"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" 

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

McLaughlin to Join Mobile Banking Vendor - Monitise

It was announced today that Jeff McLaughlin will join Monitise as EVP of mobile strategy.

The release reads, "McLaughlin has over 13 years of experience in the wireless industry, spanning various roles with carriers, vendors, systems integrators and content providers. Prior to joining Monitise Americas, McLaughlin held management positions at mFoundry, McCaw Cellular/AT&T Wireless, BCGI, GetConnected and Refresh Mobile. He is also the author of Consumer's Guide to Cell Phones & Wireless Service and a two-time Olympic medalist and World Champion in the sport of rowing."

Initially, I thought that Monitise had picked a senior manager from mFoundry, but upon further review I discovered that Mr. McLaughlin worked for mFoundry from April 2005 through October 2006. Most recently he was CEO/Founder of Mobile Intuition. Click here to read his full LinkedIn profile >>

Click here to read the full press release >>

13 Credit Unions Deploy mShift Mobile Banking

MShift has announced the deployment of thirteen Credit Unions in recent months. This takes the total number of deployments executed in the past two and a half years to just over 65. The following thirteen credit unions have been deployed by MShift:

1. Alaska USA FCU (Anchorage, AK - $3.5 Billion)
2. Bellco CU (Greenwood Village, CO - $1.7 Billion)
3. Bethpage CU (Bethpage, NY - $3 Billion)
4. Eastman CU (Kingsport, TN - $1.9 Billion)
5. IBM Southeast Employees FCU (Boca Raton, FL - $690 Million)
6. Miami Firefighters FCU (Miami, FL - $70 Million)
7. New Mexico Educators CU (Albuquerque, NM - $828 Million)
8. Northwest FCU (Herndon, VA -$1.5 Billion)
9. Proponent FCU (Nutley, NJ - $380 Million)
10. Purdue Employees FCU (West Lafayette, IN - $539 Million)
11. Randolph Brooks FCU (Live Oak, TX - $3 Billion)
12. State Employees Credit Union of Maryland (Baltimore, MD - $1.7 Billion)
13. Utah Community CU (Provo, UT - $580 Million)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mobile Browser Detection

I was playing with my iPhone during half-time of Saturday's game (college basketball - Butler vs. Drake) and decided to perform a little impromptu research. My goal was to find as many mobile friendly sites as I could and then save their iPhone shortcut to my home screen.

That said, there was just one rule. I was not allowed to endlessly search for a link (i.e. because we know that consumers will not). I decided that I would simply:
1) Enter the company name into Google
2) Click on the link to their homepage
3) See where I landed

I didn't keep an exhaustive list, but from memory I'm confident that I visited the following: Starbucks, Best Buy, Circuit City, Walmart, Target, JCPenny, Kohls, Lowes, Home Depot, Macys, Sears, Dicks, Gander Mountain, AMC Theater, Hilton, Hyatt, Westin, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, Donatos, and Amazon.com

Of those listed above the following 3 detected that I was utilizing a mobile browser and took me to a mobile site.

1) Pizza Hut
2) Hilton (Powered by Usablenet Mobile)
3) Amazon.com

Of the three I would then award the "best in class" to Amazon.com. I found their site intuitive and powerful. In fact, using my mobile device, I found a hiking backpack that I'd been searching for and promptly returned the one I had previously purchased. Additionally, Amazon.com was the only site which also integrated an iPhone shortcut.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Technology Behind Mobile Banking

If you've done any research on mobile banking solutions you have likely been exposed to a slew of new terms. Specifically, how about the acronyms: GSM, GPRS, CDMS. Or, how about trying to decipher the differences between WML and XHTML. Finally, could you quickly describe the differeces between Java ME, Symbian, and BREW.

Well, I have found a resource that can help. The other day as I was reading up and found a presentation titled, "An Introduction to Mobile Technologies and Services" by Michael Sharon (Co-Founder/CTO of Socialight).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mobile Banking & Bob Egan

Last week I had the opportunity to speak with Bob Egan (Chief Analyst - Tower Group) and was able to gain a fresh perspective on the mobile banking industry. If you have not had the opportunity to meet Bob, I'd recommend making it a top priority for a number of reasons including:

1) This is his second exposure to the "mobile boom." In the late 90's Bob was heavily entrenched in the mobile industry.
2) Bob has more than 30 years of experience in information technology.
3) Prior to joining Tower Group Bob founded and led Mobile Competency, a boutique market analyst and consulting company focused on enterprise mobile and wireless technologies and solutions.
4) During our discussion I found his analysis to be eerily accurate.

To view Bob Egan's full biography click here >>

Bob's recent reports include:
* South Korean Mobile Banking and Payments: The Proof Is in the Pudding
* US Mobile Banking Forecast: 2007-2012
* Mobile Banking Evolution: Issues and Considerations for 2008
* Mobile Peer-to-Peer Payments: Verizon Wireless and Obopay Take a Short Step Down a Long Road
* Mobile Solutions for the Insurance Industry: The Challenges and Opportunities

Monday, February 18, 2008

Firethorn Mobile Banking Solution Highlighted in Oklahoma News

Today I was browsing the web for mobile banking updates and ran across this video on YouTube. The clip is from a news report in Oklahoma and highlights the Firethorn Solution. If you pay close attention this clip does a good job of illustrating how a client can have accounts with multiple financial institutions loaded into the same application.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Citi Readies Another Cell Phone Link

American Banker reports that Citi Readies Another Cell Phone Link. You must have a paid subscription to read the full story, but the synopsis refers to person-to-person transfers.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

McAfee Research on Mobile Safety

Over the last few months I have written a number of articles about mobile banking security - including the following:
* Discussion about Mobile Banking Security at a Feverish Pitch
* Mobile Banking & Security
* Mobile Banking Security and Antivirus Protection
* Mobile Banking Security - Phishing for Answers?

