are watching them on mobile devices. Video is your chance to connect with this audience at a human level in ways that traditional media cannot. Based on research I have conducted with more than 100 companies, the most important factor in video success is having a great story that is relevant to your audience. If your video happens to go viral, that’s great. Your goal, however, is to connect with your audience in a meaningful way and prompt them to take some specific call to action.

If computer giant IBM, viewed as stodgy and out of touch just 10 years ago, can change its image and poke fun of itself in the now famous “Art of the Sale” videos, so can credit unions. Video should humanize your brand, not bore people. That’s what collateral is for! There are credit unions creating some innovative and funny videos. One of the best videos to speak about the benefits of credit unions is a spoof of Apple’s celebrated Mac v. PC ads (Bankerspank.com or YouTube). The younger, cool guy represents the credit union, while the stodgy, “stuffed suit” represents the bank.

This video series, a handful in all, works well for a number of reasons. First, it’s a funny parody of well-known commercials. Secondly, it uses elements of “story” and metaphor to make its points, and to connect on a human level. The fact that a Gen Y actor plays the ‘cool’ role of the credit union—the banking equivalent of a Mac—is salient. Thirdly, the video series also educates younger viewers on the important differences between banks and credit unions without trying to sell a particular credit union.

Finally, it upends expectations about the way credit unions are marketed. It’s even okay for your credit union to poke fun at itself and its history (for example, maybe you haven’t always been on the vanguard of technology adoption)—as long as you demonstrate that you have changed and are looking to create better relationships with younger customers. Humor shows humility, and it signals to your audience, “Hey! We get it. We know how we have been perceived, and we’re ready to change.”

Another example of a fun video that shows credit unions with personality is “The Winning Team” by University of Kentucky (UK) Federal Credit Union. It shows a handful of bored Gen Y credit union employees who start an impromptu baseball game in the office. The fun is unexpectedly endorsed by the boss. Besides providing a great laugh, this video did not cost much to produce. Quality content is not the same as quality production. Content trumps production values, according to my research on video storytelling. The potency of the message is an important one: This credit union believes fun and service are all parts of a compatible winning team that serves, and is served by, Gen Y members. This matters, given that the credit union is associated with a university system. It’s a good example of what a lighthearted tone (and a relevant message) without a heavy budget can do. And just as with the Credit Union v. Bank video, this video is short. The ideal video is under two minutes.

Contests: Social media also enables content to be interactive and shared in a way traditional media does not, so take advantage of its participatory elements. People love to create and share their own content. Allowing users to participate by creating their own media (CGM, consumer-generated media) is a way to increase engagement and fun and enable your audience to help tell your story to peers. It’s also a great way to stretch your marketing budget and ensure that content is created by your intended audience with their own needs in mind. Fairfax Credit Union in Virginia launched a video contest for the Gen Y Extreme Checking Account commercial (on YouTube). They invited members of Gen Y to create short 30-second videos about the credit union’s new Gen Y Extreme Checking service.

This effort worked on a number of levels. First, it facilitated awareness and engaged Gen Y members to create content and, in turn, educate their peers about the new “Extreme” service. Secondly, the videos were funny, absurd and odd— an authentic reflection of Gen Y humor created by Gen Y participants. Finally, by inviting members to create their own videos, the credit union expanded its reach without having to create all of its own content. Often, an organization’s best storytellers come from outside its walls. Your engaged fans are your best and most credible referral sources. Just remember to make it fun, encourage creativity and allow them to share their creations on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Stay tuned for the last post in this series!

About Kathy Klotz-Guest: Kathy Klotz-Guest, CEO of Keeping it Human, helps organizations connect with audiences on a human level and get better marketing results. In her 20-year career, she has led successful marketing and communications strategies for high-tech, financial and services firms. A founding fellow for the Society for New Communications Research and comic improviser with the ComedySportz San Jose Rec League, she can be reached at kathy@keepingithuman.com, or via LinkedIn and Twitter.

The Celebrity Factor

Celebrities are just like us, only richer, right? There’s the glitz and glamor, of course, but there’s also the messiness of real life, only played out on a larger scale and out in the open. That’s always been the conventional wisdom, parroted endlessly by everyone from gossipmongers and publicists to sober-minded accountants.

