What We’re Reading: The Paper Check, Mobile & Online Banking and Mobile Payments

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.

  • The Paper Check Prevails but the Future of ePayments Is Optimistic

Barlow Research Newsletter

At Barlow Research’s 2012 Annual Client Conference held in April 2012, a group of thought leaders gathered to discuss the state of the paper check and the electronic payments (ePayments) movement. Specifically, the group addressed questions around the drivers of electronic payments, barriers to adoption, the future of checks and electronic payments. The paper check is an instrument that is universal. It is still the common denominator amongst companies doing business.

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  • Mobile RDC Is Game Changer – NACHA Expert: Onsite Coverage

Credit Union Times

Waving an iPhone, Fiserv executive Gary Brand told the NACHA audience: “This changes everything.” Then Brand explained why: the ease of use of mobile deposit apps on smartphones coupled with the ubiquity of those devices suddenly means that the ability to make remote mobile capture deposits is in just about every hand. And consumers want it: 43% of people will switch financial institutions to get mobile RDC, Brand said at his presentation on Wednesday at NACHA’s PAYMENTS 2012 conference. As mobile RDC proliferates, “this will change everything in your relationship to customers,” Brand said, because many members come into a branch only to make a deposit.

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  • More Than 50% Saw Member Increase in 2011: Credit Union 24 Survey

Credit Union Times

A survey of credit unions conducted by Credit Union 24 has found that more than half of credit unions surveyed (53%) reported seeing their numbers increase last year and that almost half (46%) attributed the increase to Bank Transfer Day. The nationwide ATM and POS network collected the data as part of its fourth annual CU Industry Survey. “The industry took a very aggressive approach to member recruitment during 2011 and it was successful,” said Jim Park, president/CEO of Credit Union 24.  “Bank Transfer Day, robust marketing strategies and an overall increased awareness of credit unions in the consumer marketplace all helped advanced the credit union movement; however, credit unions are rightly concerned with how to keep this momentum going in 2012.”

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  • Checks Die While Online Thrives, But Gen-Y Still Use Branches

The Financial Brand

Despite Gen-Y’s love for all things digital, they don’t just bank online or on their phones. While Gen-Y certainly prefers the digital channel, it’s not like they’ve declared a boycott against physical channels (as many in the financial industry widely believe). Indeed, it’s exactly the opposite. According to the 2011 Consumer Trends Survey from Fiserv, Gen-Y consumers are more likely to visit a branch, drive up to an ATM, or call a call center than any other age segment.

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  • Who’s Ready For Mobile Payments? The U.S., Canada…And Kenya

Forbes.com

We are on the verge of one of the biggest changes in decades in how we pay for goods and services. For the first time since the 1980s, what we call the “form factor” – the physical device that initiates a financial transaction – will shift to new technology. Smartphones and tablets are becoming an integral part of people’s daily lives around the world and soon will replace the familiar plastic cards we all carry. In fact, your smart phone will become your “wallet” – replacing a host of cards, coins and cash.

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  • Many Competing Paths on the Road to the Phone Wallet

New York Times

The idea of using a smartphone as a wallet has been slow to catch on in the United States. A big part of the problem has been that most stores do not have the proper physical equipment to allow customers to pay by tapping their phone. These stores also do not have the right equipment to allow the use of smart cards, credit cards embedded with computer chips that are much less susceptible to fraud. But a change is coming that will push both innovations at the same time.

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  • Pew study: Overdraft fees still take account-holders by surprise

Philadelphia Inquirer

Nearly two years after the Federal Reserve began requiring banks to get customers’ permission before subjecting them to controversial overdraft practices, many account-holders are still surprised when they are charged overdraft fees for debit-card purchases or ATM withdrawals that could simply have been declined, says a new study financed by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The Pew study found that more than half of those hit with overdraft fees did not believe they had opted in to the policies, which enable banks to approve purchases or withdrawals for customers short of funds and then charge them fees for the transactions. Pew says the median bank overdraft fee is about $35. Pew has focused on unexpected overdraft fees as part of its Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project, which says the fees pose financial risk, particularly to younger and less-affluent customers.

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Lean Startup Lesson: Test Before you Build

Consider the cost of building a product only to find out that nobody wants it. Testing the hypothesis for a new product can save time and money. How to go about testing before a product is ever created is the topic of discussion for Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, and Intuit founder Scott Cook in this Lean Startup Lesson.

This is the eighth installment of a new series where Intuit leaders, including CEO Brad Smith, Founder Scott Cook and Vice President of Design Innovation Kaaren Hanson will sit down with author Eric Ries to expand on some of the themes in his best-selling book The Lean Startup.

For more information on Ries, go to http://theleanstartup.com/.

*Originally posted on the Intuit Network. You can watch more of the series here.

What We’re Reading: YouTube, Pinterest and Gen Y

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.

  • Chase Has the Best of the Big-Bank Mobile Apps, Forrester Says

American Banker

Forrester Research has evaluated the mobile initiatives of the top four U.S. banks and declared JPMorgan Chase’s the best. The research firm gave the bank a score of 74 out of 100 on its mobile banking functionality, for providing a wide array of mobile money movement options, including funds transfer, bill payment and remote deposit capture. The other three banks — Citi, Bank of America and Wells Fargo — all scored above average in the tests. The overall research report offered a few insights into mobile banking trends: The percentage of mobile banking users has crept up to 17% as of the end of 2011, according to Forrester estimates.

