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.
- Consumers Share Their Mobile Banking Pet Peeves
72% – of U.S. adult smartphone users have encountered difficulty when trying to use a mobile banking app, research released this week has found. The survey of 600 smartphone users was conducted by The Adcom Group of Companies and commissioned by Virtual Hold Technology. Consumers shared their specific issues with mobile banking apps: 28% said the mobile app freezes or crashes, 26% have experienced a dropped internet connection while mobile banking, 25% said there were insufficient transaction details or filtering options, 21% said they could not easily speak to a customer service representative, 20% had problems opening an app, 19% have had problems logging in or setting up an app, 18% reported missing pending transactions or balance discrepancies, 17% said there were missing historic transactions, 16% have experienced delays due to payment fulfillment constraints, 15% were unable to schedule or modify payments or transfer funds, and the list goes on.
- Tech Companies Start Creating Windows 8 Mobile Banking Apps
On the heels of Windows 8 officially hitting the market, financial services technology vendors have begun supporting Microsoft’s (MSFT) overhauled operating system for laptops, desktops and tablets. Harland Financial Solutions and Kony Solutions are among the first to create mobile banking apps for this platform. Windows 8, which officially hit the market late October, introduces a plethora of new features that are easily visible on its homepage. Indeed, the Start button has been replaced with a Start screen that showcases live tiles that stream information from third parties, such as weather or business metrics. Users can drill down into details from these widgets by using the touch screen. Harland Financial Solutions has been readying a Windows 8 app for customers of its Cavion internet banking software.
- How Secure is Mobile Banking?
A new report from Reportlinker.com suggests mobile banking is fairly secure for now. Its Mobile Banking Security Insight Report suggests the financial services industry will continue to benefit from the immediacy that smart mobile devices (SMDs) offer but there are significant risks that must be counteracted before consumers are confident in accepting them. Banks like mobile banking because it’s good business. Mobile customers are generally young and affluent.
- Three Features That Will Change Mobile Money
Mobile data allows members to check balances, sure. But it also promises much deeper member relationships for the credit unions that invest well. Filene’s “The Future of Member-Facing Technologies in Credit Unions” points toward three services that will tie mobile members to their credit union: Location awareness. The goal of location-aware applications is to provide users with information based on the context of the situation or location they’re in. Augmented reality. Not to be confused with virtual reality, augmented reality builds on location awareness to create new capabilities.
- Bank Transfer Day: More People Transferred, but to Another Bank!
There were two major surprises in the Bank Transfer Day research, which was created from both large-scale national polling and walking around actual Occupy sites to interview people. The primary finding was that, despite stated intentions, not many people actually transferred their money to a credit union from a large bank. The second finding, perhaps hidden in the shadow of the primary one, is that more people did transfer their money out of a large bank. This is the surprise research finding that no one is talking about, and my belief is that it has significant implications for how investments create value within the realm of financial services.
- Google Wallet Turning to Plastic?
A leaked version of Google Wallet suggests Google is preparing to offer a plastic payment card that will work alongside the product. This would enable Google Wallet users to pay with their Google Wallet accounts at locations that don’t accept NFC. While the legitimacy of the leaked version has not yet been verified by Google, it does fit into their stated goal of expanding the potential uses for Google Wallet. Google already has merged Wallet with their Google Checkout product, enabling users to conduct eCommerce with their Google Wallet accounts.
- Google Wallet May End Up Inside Your Actual Wallet
Several outlets are reporting, based on screenshots posted by Android Police that Google is about to introduce a lower-tech variant on its smartphone-based Google Wallet payment system. Instead of transferring payment information from an NFC-equipped phone, this would mean a physical payment card (like a conventional plastic credit or debit card), but one linked via Google’s databanks to the user’s existing bank or credit accounts. Upsides: less to carry, a simple way to suspend or cancel service on them (should the card be lost or stolen), and doesn’t require you to carry your phone to make a credit or debit transaction — handy, since NFC readers are still thin on the ground. Downside: while perhaps no worse than putting the same information on your phone, it’s one more step toward giving a third party all of your personal information in one place.
- Retailers find profits with paperless receipts
As smartphones proliferate, more stores and banks are offering to e-mail shoppers their receipts rather than giving them a printed copy. These electronic or digital receipts, touted as green for saving paper and convenient for saving time, enable retailers to market directly to customers.” It’s a growing trend,” says John Talbott, of Indiana University’s Center for Education and Research in Retailing. He says companies are rushing to mimic what Apple started in 2005, adding he expects “any retailer worth their salt will offer this.”
- Banks kept eyes on storm and on their ATMs
As Hurricane Sandy made its way to the Washington area last month, residents didn’t just load up on bottled water and batteries. Many also looked to withdraw extra cash to prepare for possible power outages that would make ATM withdrawals and credit card transactions impossible – serving as a new test of the banking system’s continuity plans. Sandy Spring Bank began filling its 44 ATMs with cash the Friday before the storm, and again on Saturday and Monday. Banks and credit unions, which are required by regulatory agencies to have expansive disaster relief plans and secure backup networks, say the immediate challenge during unexpected emergencies and power outages is making sure customers have access to the bank’s services – and cash.