Now, in the middle of awards season, it may be a good time to go a level deeper—how does being ‘richer’ make things different?

In a recent issue, New York Magazine plumbs the depths of the celebrity economy, and there’s literally a wealth of information of how much they’re not like us. For one thing, it’s astonishing how many things high-profile individuals don’t have to pay for—everything from clothes and accessories worn at media-friendly events to vacations and parties. Then there’s the endless revenue stream from things we all do every day, like send out Twitter messages. And of course, having a lavish (and very expensive) lifestyle is very much part of that brand.

But for us, it’s not always about how much they make, or even spend; it’s about how much they lose. There’s something weirdly satisfying hearing about celebrities accumulating enormous wealth, then losing it all, or at least going the Chapter 11 route just to get things back on track.

One recent addition to this sorry parade is former NBA star Allen Iverson, who used his peerless athletic abilities to rack up more than $154 million from his playing time alone, and quite a bit more through shoe deals and other endorsements, not to mention personal investments and other business dealings. How has that fortune apparently disappeared?

He has plenty of company: Even a partial list of celebrities with severe financial difficulties would have to include A-list actor Nicolas Cage, boxer Mike Tyson, musician Michael Jackson, Brit royal Sarah Ferguson, real estate mogul Donald Trump, TV personality Larry King, tennis ace Bjorn Borg, presidential candidate George McGovern and hip-hop star MC Hammer. And again, there are many, many more names that can be added to that roll call.

In almost all these cases, the woes stem from living considerably beyond considerable means. They make a lot, but they spend more. Their lifestyles are incredibly lavish, and they sometimes make very bad investments. Even if they don’t lose everything, their liabilities so far exceed assets that filing for bankruptcy is the only option available, the one stable way to make a fresh start.

Any thoughts of mean glee aside, here’s the real question: How did they end up like this?

Hubris surely plays a role—when the money is coming in by the truckload, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture and go for everything that couldn’t be gone for before. And again, livin’ large is essential to the image. And yet. . .

These are presumably not stupid people—look how far they got before the fall. More to the point, their sizeable entourages include teams of accountants, business managers, lawyers, agents, and so on. These are skilled professionals, as good at what they do as the celebrities are in their chosen field. They are paid to give advice, and common sense suggests that there are plenty of warning signs before the real trouble hits. And there’s plenty of evidence that these advisers do exactly what they’re supposed to do—tell clients to pull back. Whether that advice is heeded is another question altogether.

There are lessons in these immorality tales for all of us, consumers and financial services professionals alike. Having money is good, having more money is better. We all believe that if we were in these circumstances—blessed by unbelievable material success—then we’d know how to handle it. We’d listen to our better selves, and to our advisors. We wouldn’t make these kinds of mistakes.

Would we?

 

If you Build it, Will They Buy?

Building a product on time and on budget doesn’t much matter if nobody wants it. Just ask entrepreneur Eric Ries, whose new book, “The Lean Startup,” explores the value of validated learning to determine if a new product idea is worth pursuing.

In the following video clip, Ries discusses how validated learning helps eliminate the sources of waste that plague entrepreneurship.

Keep watching the Intuit Network for a series of upcoming interviews with Ries as he sits down with Intuit leaders to explore and expand on some of the themes in “The Lean Startup.” Guests include CEO Brad Smith, Founder Scott Cook and Vice President of Design Innovation Kaaren Hanson. For more information on Ries, go to http://theleanstartup.com/.

*originally posted on the Intuit Network

Millenniels, Mirth, and Money: Making Gen Y Laugh and Learn Pays for Credit Unions (Part I)

This is the first of a three part series on Gen Y by guest author, Kathy Klotz-Guest.

Today’s financial institutions, like other industry sectors, recognize how important it is to reach out to the Generation Y cohort of 18- to 30-year-olds. Traditional, conservative and stuffy marketing approaches do not work with these digital natives—and neither does throwing social media technology or “cool” marketing on top of existing approaches. While Gen Y likes technology, a lot of interaction and great deals, they also want you to embrace fun and humor, and help them achieve their goals. They want you to change the way you do business in order to earn theirs.

