"Brandon McGee, Industry Insider, Mobile Banking Guru...He is not only the real deal, a genuine industry insider, but also knows exactly what's on the minds of financial service pros as they contemplate the various mobile options." - Jim Bruene, Publisher & Founder, Online Financial Innovations

"Going Mobile. Local executive carves niche as national expert on fast-growing banking-industry technology trend" - Scott Olson, Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ)

"Brandon McGee, the industry's unofficial ambassador for mobile banking" 

Thursday, September 27, 2007

ATT Launches New Mobile Banking Page

Here is a piece of the new page just launched by ATT promoting mobile banking.

Also, please take note of the institutions listed below the fold. The branding value that these institutions are receiving is tremendous!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mobile Banking Landscape - Turkey

This week I received information about two mobile banking announcements in Turkey, and this is a very big deal for their country. To help illustrate, picture Bank of America and Chase announcing their mobile solutions within hours of each other.

In one corner you have IsBank ($55 Billion in assets) parterning with Pozitron. Click for Full Story

In the other corner you have GarantiBank ($50 Billion in assets) partnering with Volantis. Click for Full Story

Monday, September 24, 2007

Finovate 2007 - Next Week!

In case you haven't heard Finovate 2007 is next week. Now, I checked the site and the main auditorium is sold out, but they were able to secure an "overflow" room down the hall and have discounted the price of those tickets. If you are undecided I would recommend attending. In fact, if you haven't visited the new dedicated site be sure to check it out now. There is going to be a strong vendor presence, but more importantly I'm expecting to see a strong bank presence. Learning about the vendor solutions is critical, but I'm equally interested participating in break-out sessions with other bankers. See you in NYC.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mergers, Conversions and Mobile Banking

This evening as we wrapped up the tasks for our conversion something occurred to me. In the very near future banks will need to add a mobile banking plan to their bank-wide conversion process. This channel has enough intricacies that it could not conceivably be lumped into the retail online banking or business online banking tasks.

In addition, this is yet another reason for banks to offer a robust mobile solution encompassing: browser based, SMS, and Rich UX solutions. Can you imagine trying to convert a base of customers that passionately use SMS banking to a system that only offers a Rich UX downloadable application?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mobile Banking, Forrester & The Itsy Bitsy Spider

This morning I was reading a new paper from Forrester titled “Raining On The Mobile Banking Parade.” While reading I was reminded of the nursery rhyme – The Itsy Bitsy Spider (yes I have two little ones at home.) I was reminded of this nursery rhyme because the interpretation of the research paints a very bleak outlook for mobile banking; however, upon digging into the data it actually seems to support the theory that there is tremendous potential for the mobile channel.

Specifically, please review the data in row four of figure 4-1. The question was essentially, “How interested are you in mobile banking?” Now, I’ll refrain from sharing the specific results, but I can tell you that the sum of the percentages would result in a year one adoption rate that is significantly higher than my targeted projection. In fact, I would consider a phase one adoption percentage that high to be a magnificent success.

No offense to Forrester, they are a tremendous research firm and I highly respect their talented staff. That said we must keep in mind that research is simply data and the analysis of that data is strictly an opinion. So, before you scrap your mobile banking plans I would suggest that you review the numbers and form your own judgment.

…Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain
So the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Browser Based Mobile Banking for Businesses

To date Wells Fargo has methodically begun to build a comprehensive mobile banking solution including:
Retail Clients -
* Browser based site at http://www.wf.com/

Business Clients -
* SMS based solution via Clairmail
(For a full recap of the offerings of the top ten institutions click here.)

To further improve their offering, Wells Fargo has now announced a browser based solution for business clients. The press release states, "Mobile banking is ideal for our small business customers, who benefit from the convenience of checking their account balances or making money transfers easily and quickly while on the go,” says Jim Smith, executive vice president and managing head of Wells Fargo's Internet Services Group. “The Wells Fargo Mobile service gives small businesses an ‘extended office’ with access to account information through their mobile devices."

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mobile Banking by Fundamo

In case you missed it I recently wrote an article for Mobile Money and Banking about two lesser known yet formidable mobile banking vendors: M-Com and SRM Technologies.

Today, I would like to add Fundamo to that list. I had run across Fundamo in my research, but over the weekend I read the article Dates in the Desert by Chimwemwe Mwanza of Finweek. The article explains that, "the largely untapped Middle East is fast becoming the preferred destination of vendors...South African technology group Fundamo - part-owned by VenFin and Sanlam, and most recently in the news after it received a R36m cash boost from HBD, the venture capital group owned by billionaire Afronaut Mark Shuttleworth - has set up base in that region to tap in on the m-commerce uptake."

To learn more about the Fundamo product visit MTN Mobile Money.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Save Time! Mobile Banking Headline Recap

This has been one active week for mobile banking, and there are a handful of stories that I want you to know about. I haven't had time to flush out full articles on each one, so here is recap of this weeks top headlines:

1) Chase Launches SMS Mobile Banking

"Firethorn Holdings, LLC, (www.firethornmobile.com) the mobile banking and payments enabler, and CheckFree Corporation, a leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products, announced today that Ogden, Utah- based America First Credit Union, one of the nation's 10 largest credit unions, will offer the Firethorn mobile banking solution to its 432,000 members."

