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.
- Obama Signs Law Easing Access to Credit for Small Banks, Businesses
President Obama signed legislation Thursday that will remove impediments faced by some small banks and other businesses as they seek to raise new capital. The law passed Congress with strong bipartisan support, overcoming a late backlash from consumer groups and some congressional Democrats who say that it will weaken investor protections and open the door to more financial fraud. During a Rose Garden signing ceremony, Obama did not address that criticism, though he did warn congressional Republicans who were in attendance that the Securities and Exchange Commission needs to get proper funding from Congress. Obama’s remarks focused largely on America’s legacy of entrepreneurialism — he invoked the names of Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg — while touting the law’s crowd-funding provisions, which will allow start-up companies to raise money online from small investors.
- Banks Have Big Stake in Battle Over Postal Reform
It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that the banking industry relies on the post office more than any other sector of the U.S. economy. More than half of all statements and bills sent through the mail come from banks, savings and loans, and credit unions, according to the U.S. Postal Service. And those 4 billion or so mailings per year are matched by roughly the same number of advertising offers from credit-card issuers. That leaves banks with a big stake in the debate on Capitol Hill over how to reform the Postal Service, which has suffered a sharp drop in revenue as a result of the recession and rapid changes in technology.
- SaveUp.com to stash cash, win prizes
Would you take a bribe? To do the right things? Things like saving and paying down your debt? That’s part of the interesting psychology behind SaveUp.com — a free website that lets you earn a shot at cash and other prizes, just for doing the right thing. The concept has taken off since the site was launched Nov. 1, 2011. In less than six months, SaveUp users have deposited $25,752,249.51 into their savings and paid down $22,278,973.93 in debt.
- Sobering Stats: Brands Struggle For Engagement In Social Media
Take a quick tour around the web and you’ll find no shortage of social media junkies and innovation addicts listing the myriad of things financial institutions could do in social channels. While they pound the drum of “potential and possibilities,” financial marketers are seldom (if ever) offered any hardcore stats on actual rates of engagement. We are constantly reminded that there are 850 million users on Facebook, and many believe that fact alone should persuade marketing managers of social media’s power. But that number only represents 12.4% of the world’s population, and (of course) you probably aren’t targeting the entire world. In the US, for instance, around 150 million people, or about half the total population, have a Facebook account. So if you have 100,000 customers, you could feasibly reach only 50%. But how many don’t know or don’t care that you have a Facebook page?
- Customer Service 2.0: The Importance of Live Chat In Banking
For more than 40 years, financial institutions have actively pushed consumers into to self-service channels — from phone banking and ATMs decades ago, to online and mobile banking today. As banks and credit unions have been busy implementing one technology after another, something got lost along the way: personal interactions. The internet’s overall affect on banking has been generally positive. However, banking consumers today have less stake with financial institutions. The relationship is missing, so they see their bank as disembodied (at best), and potentially untrustworthy (at worst).
- Advantages of banking at credit unions
As big banks have been hammered over the past couple of years, many consumers have turned to credit unions and community banks as alternatives. Why? Mainly because they were financially healthier, not to mention more focused on customer service. During a recent trip to Washington, D.C., he had the opportunity to sit down with Bill Myers, director of the Office of Small Business Credit Union Initiatives for the National Credit Union Administration.
- Yodlee launches new mobile services for FIs
Yodlee is getting in on the growing mobile P2P market. The Silicon Valley company, a technology and mobile banking provider for financial institutions, recently announced the launch of Yodlee MoneyMovement, an open platform that lets FIs offer services like account-to-account fund transfers, bill payment and P2P payments. “With Yodlee MoneyMovement, we’re extending our reputation as innovators, this time into payments and transactions, enabling faster, safer payments and transfers,” said Yodlee’s SVP of Products, Eric Connors in a statement. Connors said the company designed, built and tested its platform in conjunction with the world’s largest retail banks to be flexible, scalable, and extensible in response to the rapidly evolving payments landscape FIs are competing in now.
- “If Facebook Were Built Today, It Would Be a Mobile App”
James Pearce, head of mobile developer relations for Facebook, likes to point out that “you and your friends don’t always have the same devices” or even use the same mobile platforms. That’s a problem for the company, as it has to support all the major platforms, from Apple iOS to Google Android and beyond – often putting it in the position of benefitting its competitors. But it’s also a huge opportunity for Facebook itself to shape and dominate that common platform. At a small lunch with reporters on the social media giant’s luxe new Silicon Valley campus, Pearce explained that the mobile issue is far from trivial.
- How much is a tweet worth? About 1/10,000 as much as a Yelp review
Tweets, status updates, pins, check-ins: They may seem trivial to you, but they’re valuable content to social networking companies. For example: Next time you make an update in Path, consider that you just helped that company make 50 cents in revenue. Just how much value do you represent to these companies? Backupify, a cloud data backup service, decided to do some quick math.