One area where credit unions already have an advantage over banks is in developing deeper customer relationships, and social media can facilitate even richer connections. The good news is there are many ways to increase your relevance by using serious technology combined with a not-so-serious tone.

After all, marketing should be fun if you’re doing it right.

Humor me! Social Technology Meets Fun

In its research, Forrester found that Gen Y members value humor—even odd humor—and embrace it in business. They also view banks with a bit more apprehension, as they feel most financial institutions “don’t get them.” Consequently, it takes not only an investment in technology to reach this group; it also requires a commitment to changing the content of your communications. The key is to communicate that your credit union understands what Gen Y values. And humor is a way to build that generational bridge.

That Gen Y values humor is great news: it can help your marketing cut through lots of noise in a crowded market. Additionally, fun as a wrapper for great content adds value. There is no reason great information has to be delivered in a stodgy way. However, fun without a targeted, relevant approach is pandering.

It’s not enough to use mobile technology and web 2.0 platforms. A powerful and credible marketing approach to Gen Y must involve the integration of social technologies, the right messaging and personality, and an engaging, interactive user experience. Social media, like all great customer experiences, is about connecting with people. Otherwise, they would have called it anti-social media!

Work That Humor Muscle

So, how can you integrate humor with technology? First, it is important to understand what fun and humor are and how to make them pay off. Funny is great; yet, just having a fun attitude that makes customers smile is an important step in the right direction.

Here’s the most important point to remember: Humor is about the element of surprise. The question to ask isn’t, “How can we make people laugh?” Trying to be funny is a needlessly high and daunting bar to reach. Thus, the right question to consider is, “How can we surprise our audience?” When expectations are inverted, we are delighted. Here is the great news: because banking hasn’t exactly been known as a “fun factory,” there are many things your credit union can do to upend expectations and change the way you are perceived. Consider integrating fun, humor and technology into the following elements as part of your larger marketing strategy: video, contests, apps and games, and social networks.

Stay tuned the remainder of this series!

About Kathy Klotz-Guest: Kathy Klotz-Guest, CEO of Keeping it Human, helps organizations connect with audiences on a human level and get better marketing results. In her 20-year career, she has led successful marketing and communications strategies for high-tech, financial and services firms. A founding fellow for the Society for New Communications Research and comic improviser with the ComedySportz San Jose Rec League, she can be reached at kathy@keepingithuman.com, or via LinkedIn and Twitter.


 

What We’re Reading: Starbucks Loan Fund, Tablet Banking and Bank Overdraft Fees

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.

  • Starbucks Says 3-Month Old Loan Fund Is Already Creating Jobs

American Banker

Starbucks Coffee Co. has raised more than $2 million in small-dollar donations from its customers since Nov. 1 in support of its effort to stimulate job growth in low- and moderate-income communities. The retail giant created a loan fund in partnership with community development financial institutions to make loans to small businesses. Starbucks seeded the fund with $5 million from its foundation and has been urging customers to add to the fund with donations of as little as $5 at checkout or online. Including Starbucks’ contribution, the Create Jobs for USA fund had raised more than $7 million as of Dec. 31 and had made 278 loans in 31 states, Starbucks’ Chief Executive Howard Schultz said in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Thursday.

Read more

  • Citi and Mint Target Financial Advice Sites at Women

American Banker

A new partnership between DailyWorth, a women’s financial information site, and Intuit’s personal financial management [PFM] site Mint.com reveals the potential of PFM to be sharpened by combining it with editorial content for specific user groups. “The PFM tools out there are being used by pretty much anyone and are meant for the masses, but there are different things going on that affect people’s financial planning needs,” says Jacob Jegher, a senior analyst at Celent. Mint.com‘s tools will be made available to users of DailyWorth, a resource designed to help women build net worth through a variety of educational materials, articles, blogs and other interactive media.

