Game On: The Chase for NFC-Enabled Mobile Payments

Banking is serious business for serious individuals and institutions. Financial services are for stable entities in thoughtful, analytical environments. This is real life for the real world. It’s not a video game.

But then again. . .

A couple of years ago, Nintendo earned praise for incorporating some new and exciting capabilities into its new Wii U platform, such as the GamePad, a new controller with a 6.2 inch touchscreen. But there was also something else. In fact, this was the first gaming platform to incorporate Near Field Communication, or NFC.

But that’s gaming. Here’s what it has to do with banking.

First, for the uninitiated, NFC comprises a set of standards for mobile and other devices to establish radio communication through touching or proximity, collectively encompassing a broad spectrum of communications protocols and data exchange formats. We already have quite a few applications taking advantage of these protocols, from contactless transactions to simplified Wi-Fi.

As the industry trade publication American Banker pointed out recently, financial services corporations have long sought to boost the use of NFC services for mobile payments. But as with many other aspects payments, success has been hard to come by. And that’s exactly why hose sober, solid and sensible banking industry types should look to industries such and video gaming—and more specifically companies like Nintendo—for pointers on what to do.

To be sure, there’s quite a bit of success to emulate. The original NFC technology in the Nintendo console didn’t seem to have much purpose, but the company recently that the reader will come to life through a series of NFC figurines that easily interact with many popular games.  Those figurines, incidentally are also sold as action figures; the character equivalents take life in the game, and can follow multiple storylines in accordance with the layers’ preferences.

Here’s one sign of the success. This represents another potentially lucrative channel for the creators and owners of these figurines, including Disney and Activision. The latter’s Skylanders was an original backer of this concept, and the franchise passed $2 billion in revenue earlier this year.

Here’s the point: Consumers can make mobile payments through a variety of channels right now, saving massive costs for the financial services institutions involved. But very few are doing it.  There might yet be large-scale adoption, and the numbers will surely keep growing, but the truth is that technology is a fickle business. We don’t really know why some advances take off immediately and others take time. So far, at least, this one hasn’t.

But we also know that the next generation—the one obsessively playing video games right now—will be opening back accounts soon enough. Those now-youngsters will have absolutely no understanding of a world without millions of mobile apps, and it will be completely comfortable with NFC.

Banking and multi-players games surely make for an odd hybrid, but there are precedents. Innovators such as American Express have been embedded in this market for years, specifically to wean an emerging generation of cardholders. Several telecom giants have also had some success with built-in NFC capabilities.

Today, it seems like a long leap from shoot-’em-up games to, say, mortgage banking. But that’s exactly what innovation requires—a leap in imagination and then practice. Those pesky kids playing games today will be opening bank accounts and making payments tomorrow. We need to find ways to reach them before that.

Why Hasn’t the U.S. Adopted EMV?

EMV chip technology is not new, but why hasn’t the U.S. gotten on board?

With advanced security, endless technology benefits and success in many other markets, it can be confusing as to why Americans are not already seeing widespread use of EMV technology. After the 2013 breach of Target credit cards during the holiday shopping season, business leaders, including Target’s CFO, are now calling for acceleration adoption of the technology.

So why isn’t this more widespread? This infographic breaks down the benefits of the card and some potential  reasons why the payment technology hasn’t been widely adopted in the US.

What do you think about EMV? Will it still be Europe-only?

 

Smart Cards
Source: ComputerScienceDegreeHub.com

This Week’s Reads…

How the U.S. Payment Industry Can Cut Through EMV Challenges with Education

Mobile LifeStyleWith the October 2015 deadline for financial services providers (banks, credit unions, merchants, etc.) to fully implement EMV, many industry insiders are facing the challenge of adapting this new technology to the still-developing regulations. Overhead costs, implementation strategies and regulatory relations are all top of the list concern for executives. Further complicating matters is the lack of a centralized project management office to coordinate migration that other countries, including Europe, have the luxury to look to for guidance.  As a result, U.S. providers are forced to deal with 18 regional debit networks that, due to the Durbin amendment, require each acquirer to route transactions via a minimum two competing networks – severely increasing the difficulty of the task.

Not to worry! As with any new product, service or process implementation the proper education and guidance will lead to the desired results, and luckily we can simply look across the pond for experienced help.

First, let’s start with a quick background.