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  • YouTube Casts a Spotlight on Banks’ Social Media Challenges

American Banker

Twitter and Facebook audiences are tough nuts to crack, but the toughest of all is YouTube. YouTube, the dominant online video site, has hundreds of millions of users, but holding their attention is far more difficult than typing out 140-character messages or encouraging customers to “Like” the bank’s brand. Many of the banks that have a YouTube account devote little attention to it; they populate it with repurposed TV ads and prohibit users from leaving comments. Putting in the effort to provide professional-quality and unique content for YouTube keeps customers engaged and even prompts conversations with branch staff, as Lakeland Bancorp’s (LBAI) Lakeland Bank has learned.

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  • Where’s the Tech Support?

American Banker

A recent survey of 1,527 mobile banking users found a gaping void in the typical mobile banking application — a lack of technical support, tutorials and advice. Asked the one improvement they’d most like to see in their mobile banking application, 60% of these consumers said links to and contact information for technical support. Easier navigation and chat tools would help banks improve their overall mobile banking adoption numbers, says Michael McEvoy, managing director at ath Power Consulting, based in Boston and Washington, D.C., the firm that conducted the survey. Another thing that would help: better education about mobile banking services.

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  • 7 Ways Banks Can Use Pinterest

American Banker

Financial institutions could benefit from being active on the fast-growing social media website Pinterest, Corporate Insight has found. Pinterest relies mostly on images instead of text and incorporates different aspects of Twitter and Facebook to connect users. After examining the website, Corporate Insight said Thursday that it found seven financial themes for which companies could use Pinterest to increase their digital presence. These themes were retirement, savings and investment goals, credit card rewards, lifestyle, corporate mascots, contests and charitable giving.

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  • Ally Rolls Out Mobile Banking Offering

Bank Systems & Technology

Direct bank Ally announced it has released a mobile banking app for iPhone and Android mobile phones. Features of the new app include the ability to check account balances, search transaction history, transfer money between Ally Bank accounts and find ATMs and cash-back locations using the phone’s GPS capability. Additionally, Ally is offering a second app for non-customer Android and iPhone users, which will locate nearby ATMs and cash-back locations in the U.S. This app is available to the public and free to download at the App Store and Google Play Store, Ally said.

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  • Leading the Bird: What Bankers Can Learn from Duck Hunting

Celent Banking Blog

Every duck hunter knows that in order to avoid coming home empty-handed, one must aim ahead of the bird – lead the bird as it is commonly referred. The idea is that if one aims directly at the bird, every shot will be a miss no matter how precise the aim. That’s because by the time the bird shot gets in the vicinity of the duck, it will have flown out of the shot pattern. What does this have to do with financial services? Tons! Today’s financial services landscape is challenged with astonishing array of changes, and the rate of change is faster than most have seen in our lifetimes.

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  • Gen Y Found in Branches as Much as Seniors in Fiserv Survey

Credit Union Times

Fiserv Inc. has found Gen Y consumers are not strictly tied to online and mobile banking, based on the company’s latest Consumer Trends Survey. Fiserv said its Gen Y findings include the following: Gen Y members do not limit themselves to online and mobile banking — they’re more likely than any other age segment to visit a branch, drive up to an ATM or phone a call center. For each of the banking services mentioned, Gen Y represents the highest percentage of high volume users (five or more visits/uses per month) than any other age segment. Online banking, debit cards and bank-based bill pay are the top three financial management tools utilized by Gen Y.

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  • Securing smartphones and tablets against banking fraud

Help Net Security

Trusteer announced a new version of the Trusteer Mobile service which prevents mobile and online banking fraud. The service detects mobile malware infection and helps bank customers fix security vulnerabilities on their devices. End users can also turn off access to their online bank accounts from anywhere using their mobile devices and safely access the bank web site via a secure mobile browser. Financial institutions can authorize online banking transactions using Trusteer Mobile Out-of-band Authentication for Android and iOS devices.

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  • The Post-Cash, Post-Credit-Card Economy

New York Times

In London, travelers can buy train tickets with their phones — and hold up the phones for the conductor to see. And in Starbucks coffee shops here in the United States, customers can wave their phones in front of the cash register and without even an abracadabra, pay for their soy chai lattes. Money is not what it used to be, thanks to the Internet. And the pocketbook may soon be destined for the dustbin of history — or at least if some technology companies get their way. The cellphone increasingly contains the essentials of what we need to make transactions.

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Infographic: The Mobile Employee

It’s no secret that mobile use amongst consumers is on the rise, but a recent infographic published by [x]cube labs shows an astounding jump in mobile usage among employees in the last year alone. Statistics cited in the infographic state that smartphone usage for work jumped from 69% in 2010 to 91% in 2011. One of the top types of mobile employees noted is the mobile information worker: workers who travel frequently but needs to stay in touch with the office through email and collaboration tools (e.g. financial services professionals, banking executives, consultants, etc.). Within the mobile information worker sector, the percentage of the total workforce is predicted to jump from 24% in 2010 to 30% in 2012. See below for the full infographic.

Are you and your employees using mobile phones more frequently for work? Do you think employees should use company sanctioned mobile devices to do work on-the-go? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

Browse more infographics.