Read more

  • PayPal Partnering with Banks to Attract New Customers

American Banker

PayPal Inc., with 106.3 million active users, clearly has no trouble signing up consumer accounts. But it is now partnering with banks to sign up even more. Users who sign up for PayPal accounts can fund them from any bank account they choose — or they can ignore their bank and use a store-bought MoneyPak from Green Dot Corp. PayPal’s new partnerships allow banks to avoid disintermediation by ensuring their own accounts are funding customers’ PayPal purchases. PayPal’s first partnership is with la Caixa, which allows its users to enroll for PayPal accounts on the bank website, PayPal said in a blog post last week. The process ensures that the Spanish bank’s credit and debit cards are linked to each freshly created PayPal account.

Read more

  • In Tablet Banking, Fun Matters

BankInnovation.net

Tablet banking customers just wanna have fun? Intuit Financial Services thinks so. That’s why the fintech vendor designed an iPad banking app that aims to liven up the user experience. “People buy iPads because they are fun,” Deepti Sahi, senior product management at Intuit, tells Bank Innovation. “We wanted to make the app fun.” Making tablet apps “more fun”  is easier to do than when designing smartphone apps for a myriad of reasons, including the fact that there’s more real estate to work with and animation possibilities are more robust on a tablet.

Read more

  • Banks and Credit Unions Focusing on Onboarding to Build Revenues

Bank Marketing Strategy Blog

There has never been so much pressure on financial institutions to maximize the revenue and relationship potential of each customer. With government regulations reducing fee income, historically narrow interest rate spreads, and consumer satisfaction with many financial institutions wavering, there’s a need to ensure that once a customer opens a new account, every effort is made to help the customer understand and use their account, expand their relationship, and increase loyalty to your organization. While time and resources have been dedicated to new customer acquisition processes in the past, a majority of financial institutions are now working to implement or improve the communication process right after account opening and for several months into the relationship.

Read more

  • Let’s Make 2012 the Year of Internal Collaboration

Gonzo Banker

Gonzobankers, unless we all really learn to play together, the toys in our banker’s toy box can get broken, or never get used to their fullest potential. Blogger Ted Thames is talking collaboration here, collaboration within the bank that lets us make the best use of opportunities and technology. He understands how initiatives designed to make strategic improvements in customer service or operating processes can get off track.

Read more

  • Consumer Inquiry Focuses On Bank Overdraft Fee

New York Times

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is beginning an inquiry into how banks levy overdraft fees they charge customers who bounce checks or withdraw more than they have in their accounts using debit cards or automated teller machines, the head of the agency said Tuesday. Richard Cordray, the director of the bureau, said the inquiry would focus on whether some banks misled consumers in 2010 when they put in place new Federal Reserve regulations for overdraft protection. The agency will try to determine whether banks routinely reorder customer transactions to maximize potential overdrafts, and will seek data on the effect of overdraft fees on young and low-income bank customers.

Read more

 

The Shadow Banking Alternative

There’s something cool about being ‘alternative.’ It’s why so many of us are drawn to alternative medicine, alternative energy, even alternative music—it just sounds cool. But how about alternative banking?

In a sense, that’s what shadow banking is: all the pain and pleasure of traditional banking, minus the rules and regulations. That’s the reason it’s getting so much attention now, and will likely get much more in the months ahead.

For sure, it’s already all over the map. Look at China, a prime market for investment and other business opportunities that’s currently in multiple cross-hairs. As a Reuters blog noted recently, strict restrictions on loans to the SMB market have led to the explosive growth of a shadow market comprising trust companies and short-term financing, with much higher rates of interest than the traditional model. This spawns numerous problems: In the city of Wenzhou last year, more than 40 business owners defaulted. Some of the money had come from pools of household savings, which in turn exacerbated the problem.

Nor is this a small-time problem. As the Financial Times just pointed out, several entities listed on Hong Kong’s Growth Enterprise Market, which was created to boost start-ups, are switching their business model to become money lenders. Even China Electric Power Technology Holdings, previously seen as the key to infrastructure building, is going this way.

Moving further west, there are clear signs that the entire European shadow banking system is teetering on the brink. There’s no question it’s at the core of the tectonic shifts in the viability of the Eurozone, with a huge impact on the Budesbank and potential peril to the entire banking system. And then there’s the largest shadow liability of all, some $15.5 trillion. That, for those who haven’t guessed is in the U.S—and as large as the figure is, it’s actually down from its peak of $20 trillion.