EMV 101

EMV is the technology commonly used in the developed world, less the United States, that replaces the magnetic stripe in credit and debit cards with chip technology. The EMV chip technology reduces credit card fraud to make consumers transactions safer and also provides global interoperability. According to the U.S. Fed, the total number of unauthorized transactions (third-party fraud) in the United States during 2012 was an estimated 31.1 million, with a total transaction value of $6.1 billion; up nearly 10% from 2011. High profile security breaches are becoming far too common, such as the ones recently experienced at Target, Marriott, and Neiman Marcus. Discover Financial Services found that after the EU completed its migration to EMV, the region has seen an 80% reduction in credit card fraud while, comparatively, the U.S. has witnessed a 47% increase.

Regulatory Challenges

Changing industry regulations present additional challenges to implementing new payment processes and systems. A recent federal court ruling on debit regulations, while maintaining the current status quo, will affect the EMV migration in two key areas: merchants choice of debit transaction routings (required to choose a minimum of two competitors), and debit interchange fees. How these two issues are decided will affect how EMV processes will be implemented. It will be crucial for industry executives to keep an eye on this evolving process as we move forward.

Smooth Transition

There are many steps industry stakeholders can take now to help make the migration to EMV as seamless as possible. Developing key strategies for full migration is the first step in the process for many in the industry, but they often face a challenge of establishing effective strategies due to a general lack of knowledge of the process. Industry stakeholders must arm themselves with the appropriate educational services to help them formulate a strategic vision that is booth streamlined and profitable. While it may be unfortunate America is the last developed nation to migrate to EMV, it’s actually a benefit in the educational process as Europe and other countries have recently gone through this experience and can provide valuable information transfer.

 

Industry executives need not worry about the upcoming EMV migration deadline, but focus on implementing key strategies for their organizations. Lucky for them, they are not the first to go through this process and can look across the pond for valuable lessons that will lead to an easy and expedited transition. Once migration is completed, American consumers and businesses will be much safer with their financial transactions.

 

Gokhan Inonu is a global leader with over 25 years’ experience in EMV migration and financial transactions leadership roles. In his current position as President, Cardtek USA, Mr. Inonu heads the American division of Cardtek Group and oversees operations, sales, marketing and partner management. 

The Next Wave of Digital Money Transfer

Money, technology and accounting in real time—with all deference to spiritual learnings, that might just be the mantra for modern life. At the very least, it makes for a potent brew that says a lot about how we do just about everything we do.

Image courtesty of Graur Codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of Graur Codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

The trinity is in the news in our industry because late in March, mobile payment and merchant services provider Square launched a new integration program with accounting software specialist Xero. Built around a new API (application programming interface), the deal enables transaction data from Square to be fed directly into financial records managed by Xero. That’s a big market and growing: Xero claims 200,000 paying customers in more than 100 countries, with a cloud platform approach that allows a wide range of business applications—from large companies like ADP and PayPal to new entries—to be integrated easily into the ledgers of Xero users.

Of course, in many ways, that’s exactly what Quickbooks does too. Which is why, when the most recent version of Quickbooks was released last fall, owner Intuit also announced a major partnership with Square. That deal, which formally launched a few weeks later, is specifically designed to help small businesses that use the mobile payment service to automatically feed data from those transactions into their books. By all accounts, the arrangement has proved quite successful.

As observers have been quick to point out, these companies are competing furiously with each other. For example, Xero has a Quickbooks conversion service to draw users from its desktop rival, and Intuit has launched Quickbooks Online as its own cloud-based alternative. Meanwhile, Square is increasingly branching into other accounting-related services.

While the market has been waiting for options such as Facebook Credits and Amazon Coins to gain traction, Square is putting its money—in a sense literally—where its reputation is with Square Cash. This is not really another form of currency, per se, but it does represent another form of financial flexibility in the digital era. With this personal payment app, users can ‘email money’ to other individuals with nothing more than a debit card.

For the record, plenty of other companies offer similar services. Larger entities like PayPal and Google allow person-to-person payments, and as in every other category, there are newer entries like Dwolla and Ribbon are also in the mix. And let’s not forget clearXchange, the consortium created by Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase. This is clearly a work in progress: Capital One just joined, but founding member Chase has yet to come online.

