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.
- In the Branch, Tablets Mean Money
Microsoft (MSFT), which also offers its XBox Kinect and big-screen Surface devices for bank branches, is now pushing tablets on bankers. “The future of the branch is not people just sitting behind a desk,” says Mike Opal, an industry market development manager in the U.S. Financial Services unit of Microsoft. “You need the tablet.” Software vendors are primed to build custom apps. ACI Worldwide (ACIW) is utilizing its recent S1 acquisition to build new mobile apps for bankers in brick and mortar stores.
- Big jump in mobile payments expected, but not with NFC in U.S.
Mobile payments will reach $171 billion globally in 2012, a 62% increase over last year’s total of $105.9 billion, according to research firm Gartner Inc. That increase corresponds with a 32% rise in mobile payment users expected this year. The number of users is expected to hit 212 million users, up from 160.5 million in 2011. The forecast, announced Tuesday, also pegs mobile transaction values at $617 billion, with 448 million users, by 2016, Gartner said in a statement.
- The Beauty of Small Data
While the syntactic evolution of buzzwords is fine entertainment, he would like to argue that bankers today are suffering from poor implementations of the most basic management reporting and data mining. He would like to argue that we should prove we can handle small data before we hope to graduate to expensive new tools used by rocket scientists and drug researchers. For this reason, he offers up Cornerstone’s Eight-Point Small Data Assessment. Point #1: Sales Data – Banks need simple dashboard reports that summarize new business development.
- PayPal’s Feverish Sprint into Offline Payments
PayPal is making major progress in growing its offline retail presence. At the time of our last blog on PayPal’s offline push, the company had just integrated its payment service into 51 Bay Area Home depot locations. In the two months afterward, the payments innovator transitioned its pilot program to include nearly 2,000 Home Depot locations. Only two months ago, the company announced PayPal Here, a global mobile payment service aimed to allow small businesses to accept a variety of payment methods.
- Personal Financial Management for Couples
Why are PFMs all about the data and do little to help you collaborate about your money? Because they were mostly designed by single, urban, 20-somethings (he knows that’s not entirely true, but you get the point). What we need is the “Facebook of PFMs” where you can share appropriate financial details with your spouse, family, parents and other financial stakeholders in your life (CPA, bank, advisor, etc). The same concept extends to businesses who have even more stakeholders to communicate with.
- Google launches ‘Beba,’ an NFC-enabled payment card in Kenya
Google, in a bid to boost its presence in the payments market, has launched Beba in Kenya, a pre-paid card enabled with Near Field Communication (NFC) to allow people to pay their bus fare without using cash. Yes, Google is doing this. Actually, according to Beba’s Terms of Service agreement, the company in question is Google Ireland Limited, interestingly enough. According to TechMtaa, the move was expected, and is rolling out first in Nairobi. The card, which can be loaded with up the local equivalent of $115, is likely attractive to customers, as it may help them dodge rising rates, or bus drivers that don’t provide exact or proper change; TechMtaa reports that “route charges are pre-loaded on to the [user's card],” which means that certain lower rates (off-peak) may not be counted, but at least the price will be consistent.
- Four Mobile Payment Systems Tested and Compared
Accepting credit cards used to be expensive and complicated: You needed to set up a merchant account with a bank, you had to buy or lease a card reader, and you had to pay a setup fee, subscription fees, and fees on every sale you made. Today, a swarm of credit card processing apps for smartphones and tablets has rendered the process easier, cheaper, and highly mobile. They examined four mobile payment processing services, along with their respective card readers and software. Each supplies an app for iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch), and three of the four offer an app for Android phones and tablets, but only one service supports BlackBerry devices.
- Target Rolls Out Shopkick Integration Nationwide
shopkick, the location-based shopping app backed by Greylock and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is having its biggest rollout yet — Target says it’s making the service available in its stores nationwide. Target was already announced as a shopkick partner, but until now, it was limited to testing integration in seven cities. Now, thanks to what the company says were “rave reviews,” it’s expanding its shopkick integration to all of its 1,764 stores in the United States, making it the largest shopkick retailer. shopkick uses smartphones to give stores and brands a new way to interact with shoppers. By entering partner stores and scanning specific products, users earn “kicks” which can be redeemed for gift cards, deals, and other rewards.