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.
- 7 Olympic Training Lessons For Your Finances
If you’ve been watching the Olympics at all, you may be amazed at what often look like superhuman feats. These feats are performed by real life super heroes such as Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. What we don’t see is all the years of training and preparing for that moment. That’s why Forbes’ reporter Erik Carter finds how Olympic athletes train to be so interesting. In looking at their training, he also discovered that there’s a lot that can be applied to get financially fit too.
- Checking in on mobile banking
A recent Fed study learned that 21 percent of U.S. mobile phone owners were already using mobile banking on a regular basis. How regular? Well, looking at the data across mFoundry’s nearly 700 banks and credit unions indicates that mobile banking customers are accessing the system 4-5 times a week, with some power users hitting the system 4-5 times a day. Comparing that to another hot mobile category, social media, shows numbers that aren’t that different.
- Developing countries lead the way in deploying mobile technology
Cell phone use in the developing world has climbed to nearly 5 billion mobile subscriptions, and three-quarters of the world now has access to mobile networks. This technology is reshaping the way individuals and communities manage their finances, monitor weather, engage with government, and earn a living, according to the recent World Bank Maximizing Mobile report. “People are going from zero to 60. It is huge to go from no phone at all to a cellphone,” says Anne Nelson, international media development specialist and adjunct professor at Columbia University. “The rapid penetration of cellphones in developing countries is changing lives dramatically.”
- The Future Of Facebook Is Mobile Payments
In 2008, Facebook (FB) was the #2 social network in the world, behind MySpace. By December 2008, MySpace and Facebook were neck-and-neck with 59 million U.S. visitors each. Then came the January explosion: Facebook shot ahead to 68.5 million U.S. Visitors in January, while MySpace actually lost 1 million people. Before the month was half out, Facebook had clocked a cool 150 million users as parents everywhere joined in droves. By December that number was 350 million members making 45 million status updates every day. Mind numbing at the time, those figures seem quaint today.
- New row brewing over PFM sites?
A fresh row may be brewing over banking clients sharing their Internet banking details with online personal financial management (PFM) sites after Nedbank, one of SA’s big four retail banks, on Thursday announced it was launching its own PFM product in which it will encourage its clients to do exactly that. Earlier this year, Nedbank rival Absa said it would block Yodlee, the US technology partner of independent PFM provider 22seven, from accessing the bank’s online banking service so that it can “screen-scrape” customers’ financial data. Nedbank’s launch of its own PFM tool, which also uses Yodlee as its technology service provider, could increase the pressure on other banks to allow access by third parties to their clients’ financial information. PFM sites provide a comprehensive, often graphical overview of people’s financial state and budgets.
- Line cutting: Mobile checkout headed to a store near you
Nordstrom is quickly replacing cash registers with mobile checkout, joining J.C. Penney, Apple and what’s expected to be a rush of other retailers to embrace technology to eliminate lines. This weekend, J.C. Penney’s new Levi’s shops will have iPads for customers to use for online browsing and for salespeople to check out customers. J.C. Penney hopes to get rid of cashiers and cash registers by 2014, and instead have salespeople use iPod Touch devices to check out customers, or self-checkout lanes. Starting this weekend, salespeople in Penney’s new Levi’s shops will use only iPads to check out customers.