And that’s really the problem in a nutshell. This is a market that exhibits all the characteristics of the technology sector—it moves forward at warp speed, seemingly solid players get nudged aside by startups, fierce competitors find ways to cooperate with each other, fickle users constantly change in their behaviors and tastes, and products go from killer app to legacy in a heartbeat. Meanwhile, banking industry giants seem to be just lumbering along—a consortium with huge names that makes more of a ripple than a splash.

Why does so much of the really exciting stuff always come from the technology side? Why do innovations from the banking industry never seem innovative enough?

It’s not as if tech companies will be replacing banks anytime soon. The barrier to entry on that side of the fence is much lower, hence there’s more experimentation, and as a result more successes (and more failures). What they do enables us to do what we do—nothing more, nothing less.

But remember, much of the customer base is now made up of a generation that never goes inside a bank branch, has precious little brand loyalty and expects instant digital gratification in every sphere of life, work and play. Other industries such as retail and music have had their very existence undermined by these tectonic shifts, some of which they never saw coming. Our world keeps changing too. Are we changing enough, and fast enough?

Don’t Touch the ATM

We have smartphones, and we have ATMs. Why can’t these two essential technologies get along?

It’s a question we’ve asked on this blog before, and with good reason. While every other aspect of financial services has been revolutionized with blizzards of mobile applications, ye olde automated teller machines have remained immovable, like those phone booths no one uses any more. If anything, they’ve proliferated: We see them everywhere, from mega-malls to corner delis, and they still do pretty much what they’ve always done.

Woman Holding Phone 2Of course, that’s not true, and it’s about to become even less so. According to a new report released this week by the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA), the global trade group with 1,300 members in 50 countries, it could be the next market to watch for real innovation. There’s one area in particular that should be really interesting: mobile.

There have been innovations, of course. As we noted earlier, banks in Greece have added elements of social media, with personalized greetings and reminders of other people’s birthdays, enabling instant gifts. Some machines tout their use of solar power.  But fundamentally, it’s still about walking up to that hunk of hardware, pulling out that otherwise-useless debit card, and making a transaction.

For the record, we’ve been hearing for some time now about ‘contactless’ access, which builds on the promise of mobile technologies. Well, it’s here—kind of.

Diebold Federal Credit Union (DFCU) is pioneering what it calls “the world’s first ATM without a card reader or PIN pad that relies solely on mobile authentication.” In a nutshell, here’s how it works. The consumer scans a unique QR code at the ATM using a smartphone, and the ATM authenticates the user via cloud-hosted services to enable secure, cardless transactions. There’s no need for a card or a PIN required, eliminating the fear of card-skimming and shoulder-surfing at the ATM. (Diebold and white-label mobile wallet provider Paydiant developed the cross-channel solutions and hold complementary patents on the technologies.)

An ATM with no card reader sounds basic, but it’s a big deal. Transactions via smartphones and without cards removes a step that is basically very inconvenient and eases theft or fraud. We only accept it because we’re so used to it.

There are other benefits too. For a start, there’s heightened security: While the pho ne could be stolen or lost just as easily, there are new methods of authentication in this arrangement. Bank customers can verify their identity at the ATM by taking a photo of a QR code on the machines screen (yes, despite the frequent criticism, QR codes have some value).

Convenience arrives in other ways, too. By integrating the ATM with Diebold’s Mobile Cash Access (MCA) solution, consumers can actually pre-stage cash withdrawals via their smartphones, even to third parties. Just pick the person you want to send cash to from your contact list, and the app will send a text message to that recipient with a six-digit code. When that person goes to an ATM and enters this code, they’ll get the money. And for those who are environmentally minded, the new arrangement, we should remember, is paperless, delivering receipts via the mobile wallet.

Of course, the real action will be down the road. This is the mobile generation, which the new solution pays tribute to with flick and drag capabilities on the interface. Like most other advances in this all-digital era, the real innovation will come from users. As with Facebook, Twitter and a host of other ground-breaking services, we will routinely use the smartphone-ATM combo to do things we never thought we needed to do. So far, it’s just one bank in one market. Tomorrow, who knows?

All we needed was the technology to get here. Now it has, and it’s about time.

Digital Money, Mobile Wallets & Latin America

In our world of 100%+ mobile penetration, companies in Latin America will soon need to think like their next wave of prospective customers, most of whom are unbanked. This means understanding their lifestyles, habits and needs in order to decide how to best generate value.

