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.
- Credit Union Experiments with Responsive Web Design
Have you ever felt frustrated at having to spread your fingers (or unpinch) and then swipe around your smartphone screen to read website content? Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union believes it’s found a way to reduce the navigation and squinting required to view content on its sites. The method, called responsive design, centralizes the management of web and mobile content. Using software from Banno, the credit union is able to, at the time of log-in, determine the type of device, the screen size and the browser the user has, and automatically tailor content for that device.
- PayPal’s Partnership with Discover Extends Its Mobile Wallet Reach
PayPal (EBAY) will soon extend its reach through Discover’s (DFS) network — enabling direct acceptance of its mobile wallet at more than seven million American merchants. Up until now, the ecommerce unit of eBay has been inking individual deals with big box retailers, such as Home Depot, as well as terminal makers and middleware providers. This latest deal places PayPal in the same league as the issuing banks in terms of its ability to issue a card that’s accepted over an open-loop network. The partnership, which was due to be announced Wednesday morning, will change the way PayPal handles those transactions as well. Once the system is live (in spring 2013, the companies say), Discover will be the network over which those payments ride, and PayPal will continue to process the transactions. Previously, PayPal did both jobs.
- Report: 108 Million U.S. Mobile Banking Users by 2017
Forrester Research in its newly issued “The State of Mobile Banking 2012” dropped a huge bomb: Much quicker than many expected, mobile appears primed to emerge as a dominant banking channel with a predicted 108 million users by 2017, per Forrester. That pencils out to some 46% of all U.S. bank account holders. By contrast, around 13% of present U.S. account holders have done mobile banking. Said Forrester in its report: “Mobile banking is displacing use of other channels like branches and online banking.” The report defined mobile banking broadly, to include checking balances and transferring money between accounts as well as performing mobile payment.
- Google Wallet Isis NFC Will Push Mobile Payments to 13 Trillion
Mobile-payment transactions are expected to rise nearly fourfold over the next five years, exceeding $1.3 trillion, according to a new report from Juniper Research. The research company expects sales using remote purchasing and near-field communication (NFC) technologies to be the primary drivers of the growth. Encouraged by the increased engagement of the wireless carriers and increasingly widespread rollout of NFC infrastructures, by 2017 these two types of transactions are expected to account for 54 percent of the total value of the mobile payments market. And still, the purchase of goods over mobile phones will account for only 4 percent of global retail transactions by that date. The report takes note of a number of recent efforts—such as Google Wallet and a joint venture by Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile called Isis—that together mark a “tipping point,” but says much more still needs to be done.
- Dunkin’ debuts doughnut debit
Dunkin’ Donuts parent Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN) is the latest retailer to roll out a mobile app letting customers make purchases with smartphones and other devices. No. 1 coffeehouse chain Starbucks (SBUX) on Aug. 8 said it’s investing inmobile-payment platform developer Square. Dunkin’ shares rose 0.6% to 31.07. Starbucks rose 0.6% to 48.40.
- Are you ready for a mobile wallet?
Now that a group of prominent retailers has announced a plan to embrace mobile payments, consumers are once again facing the Big Question: Is it finally time to ditch that Costanza wallet? The question, of course, refers to George Costanza, the clueless sidekick of “Seinfeld” TV sitcom fame who carried a wallet so filled to capacity that it finally exploded. In recent years, the big players in the payment industry—merchants, banks, mobile-phone companies—have touted a day when such an overstuffed leather carryall will become as much a relic as the typewriter or LP. But even with a new wave of retail giants, including Wal-Mart and Target, entering the digital-wallet space, consumers may still have rightful reason to be skeptical—at least for another year or two—and to hold on to their plastic, say experts who track mobile commerce.