While I have covered the topic from a number of angles it’s one that I’ll continue to address because it is undoubtedly the single most important component of the solution.

So…yesterday I received an article from McAfee on the topic of security and there are a couple of points that really caught my attention and are worth highlighting. Under the heading “Other Key Findings” McAfee revealed that:

* At least 79% of consumers are knowingly using unprotected devices, with an additional 15% unsure of security levels

* More than half of subscribers (59%) expect mobile operators to take primary responsibility for protecting mobile devices and services

The first point is not surprising. In fact, it’s probably safe to add the two groups together and say that 94% of consumers are using unprotected devices. Yet, I’d venture to say that people aren’t protecting their devices primarily because they’re only using them to make phone calls or send text messages. A quick Google search revealed a report from Forrester stating that, “Ninety percent of online consumers report using antivirus software on the computer they use most frequently.” Illustrating that I think consumers understand the importance. The number I’d like to measure is, “what percentage of people that currently use mobile banking are using an unprotected device?”

In reference to the second point, I’m very surprised to learn that consumers expect the operators to shoulder this responsibility. This would be the equivalent of expecting your home broadband provider to protect your home PC. Again referencing the report above, consumers understand that they're responsible and clearly take steps to protect themselves. The only explanation I could think of is that the question might have skewed the results. I can see where an argument could be made that the carrier has the “primary” responsibility to protect the “service.”

Click here to read the full article >>

Monday, February 11, 2008

February Issue of BAMA is Live

The second issue of the BAMA email newsletter was released this morning. If you're not familiar with this publication please read this post. In short, BAMA is dedicated to ensuring the success of mobile banking and mobile payments. If you have not yet signed up I'd encourage you to do so now. It's FREE to subscribe and only takes a second to enroll (see right margin).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mobile Banking from IND Group

I just finished reading about a new solution provided by IND Group (Budapest) called iMobile. In the press release Balazs Vinnai (IND Group - CEO) said, “Mobile phones have become vital part of our everyday life, thus it was an obvious decision for IND to target smartphones and PDAs with our innovative solution after implementing successful Internet applications to our clients.” The release continues to say, “The solution provides quick access to accounts and transaction information on a secure mobile device environment. It can be easily adjusted to already existing bank systems. It is Browser-based and it works on every operation system. iMobile Banking is Icon-based with easily ‘tappable’ menu.”

If you get a chance I recommend visiting their site. They have a very informative video that allows an indepth look at some of the functionality including...
* Login
* Bill Payment
* Account Balances
* Account History

The video continues to say that the application has been optimized for the following handsets:
* Apple iPhone
* Nokia N95
* Sony Ericsson P1
* Palm Treo 750

Below are a few additional screen shots...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mobile Banking Updates - Part II

Sprint, Clearwire said to talk WiMax. "Sprint and Clearwire are discussing a joint venture that would attract funding from Intel (INTC, Fortune 500), a major backer of WiMax technology, which promises faster wireless Web connection speeds for laptops and cell phones than mobile operators' third-generation networks."

Mobile banker Tyfone gets funding millions. "Tyfone, which develops hardware and software for white label mobile banking and mobile contactless payments, has got a funding injection from Indian-tech-focused VC firm Ojas Venture Partners."

Pozitron wins the Global Business Plan Contest at Harvard Business School. "Pozitron’s business plan regarding its Integrated Mobile Banking product was chosen as the winner among companies around the world such as Colombia, Mexico and Germany."

mFoundry Named in Ten Emerging Mobile Players to Watch in 2008 by IDC. "mFoundry has announced that IDC named the company one of “Ten Emerging Mobile Players to Watch in 2008.” IDC, a global provider of market intelligence and advisory services, identified 10 companies poised to have a large impact in the wireless market."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bank Atlantic & Mobile Banking Updates

It has been a busy few days in the world of mobile banking so here are the updates...

Bank Atlantic Mobile Banking - Earlier today I received word that Bank Atlantic has now launched their mShift powered browser application. The site is located at ba2go.mobi and includes an interactive demo.

Monitise Americas Announces Additional Customers "The most recent institutions to offer mobile banking and payment services from Monitise Americas and NYCE include: Commerce Bank of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.; Forest Park National Bank & Trust Co., Forest Park, IL.; Industrial Credit Union, Boston; Patriot State Bank, Fuquay-Varina, N.C.; and Wedbush Bank, Los Angeles."

ClairMail to Present with Wells Fargo and BB&T at BAI TransPay Conference and Expo "ClairMail, Inc., the leader in 2-way mobile phone-based customer interaction, today announced that the company's chief executive officer, Joseph Salesky, is presenting at the BAI TransPay Conference and Expo, February 5-7 in Grapevine/Dallas, TX, alongside representatives from Wells Fargo, BB&T and Novantas."

Google and Verizon May Both Win in FCC Auction "With open access assured, there may be more than one winner in the FCC's auction of the 700MHz wireless spectrum. Google and Verizon may have been the competitors as a $4.71 billion bid for the C block triggered the Federal Communication Commission's open-access rules for mobile wireless devices. The winner could be Google, Verizon or another carrier."