Similarly, recent global and regional corporate announcements regarding digital money and mobile wallets targeting Latin America’s unbanked consumers have casual and close followers wondering what this means for the region.

What exactly are they talking about?

Simply put, mobile wallets aim to create a phone-based equivalent of a physical wallet – a cloud and/or SIM-based collection of personal identification, financial and non-financial account information. The different money, payments and banking offerings refer mostly to the ability to purchase and perform other value-based transactions with a mobile handset.

In Latin America, these details are very important given the fact that more than 90% of mobile users are on prepaid plans – many of them unbanked – and use devices with varying features and capabilities.

Who are the key players?

We’ve seen the arrival of several initiatives to improve Latin America’s mobile payment transactions and incorporate unbanked users. These include: banks, telcos, retail chains, global acquiring and acceptance networks and specialized entrepreneurs who have launched initiatives in countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

What business are they after?

What each of them shares is a common motivation: to capture the favor of the increasingly mobile-dependent user, most of whom are unbanked, and hence their relationships, transactions, and related data.

Given the way the mobile phone has gradually replaced or replicated nearly every item on our nightstands (alarm clock), desks (email, browser), briefcases, purses and pockets (agenda, reading material, games, camera) and even our televisions, it stands to reason that the wallet would be the next object of interest.

What does this world look like?

Look inside a typical Latin American consumer’s wallet today and imagine what their future mobile wallet might look like…

  • Better security: For the unbanked consumer, electronic money will continue to be more secure than carrying physical cash.
  • More local apps: User-friendly apps are great for simplifying the delivery of information and services.
  • Virtual labor marketplace: From street vendors to self-employed, blue-collar laborers, their services can be broadcast and found.
  • Bill-payment simplification: Paper bills, long lines and late bills are avoided – a win-win for both payer and provider.
  • More effective promotions: Mobile phones enable product promotions to bypass the challenge of a legally unrecognized residence.
  • Electronic documentation: From transit passes to IDs to receipts, all documents typically carried by an unbanked consumer will be provided electronically.

What does the future hold?

The ultimate goal of this mobile era should be the creation of a payments ecosystem – where open and accessible systems, once set in motion, flourish by attracting a diversity of interconnected and interacting players. There are several regional challenges to overcome, but it can be done.

Thankfully, the wireless industry has given us some concrete examples like GSM, Bluetooth and other consortium-led efforts. If we continue at the current pace, it could take our region 15 years and millions of dollars wasted in isolated iterations. However, if done properly, 15 years can be cut to five. 2018 sounds pretty good to me.

 

Anabel Pérez is President & CEO of NovoPayment, the leading payments technology services company in Latin America, providing prepaid/stored-value program design, implementation and Platform as a Service (PaaS). 

What We’re Reading: Mobile Home Banking, Payments, Online Lenders

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.

  • Mobile Home Banking: How 5 Banks Take to the Road (slideshow)

American Banker

Wells Fargo’s (WFC) mobile ATMs were used for disaster recovery after Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast last year. PNC Bank opened a temporary pop-up branch in Atlanta to test out a relatively unexplored market for the Pittsburgh bank. Fifth Third Bank’s (FITB) “ebuses” provide job hunting tools, credit counseling and financial education resources for customers. In past years, BankUnited’s (BKU) bank on wheels has included an ATM and teller window.

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  • The Promise Of Payments

Bank Systems & Technology

Payments are a classic illustration of a long-standing paradox around technology’s role in banking. Technology has enabled banks to process payments more quickly, efficiently and securely, to profitably offer payments products and services (such as credit and debit cards) to a wider array of consumer and corporate customers, and to make effective payments handling a foundation of multifaceted and revenue-generating client relationships. Payment technology also has created many challenges for banks.

