What We’re Reading: Branches, Mobile Going Mainstream, Banking Alerts

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.

  • Tech-Savvy Bankers Make the Case for Branches

American Banker

Bank branches may be falling out of favor, but even the most tech-savvy bankers aren’t prepared to renounce them entirely. Take Manolo Sanchez, the chief executive of BBVA Compass, whose bank is spending $117 million to buy the branch-less online startup Simple. You might expect him to declare brick-and-mortar bank locations passé — and yet his company just opened two new branches last week. That’s because customers still want to see branches — even if they don’t go in, and even if they do most of their banking on the computer, the tablet or the mobile phone. Just seeing a physical bank location actually increases a person’s interest in doing business with BBVA Compassonline, he says.

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  • Mobile is Now Mainstream: Report

Bank Systems & Technology 

Mobile banking features play an increasingly critical role in the consumer’s decision to switch primary banks, according to a survey from AlixPartners. Mobile now plays a crucial role in bank-switching decisions made by consumers, according to a new report from AlixPartners.  According to the “AlixPartners Mobile Financial Services Tracking Study,” 60 percent of smartphone or tablet owners who switched primary banks reported mobile banking capabilities as “important” or “extremely important” in their decision to switch, up from 48 percent in a similar survey in the first half of 2013.

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  • Apples and Payments

Celent Banking Blog

What is becoming apparent is that the update is not without its flaws, to say the least. My iPhone, for example, lost half its charge in under an hour, doing nothing. Whilst battery life has never been the iPhones strong point, this was taking the biscuit! Twitter and internet forums have seen significant amounts of discussion on the issues, and it seems to be impacting a large number of people. What was noticeable is that most of the fixes transformed the iPhone to, well, just a phone. Suggestions included turning off apps, turning off search, deleting various elements – in short, many of the reasons why we bought iPhones originally.

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  • Banks buying more time for Windows XP-powered ATMs

Dallas Business Journal

Earlier this year, we told you about the impending problems that many banks might face as Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) ends its support for Windows XP on April 8. Roughly 95 percent of the nation’s ATMs operate on the aging system, and many banks now are having to buy extended support contracts with Microsoft as they try to convert the machines to a new operating system. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) , for example, has bought a one-year extended life support for its Windows XP machines, CNN/Monday reported. In January, Chase told the DBJ earlier that it was working to upgrade its machines as part of normal operations.

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  • Amazon Tests the Loyalty of Its Prime Members With a 25% Price Hike

Javelin Strategy & Research Blog

After 9 years, Amazon has finally decided to increase the price of its Prime membership – and it’s not an insignificant amount. The cost of Amazon Prime will increase on April 17, 2014 by a hefty $20 (from $79 to $99), and the Prime membership will continue to include free two-day shipping, access to Prime Instant Video, and the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. The Amazon Prime membership is undoubtedly one of the best online loyalty programs available today, and so this significant price change will likely be a true test of just how much consumers are willing to pay for the perks of free shipping and digital perks.

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  • Monitise launches Alerting+ for interactive m-banking

Mobile Payments Today

Mobile banking technology provider Monitise has launched Alerting+, an alerting solution which enables two-way interaction between financial institutions and their mobile banking customers.

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  • Mobile Banking: Critical Switching Trigger Today… Table Stakes Tomorrow

The Financial Brand

Mobile continues to play an increasing critical role in bank-switching decisions, with 60% of smartphone and tablet users citing mobile banking capabilities as “important” or “extremely important” in their decision to switch banks. According to the “Mobile Financial Services Tracking Study” from AlixPartners, 60% of smartphone or tablet owners who switched primary banks in the fourth quarter said that mobile banking capabilities were an “important” or “extremely important” component in their decision to switch. That’s up dramatically from 48% in a similar survey fielded in the first half of 2013.

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