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.
- Google Glass Dazzles Reporter. Will Bankers Feel the Same?
Some of the mobile app features banks already offer, including augmented reality (read: PNC’s ATM Finder app), account information lookups, and geolocation, could eventually be incorporated into Google Glass. The project was first announced last year. It was later offered to coders at the company’s developer conference, Google I/O. On a recent Google Hangout, tech blogger Robert Scoble said that at least one bank overseas is already creating a version of its mobile banking app that will work on Glass.
- Mobile Banking Activity Rises in May
Along with temperatures in most parts of the country, mobile banking activity continued to increase in May. The overall value of American Banker’s Mobile Banking Intensity Index was 73.8 for that month, a significant increase over April’s value of 70.4. Many of the bankers surveyed for the index said adoption of mobile banking continues to grow as more customers become comfortable with it. The MBII is a diffusion index; For context, readings above 50 in a diffusion index indicate expansion and readings below 50 point to contraction.
- Is Mobile Guidance on the Way?
U.S. banking institutions should be bracing now for new mobile banking and payments security guidelines from regulators or updates to existing guidance, a growing number of banking leaders and mobile experts are concluding. Recent discussions among regulators and banking leaders about mobile risks, as well as the issuance of papers related to mobile best practices, suggest some type of security update related to mobile is on the way. Doug Johnson, vice president of risk management policy for the American Bankers Association, says the timing for more mobile guidance is right, and banking regulatory agencies are using different vehicles to push security recommendations.
- Building Trust and Innovation through Digital Banking
With online and mobile banking continuing to make deep inroads into consumers’ lives, it is time for banks to rethink how they attract and retain customers. Creating relationships with digital customers is critical if banks want to differentiate their brands and boost loyalty. Increasingly, banks can identify and mine a wealth of information about their customers – from social media and a variety of other digital sources – to make connections and draw insights that previously remained in silos or were unknown. By harnessing the power of digital channels, banks can move away from reactive, transaction-based customer relationships, towards a more personalized and proactive experience.
- What Banks Need To Know About IFCPA
In fact, starting July 1, Section 1244 of the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCPA) represents a significant expansion of activities and entities potentially subject to sanctions, including key Iranian industries such as energy, shipping, shipbuilding and automotive. This latest round of regulations not only presents several challenges to U.S. banks, but also greatly expands extra-territorial reach. The broadened mandates state the president reserves the right to impose sanctions on anyone who knowingly sells, supplies or transfers significant goods or services used in connection to the energy, shipping, automotive and shipbuilding industries, along with a ban on shipments of precious metals and other materials such as coal and graphite.
- 21-Year-Old Raises Largest Seed Round In Silicon Valley History — $25 Million — For Mysterious Payments App
Twenty-one-year-old Lucas Duplan just raised more millions than his age. The first-time entrepreneur and recent Stanford graduate (he finished a computer science degree in three years) has been working on a mobile payment app for the past two years. He’s now been awarded $25 million from a long list of Silicon Valley investors which includes Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel, Accel Partners’ Jim Breyer, Intel, Intuit, former Facebook COO Owen Van Natta, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, the founders of Qualcomm and VMware, and many others. The kicker: The app hasn’t launched yet and it isn’t going to for a few more months. Duplan’s 50-person team raised the entire $25 million – the largest seed round in Silicon Valley history – on a mere working prototype and a beta test at Stanford University.
- Survey Finds ‘Impressive’ Interest In Mobile Picture Pay Solutions
Mobile Picture Pay, a new service that lets end-users take pictures of bills to make payments, showed “impressive” results in April, according to a new study from Malauzai Software, Inc. Malauzai, a provider of mobile banking SmartApps, said data from its Monkey Insights service for April and based on 94 banks and CUs encompassing 1.1-million log-ins for 85,000 registered mobile banking users, found: With Mobile Picture Pay, 5% of active end-users have used the feature in the first 90 days of launch. End-users are making 1.57 Picture Pay payments per month. The average payment size for Picture Pay is $151, about 40% less than standard bill pay.
- Paid via Card, Workers Feel Sting of Fees
A growing number of American workers are confronting a frustrating predicament on payday: to get their wages, they must first pay a fee. For these largely hourly workers, paper paychecks and even direct deposit have been replaced by prepaid cards issued by their employers. But in the overwhelming majority of cases, using the card involves a fee. These fees can take such a big bite out of paychecks that some employees end up making less than the minimum wage once the charges are taken into account, according to interviews with consumer lawyers, employees, and state and federal regulators.