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  • Many Online Lenders Driven From Business

Credit Union Journal

After years of futile attempts to drive high-cost online lenders out of business, at least one state’s regulators appear to have hit on a successful strategy: cutting off their access to the payments system. Since Aug. 5, when New York state regulators put a target on 35 specific lenders that it said were not licensed to make loans in the state, at least nine of the companies have halted operations. Key to the state’s effort was a letter it sent to more than 100 banks in which it pressured them to prohibit online lenders from accessing customers’ checking accounts. The banking industry has largely been mum about how it has responded to the regulatory edict, but it appears banks are falling quickly into line, according to American Banker, an affiliate of Credit Union Journal.
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  • Giant reality-check

The Economist

“China’s banks are not real banks,” says Andrew Rothman of CLSA, a broker recently acquired by China’s CITIC Securities. The country’s biggest financial institutions are so closely held by the state that they are, in effect, arms of the treasury. Cosseted by rules that protect them from competition, they deliver huge profits in good times: bank profits as a share of China’s economic output equalled nearly 3% last year, whereas the highest ratio achieved in recent decades by American banks was only 1% of GDP (in 2006). In bad times the state is there to clean up, just as it did during a surge in dud loans in 1990s.
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  • Enterprise Gets Serious About Cloud Computing

ReadWrite

The use of the cloud within the enterprise is still growing at a healthy pace, but in a much more disciplined manner than in recent years. New data suggests that cloud computing is becoming less of an experimental tool but a production workhorse in the enterprise. The data comes from just-released 2013 State of the Enterprise Cloud Report, an eight-page whitepaper from Verizon to positively portray its Verizon Terremark unit within the cloud market. Even taken with that grain of salt, the data within was interesting, such as: [Since January 2012 to June 2013], the use of cloud-based memory increased by 100 percent, and cloud storage by 90 percent.

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  • Gartner: Only 38% of Organizations Use Cloud?

Talkin’ Cloud

A report by IT research firm Gartner, Inc.  found that only 38 percent of all organizations surveyed in the report use cloud services today. But we wonder: Does the report reflect the fact that many employees use cloud services — Dropbox, Box, Google Apps and more — on their own and without corporate approval at work? Regardless, cloud use continues to rise. According to the report, 80 percent of organizations said that they intend to use cloud services in some form within 12 months, including 55 percent of the organizations not doing so today.

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What We’re Reading: Mobile Banking, Remote Tellers and EMV

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.

 

  • GoBank, the Pay-What-You-Want Mobile Bank Account, Launches Out of Beta (Video)

AllThingsD

Alok Deshpande, GoBank’s vice president of product development, said the company keeps its costs low in part because it doesn’t operate any brick-and-mortar bank branches. But does it actually think its customers will choose to pay a monthly fee of anywhere from nothing to $9 for a checking account, when they don’t have to? Deshpande said it’s too early to tell, since beta users weren’t given this option, but that the feedback the GoBank team has gotten is that beta users liked what the messaging around the payment option said about the type of banking relationship GoBank is trying to foster. Still, Deshpande hinted that the company may build out the bank’s feature set in the future, allowing for additional ways to make money.

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  • Consumers More Willing to Pay for Mobile Banking: Study

American Banker

Over the past year, consumers have become more willing to pay for mobile banking services, according to a new report by ath Power Consulting. According to the study, one in three consumers would be willing to pay something for mobile banking services, which is a 13% bump up from 2012′s study results. Last year, one in five consumers said they would pay for mobile services. The online survey polled 3,201 banking and credit union customers across the United States. Those reluctant to charge tend to think of mobile as a lower-cost channel and express concerns about consumer backlash. The majority of small businesses (63%) said they would pay something to use mobile banking, according to the report.

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  • Bank branches test remote teller system: Devices allow more after-hours services, but staff cuts are likely.

Atlanta Journal – Constitution

Across metro Atlanta and elsewhere, banks and credit unions are rolling out new technology that adds Skype-like video connections to oversize ATMs, letting you talk to tellers early in the morning and into the night. With them, you can complete complicated transactions that can’t be done at the ATM, even when the bank is closed.

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  • Andera, Intuit Partner on Account Opening Technology

Bank Systems & Technology

Andera’s oFlows solution has been selected as the new account opening technology by Intuit Financial Services. Andera’s cloud-based platform, oFlows has been chosen to be the new account opening technology for Intuit Financial Services’ institutional clients. The platform offers customers the ability to send in identity verifying signatures and documents to open accounts in digital and mobile channels.

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  • Wells Fargo offering text message receipts at its ATMs starting today  Mobile

Engadget

Forward-thinking financial institution Wells Fargo is offering its customers the choice of receiving a text message receipt — in addition to its e-receipt and email options — whenever you use one of the bank’s ATMs.