Despite this stunning growth, the term shadow banking is, by all accounts, quite recent. While there are likely other sources, it is most commonly attributed to remarks in 2007 by economist and money manager Paul McCulley. Still, the practice is as old as the hills.

But the fundamental question is just as old: Why is there so much money circulating outside the system? In fact, why are there so many individuals and entities willing to pay so much interest—in the case of some organizations in Hong Kong the figure is 42 percent, against a regular rate of 5 percent–to the lending institutions?

The reality is that much of shadow banking is quite legit, and much of the rest represents financial outliers that no credible banking institution wants to be involved with. But in the days and months ahead, the plethora of regulations now working their way through the legislative system in diverse regions—from Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel is threatening sharp mandates, to China, where the government is under pressure to bring more order to the system—will land in place and expose a strange disconnect.

There are people and companies around the world needing to borrow money, even at staggeringly high rates of interest, and there are people and companies willing to oblige them. All these transactions take place in what we might call an alternative universe, completely outside the banking system that’s been specifically designed for this contingency. And that’s not cool.

Could traditional financial institutions be playing a larger role in this vast shadow market, or would that mean lowering the criteria for making loans and lead to a replay of the mortgage mess?

Speculation welcome.

 

Stress Test

Maybe if the Occupy Wall Street folks heard about this, they’d go after another industry.

The Wall Street Journal reports on a research report from the University of Southern California on the perils of investment banking to your health. According to the study, a range of afflictions, from alcoholism and heart palpitations to eating disorders and a fiery temper, plagued the subjects of the research. In fact, every individual observed over a decade did develop a stress-related ailment within just a few years on the job.

The scientific validity of the study, which is due to see the light of day later this month, will surely be questioned. While nearly 270,000 people are in investment banking category, this initiative involved following only about two dozen closely over a lengthy period. The researcher essentially shadowed them regularly while they put in 80- to 120-hour workweeks. Within four years, the stress of the job was starting to take its toll. Some developed allergies and substance abuse issues, while others were diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and thyroid disorders.

It’s easy to be dismissive of these issues—by its very nature, the field draws individuals who are competitive and aggressive. They know it will require a tremendous physical and emotional commitment. And if they do it right, they will be very well compensated.

However, the new study provides some sharp comparisons to another one promoted recently by the business cable channel CNBC. That one focused on the most stressful jobs of 2012, and in it investment banking ranks. . .nowhere.

The closest is ‘senior corporate executive,’ which clocks in at No. 8, just above ‘cabbie’ and ‘photojournalist.’ It’s also right below ‘Public Relations Executive.’ For the record, the top five are (in ascending order), ‘police officer,’ ‘military general’ (the best compensated on the list, with an average annual income of $196,300), ‘airline pilot’ and, at No. 1, ‘military soldier.’ In this time especially, it’s hard to dispute that last one.

Still, here’s a thought: What, in the business world of 2012, counts as a least stressful job?

CNBC has just such a list too, but this one will likely draw some skepticism—it cites tailors and hair stylists (clearly no one in New York during Fashion Week), dietitians, furniture upholsterers and, at No. 1, medical records technicians.

Maybe the sad reality is that in this cruel world, just about every occupation, in every working environment, involves a certain level of stress. In investment banking (and surely in some other fields) every aspect is magnified—the hours, the competitiveness, the compensation, the pressure, the overall stakes. So is the stress.

By the same token, each of us is unique—we confront many of the same issues, but we deal with different pain points in different ways. Many of us also pride ourselves on taking care of clients better than we take care of ourselves.

Maybe it’s time to find a better balance. Otherwise, any study analyzing the health effects of investment banking—which some see as the premise for a punch line—might have a foregone, and unhappy, conclusion.

 

 

What We’re Reading: Tablet Apps, Mobile Security and Mobile Wallets

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.

