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.
- First Niagara Website Redesign Drives 30% Increase in Traffic
Since the First Niagara’s website re-launch, traffic has gone up 30% and the time customers spend on the site has gone from 10-15 seconds to two minutes and thirty seconds. “They’re actively shopping and looking for information on the site,” Thomas Bontempo, senior vice president and digital marketing director says. “We’ve improved online account opening and are now getting 500 funded new accounts online a month. That’s still not where we need to be for a bank our size, but we’ve taken the right steps and it’s the right direction.” Customer satisfaction rose from 64% to 72% after the redesign, according to a survey the bank conducted.
- Brand expansion through branchless banking
While transactions at financial institution branches across the U.S. are dropping by approximately 5 percent per year, PC and Internet use are on the rise. The trend toward nationwide and even global connectivity is providing a unique opportunity for FIs to reach new markets and drive services from declining bank branches directly into the homes and hands of customers. Conventional banking channels are reaching inherent limits while increased access to Internet and mobile are making banking from home far more attractive for consumers. A 2010 survey by the American Banking Association found that 36 percent of bank customers preferred to do their banking online.
- Best Practices for New Product Roll-Outs
Building out or improving remote delivery channels, such as online banking, mobile banking and electronic bill pay, with new products and systems represents one of the greatest opportunities a bank can face – and one of the greatest challenges, as well. Relying too heavily on vendor expertise has meant a missed opportunity for many institutions. While vendors have a lot of insight into best practices, they typically do not offer or bring that experience to their clients unless specifically asked. Leveraging internal resources and expertise, as opposed to simply implementing new software, will help banks bridge the gaps in a vendor’s statement of work (SOW) and successfully launch these important strategic products.
- The New Ecosystem for Mobile: Technology Alliances for M-Payments and M-Banking
Banks and financial institutions are most effective when they can utilize technology and outsourcing services to give customers full accessibility to their accounts – but reduce their direct interaction with customers. To this end, we are seeing banking technology vendors continuously generate innovative ideas and solutions. During the past decades, we’ve witnessed the evolution of Checks and their Clearing Systems, Automated Teller Machines (ATM), Point of Sale (POS) devices, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems and the list continues. The evolution of mobile technology has allowed banks to embed mobile in their front-end solutions offering flexibility, ease of use, and accessibility to their banked customers and account holders. Through Mobile Banking (m-Banking) services; users can review their balance, transfer money between accounts, and perform some sort of utility payments along with many other services that enables interaction between the account owner and the bank’s back office systems.
- China, South Korea lead world mobile commerce
Mobile commerce is playing an increasingly significant role across Asia-Pacific according to a new report. The study found that 55 per cent of internet users in China made a purchase via a mobile phone in the fourth quarter 2012, making China the country with the world’s highest mobile shopping penetration rate. For an idea of just how dominant the mobile purchase channel is in Asia, consider the case of North America. There, just 19 per cent of US internet users and 13 per cent of internet users in Canada made a mobile purchase in the fourth quarter. In other words, China’s mobile purchase penetration rate is nearly triple that of the US. eMarketer estimates that 270.9 million internet users in China will make an online purchase this year – counting purchases made through mobile devices. By 2016, eMarketer projects that number to rise to 423.4 million, and mobile will clearly play a significant role in that transition.
- Evolution to Revolution: Real-Time Payments Initiatives Unfold
The Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) was the latest multi-stakeholder group to approve a real-time payments initiative in support of evolving consumer and business needs for accelerated transacting. As noted in Javelin’s recently released report, Real-Time Payments 2013: Struggling Toward Revolutionary Change, many of the payments mechanisms in use today — as well as the networks that support them — were developed before the era of “always on” connectivity, before Internet commerce, and prior to the ubiquity of mobile devices. These new market components, however, are driving a global paradigm shift that is beginning to snowball.
- Mobile banking will break the 1 billion user mark in 4 years
By the year 2017, studies are showing that the use of these services will have skyrocketed. The latest mobile banking study data from Juniper Research has indicated that an increasing acceptance of this type of smartphone and tablet based service has caused users to bring the number of users up to nearly 200 million. It is expected that the growing use of tablets will play an important role of the industry’s adoption. In fact, while mobile banking over tablets represents 9 percent of the total number of customers at the moment, it is expected to represent 19 percent by the close of 2017, said the Juniper Research data. Consumers are taking on increasingly mobile lifestyles, which is allowing them to turn to this type of service more and more.
- Mitek: 12 Million Americans Have Deposited Checks Via Mobile
The rate of adoption observed in mobile banking is surprising even the most bullish of industry advocates. According to the latest data available, Americans have now deposited more than $40 billion into their accounts by simply snapping a photo of a check. All told, some 12 million mobile users have now made a mobile deposit, a number that is poised to expand further in the wake of new partnerships and opportunities that make mobile banking options more readily accessible. Mobile Commerce Daily reported Tuesday, for example, that 708 banks and credit unions have signed agreements with Mitek – makers of the leading mobile document capture software – to provide mobile deposit options to customers.
- The knives come out: Mastercard will charge PayPal and Google for their mobile wallets (updated)
Visa’s CEO Charlie Scharf said that “it is totally appropriate” to charge companies like PayPal and Google a fee when their digital wallets get used. Both PayPal and Google offer something called a “staged wallet,” which means that those companies act as a kind of intermediary between you and your credit card. That theoretically helps make your wallet easier to use — since it can contain multiple cards — but Visa and Mastercard really hate this approach because it means they can’t collect as much data about your purchasing habits. Scharf’s statement comes on the heels of an already-announced Mastercard program called the “staged digital wallet operator annual network access fee,” which is a long way of saying that it wil begin charging companies like PayPal when they use a Mastercard plugged into a PayPal digital wallet.