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  • The Durbin Debit Dilemma with EMV

Javelin Strategy & Research Blog

The Smart Card Alliance describes the problem in the context of the proprietary nature of a network’s chip application – EMV is designed so that transactions only go to the network specific to that chip on that specific card, there is no room for choice. The search therefore is on for a “Common AID”, one that can be shared by all of the debit networks with the level of ubiquity that is currently seen with magnetic stripe cards. But, the issue here is some of the proprietary systems are owned by the very parties that Durbin was seeking to control – Visa and MasterCard. As a result of this, there is effectively a three horse race in terms of solutions to the Durbin Debit Dilemma and predictably, two of these have been presented by Visa and MasterCard, with a third from the cornucopia of regional debit networks.

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What We’re Reading: Cybersecurity, Tablets in CUs and Consumer Spending

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.

 

  • Cybersecurity Should Not Come at Expense of Privacy: White House

American Banker

The White House says the nation needs new laws to reinforce its cyber defenses but that the push should not come at the cost of privacy. The House of Representatives on April 18 passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, which would encourage owners of financial networks, utility grids and other critical infrastructure to share information about digital threats with the government and one another. The White House has threatened to veto the bill, saying it lacks sufficient privacy protections. Civil liberties groups and other critics of the measure charge that it would allow companies to share people’s emails and text messages with U.S. intelligence agencies.

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  • Small Business Owners Big on Mobile Technology

American Banker

A survey of 1,305 small business owners conducted by Constant Contact in March found that 66% currently use a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet in their work. Of the non-mobile users, 65% have no plans to use a mobile device in the future, many citing a lack of demand for mobile access from their customers. This segment is partial to Apple devices, according to the survey — 66% use iPhones, while 39% use Android phones. About 49% use iPads; only 15% use Android tablets.

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  • Keep Wal-Mart Out of Financial Services, Bankers Ask

BusinessWeek

A group of bankers advising the Federal Reserve urged U.S. regulators to consider preventing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. from offering some financial services. The Federal Advisory Council, a body of bankers that includes PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and BB&T Corp., said at a Dec. 19 meeting that Wal-Mart’s sales of prepaid cards warranted greater federal oversight. Minutes of the meeting were obtained yesterday under the Freedom of Information Act.

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  • Consumers spending nearly 10% more than in 2009

CNN Money

American consumers are spending nearly 10% more than they did four years ago when the country was reeling from the effects of the financial crisis, according to an analysis of the spending behaviors of millions of Mint.com account holders. In the first quarter of 2013, the average household spent roughly $4,220 per month — up from about $3,870 in the same period of 2009, according to the inflation-adjusted consumer spending index released Wednesday by Intuit, which owns personal finance site Mint.com.

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  • Why CUs Can’t Afford To Be Left Behind On Tablets

Credit Union Journal

It’s estimated that nearly half of the U.S. Internet population will be using tablets by 2014, which means increasing pressure on credit unions to adapt and conform to the trend. “The proliferation of tablet devices in the U.S alone is impacting everyone who manages their finances via a digital channel, including credit union members,” said Kenneth Hans, executive director of Blackstone Technology Group’s Financial Services Practice. “Much like banks, credit unions are looking for ways to cater to this latest form-factor that offers the power of a laptop in a much smaller and convenient size.” Among credit unions encouraging members to use tablets is the $5.3-billion Suncoast Schools FCU, which has 549,303 members that it has traditionally served via its 53 branches, but mobile devices such as tablets have changed that equation somewhat.

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  • Credit Cards – Game ON!

Gonzo Banker

Credit cards in circulation hit a peak in 2007 at 710 million cards, according to a 2013 Nilson Report. Then the crash of 2008 hit, the Card Act went into play in 2009, and consumer spending changed. From the low point in 2010, the number of cards increased by roughly 50 million in 2011 and continues to climb today, when we have 520 million cards in circulation. Credit card interchange has not been Durbin-damaged as of yet, and interchange is still high. In the United States, 10 issuers own 85.4% of the cards on the market (Source: The Nilson Report, February 2013).

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  • New Fed Report: U.S Mobile Payments Landscape – Two Years Later

Payments News

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has just published a new report titled “U.S. Mobile Payments Landscape – Two Years Later.” Based upon ongoing meetings of the Mobile Payments Industry Workgroup (MPIW) convened by the Federal Reserve, the report updates an earlier paper from 2011. It examines changes in the evolution of mobile POS retail payments over the past two years, characterized by an expanding fragmented market environment and frequent technology innovations.

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