  • Downloadable Tablet Apps Said to Be ‘Next Frontier’ to Win Younger Customers

American Banker

Developing the slickest mobile-tablet applications that enable consumers to manage routine credit and debit card spending through their larger touchscreens will be essential for large banks looking to hold on to younger, more affluent consumers over the next year, new research suggests. As distribution of tablet devices such as Apple Inc.’s iPad surges, the race is on among banks to develop the most feature-rich applications for diverse banking products for the newest generation of devices, says Mary Monahan, executive vice president and research director, Javelin Strategy & Research. And the banks that do it best likely will keep sought-after younger consumers that prize mobility and who are enamored of downloadable tablet apps that offer brighter, more colorful touchscreen account-management features, she predicts. By 2016, Javelin expects the total number of U.S. tablet owners to reach 87 million, or 40% of consumers.

Read more

  • Community Banks Fret Over Mobile Security

American Banker

While small banks already face a mobile banking adoption deficit to their larger competitors, some community institutions are still questioning the channel’s safety, weighing emerging security threats against consumer expectations of new mobile banking services. “Mobile is still an emerging technology and it isn’t fully mature,” says John Caton, executive vice president at BankFIRST, a $680 million-asset bank based in Winter Garden, Fla. Caton says the bank is not offering the latest mobile banking native apps. Part of the concern is the possibility of infiltrations to the native apps’ operating system.

Read more

  • Arizona Credit Union Hopes New Tech Will Attract Small Businesses

American Banker

While the ability of credit unions to lure disaffected consumers away from large banks is debatable, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union believes it can use technology to lure small businesses away from the banks they use for transaction processing. “How many of our members own their own business? And how many of them might do their business banking with us, but instead take their business accounts to the bank down the street?” says Kevin Lewis, division executive of the credit union’s business and commercial services.

Read more

  • Bank Mobile Wallets: NFC or Cloud?

Celent Banking Blog

FIS, a large technology and services provider, has announced a new m-payments system, developed in partnership with Paydiant, a mobile technology company Celent clients may recall a recent report, “What’s In Your Mobile Wallet? Winning the Battle for Mobile at the Retail POS” where we described the four major domains which represent the key battlegrounds for bringing mobile payments to the physical stores in the developed markets. With the announcement from FIS, it seems that banks can take on the cloud-based wallet providers at their own game. FIS and Paydiant developed a cloud-based solution that can be integrated into the bank’s mobile app and simply requires downloadable apps for consumers and retailers. Because the app resides in the cloud, no payment credentials need to be exchanged at the POS, giving everyone an additional piece of mind and alleviating the retailers from PCI compliance requirements.

Read more

  • Credit Unions Are No Oldsmobile

CreditUnionsOnline.com

During Javelin Strategy & Research’s report on the impact Bank Transfer Day had on the industry, founder Jim Van Dyke made the inflammatory statement that credit unions aren’t cutting the mustard in the area of technology and could eventually become dinosaurs (or an Oldsmobile). “It turned out that technology and individuals’ inertia really won the day in favor of the large banks,” he says. “If this continues, these small institutions will go the way of the Oldsmobile.” Van Dyke refers to the way big banks woo and capture a valuable emerging consumer base–young adults. He contends that young adults demand a high level of sophisticated technology and if credit unions don’t put it into high gear they aren’t going to make it.

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  • ACI closes S1 acquisition

Finextra

ACI Worldwide, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACIW), a leading international provider of payment systems, today announced that it has accepted for payment all shares of S1 Corporation (Nasdaq: SONE) common stock tendered in the previously announced exchange offer. ACI intends to acquire the remaining S1 shares pursuant to a merger as provided in the October 3, 2011 transaction agreement between ACI and S1. In the merger, all remaining publicly held shares of S1 common stock not purchased in the exchange offer will be converted into the right to receive $6.62 in cash, without interest, and 0.1064 of a share of ACI common stock, less any required withholding taxes. Following completion of the exchange offer and the merger, S1 will be a subsidiary of ACI and its shares will no longer be publicly traded.

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  • Why Windows 8 tablets could be a bonanza for start-ups

Pando Daily

We’ve known for more than a year that there will be two completely different kinds of apps for Microsoft’s next version of Windows. You can think of them as “desktop apps” and “mobile apps,” but that’s not quite right. It’s better to think of them as old apps and new apps, or yesterday’s apps and tomorrow’s apps. Old apps are the ones you’ve been using forever on Windows: They require mice and keyboards and usually run in a window taking up a small part of your screen. They’re given full control over your machine, which is sometimes good and often terrible.

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