3) Bank of America Introduces SafePass™ for Safer Online Banking
"Bank of America, an industry leader in secure online banking, is introducing a new security feature to its award-winning online banking service that provides customers with an extra layer of protection against unauthorized transactions."

"Monitise plc, the global leader in the provision of mobile banking and payments services, and Metavante Corporation, the banking and payments technology subsidiary of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation (NYSE: MI), today announced the formation of a joint venture company, Monitise Americas LLC, the mobile banking and payments ecosystem for the United States. Plans for the joint venture were announced by the companies in March 2007. "

5) Research Reveals U.S. Consumer Obsession With Bank Balances
"U.S. consumers are obsessed with managing their personal finances, according to research released by Sybase 365, a subsidiary of Sybase, Inc. , the global leader in messaging interoperability and mobile content delivery. More than a third of U.S. consumers, dubbed 'nano-economists,' are able to state their bank balance at any given time, and an additional 42 percent typically know their bank balance to the nearest $200."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Part 2 - Chase SMS Mobile Banking

I have spent some time digging through the entire site page by page and even the fine print, but still no reference to a vendor. It's missing some of the functionality that comes standard with the big vendors such as: transfers and custom nicknames for functions (i.e. the ability to use just the letter "b" to request a balance instead of the full "bal"). Then again, maybe this is just phase one and the other features will be coming at a future date.

Here are screen prints of the enrollment process. They did a nice job it's quick, easy to understand and simple to complete.

There's also a very sharp interactive demo. I tried to upload a snippet but my camera did not do it justice so I pulled it down. You'll have to check it out.

Chase Launches SMS Mobile Banking

This news is HOT! Chase has launched an SMS based mobile banking solution, but you will not find any information on their homepage. The links are only contained within online banking. Once you are in the system look for the link along the right-hand margin.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Post Conference Report - Foreword Financial

The Foreword Financial conference last week in Chicago was a success.

I was able to meet some key members of the Clairmail team including: Joe Salesky (CEO), Paul Iemma and Keith Gray from the sales team, John Aquino and Reetika Grewal from the marketing team. I give Clairmail an A+ for having a strong team, a great display and overall a dominating presence through out the conference.

The presentation by Michael Lindsey (SVP - Bancorp South) was invaluable. The statistics, insights, and survey results surpassed most all of the data I've seen to this point. It was relevant because it was coming directly from a banker about a solution that has been live since March. Bancorp South is taking this channel very seriously. It was apparent from their 2 focus groups and 3 surveys that they are not content to simply roll out a turn-key solution. If you have not seen Mr. Lindsey’s presentation, find out when he’s presenting next and attend.

A couple of other key presenters for the mobile channel were Manny Gonzalez (Keynote) and Tom Llewellyn (Broadway Bank). Both did a fantastic job. Although I had heard them speak before each was able to bring some new insights and data to the conference.

Even the networking was strong at this conference. I was able to meet a number of bankers from the US and Canada and even a couple of MBA students from UCLA (good luck on the project guys.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Foreword Financial

Tomorrow morning I'll be headed to Chicago to attend the Foreword Financial conference. I'm looking forward (no pun intended) to finally meeting some folks in person that I've been communicating with by phone or email. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Opera Mini Browser & Mobile Banking

For 18 months I've carried a first generation Motorola RAZR cell phone for personal use and a Blackberry for business. Over time I have tried to access the web on my RAZR at least a dozen times, and not once have I been able to stay connected let alone perform a meaningful task. So, needless to say, I had written off browsing with my personal mobile – until now.

Over the weekend I was reading an article written by Jennifer Johnson titled "
Reaching Common Ground with Opera" in the September issue of PC Today. In the article Jon S. von Tetzchner (CEO of Opera Software) was quoted as saying, "Opera can run on almost any type of hardware." So, I thought I would give it a shot.

At first I was stuck I thought, “how am I going to browse to Opera to download the software when my browser is very problem that I am trying to fix?” However, after a brief visit to the Opera site I discovered that I could send myself an SMS message containing a link to initiate the download – brilliant! A few clicks later I had successfully downloaded Opera Mini 3.1, installed the software, and was surfing the net like never before on this phone.

The implications of Opera (and browsers similar to it) could be monumental in the success and adoption of WAP mobile banking. The RAZR is one of the most successful handsets of all time. I have read reports that they sold 14 million units in the first two years alone! Yet, the challenge is daunting because main-stream America still does not understand mobile technology. People need to know that:
· You don’t have to settle for inadequate factory installed software
· You can perform simple searches on the browser of a standard phone
· Standard phones can download software upgrades from the internet

If you are unhappy with your mobile browser do not wait another minute - you must check this out. Truthfully, even if you think you’re satisfied I would give a shot – you might be surprised at what you are missing.
Click for Opera Mini