"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" 

Monday, June 30, 2008

Huntington Mobile Banking

I am proud to announce that Huntington Bank has officially launched its mobile banking service. Below are just a few screenshots illustrating our banner ads, microsite and interactive demo.

To learn more, please visit our microsite at huntington.com/mobile or access the browser site directly at mobile.huntington.com

mFoundry and Bank of America

mFoundry, the leading mobile financial technology provider, announced today that Banc of America Strategic Investments Corp. completed a strategic investment in the company. Bank of America complements mFoundry’s existing strategic investors Motorola, PayPal, and NCR, and venture backers GRP Partners, Ignition Partners and Apax Partners. mFoundry’s platform, enabling banking, payments, wallets, and eCommerce from mobile phones, is a widely used platform in the United States.

“We are very pleased to have Bank of America as an investor in our company,” said Drew Sievers, CEO and co-founder of mFoundry. “We are proud to have Bank of America’s investment in our Company as our products continue to gain support from financial and mobile industry leaders.” Learn more >>

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Recap from Mobile Commerce Summit - Part I

As I review my notes from the 14 sessions on mobile banking there is one common theme that resonated through out the conference..."How do I make money?" And as one might expect the answers covered the spectrum:

Bob Egan (Chief Analyst - TowerGroup): Make money using analytics to sell products/services.

Steven Kietz
(EVP - Citi; CEO - MMV): Focus on Innovation. Expedite the new account opening process. Innovate around your rewards program - acquisition, tracking, spending.

Brandon McGee (i.e. Me): Incorporate targeted banner messages to cross-sell new products and services to existing clients. Do you have marketing messages on your website and within your online banking service? They should be in your mobile channel as well.

Mark Uicker (VP & Co-Founder - Clairmail): Focus on expense reduction in the form of 1) lower call center volume and 2) reduction in paper which can double as a "green" initiative.

Adam Green
(Senior Product Manager - FIS): Opportunities via expedited payments, loyalty and using SMS messaging to increase debit/credit activation and usage.

Serge van Dam
(Head of Marketing - MCOM): Making the product FREE is not mandatory. Bank of New Zealand gives away mobile to the top 10% of their client base but then charges $2/month and $0.35/transaction to the remaining 90%.

Bob Hedges
(Managing Partner - Mercatus Partners, LLC): Look for compelling use cases out of the commercial, cash management, and treasury departments. Focus on receivables, purchasing, and disbursements.

So what's the correct answer? All of the above. A business strategy consisting of even two of the ideas listed above will generate a positive ROI. Combining 3 or more will lead to very meaningful impact to the bottom line.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mobile Summit & Updates for Week of 6/23

I'm just returning from the 2nd Annual Mobile Commerce Summit, and I'd like to take a moment to thank Emily Otani and the team at SourceMedia. The mobile banking content was fresh, the speakers were first class, and the venue (Caesars) was the ideal location.

I'm still organizing my notes so you'll have to wait a few more days before I share any of the content; however, there are still lots of newsworthy items. For instance...

Mobile Money Ventures and Android
"Mobile Money Ventures, a joint venture of Citi and SK Telecom, has announced that its solution for mobile financial services is compatible with Android, a software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications."

BECU Signs On with Firethorn

"Firethorn Holdings LLC, a Qualcomm company, today announced that it has added BECU (formally known as Boeing Employees' Credit Union) to its growing roster of financial institution customers."

Mastercard and Obopay Join up for P-2-P
"MasterCard is partnering California-based Obopay to provide an on-demand person-to-person (P2P) mobile payments service to its US cardholders. The service - offered via MasterCard's P2P money transfer system MoneySend - will enable issuing banks to provide a mobile payments service to cardholders on all credit, debit and prepaid MasterCard-branded products."

Delta Mobile an mShift Design
"Delta Air Lines Inc. has hooked up with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at New York's LaGuardia Airport to let Delta fliers use their Web-enabled mobile devices to check-in and get an electronic boarding passes."

iPhone Effect on Mobile Banking
"Mobile banking has had its fits and starts, and it has a long way to go before most consumers try it, let alone make it second nature. But let’s face it: There’s no one in the banking industry like Steve Jobs."

ABSA Reaches Half Million Mobile Banking Clients
"After a cautious beginning a few years ago, Cellphone Banking is starting to deliver on its promise of putting ‘your bank in your pocket’, and allowing you to transact anywhere you go. Absa Bank this week celebrated its first major milestone for this emerging banking channel, reaching half-a-million Cellphone Banking customers. Absa’s Managing Executive for Digital Channels, Christo Vrey, says that with 38 million cellular subscribers nationwide, there is a great opportunity for the mobile channel to become the primary banking interface for many South Africans."

Mobile-banking apps with mobile carriers

"Financial institutions are looking to mobile banking as a way to round out their banking options, providing their customers and members more convenient ways to bank. And wireless carriers are offering more ways to get on the mobile-banking bandwagon, connecting FIs to their networks. “It’s a bit of ‘Gold Rush,’” said Nick Holland, a senior analyst at Boston-based Aite Group. 'Mobile banking is almost not an option.'"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

mFoundry - BTN Top 10 to Watch

"Case in point is this year’s top company, mFoundry, which is blazing a trail in the mobile banking space. Of the 70 firms BTN named to the “Ten Technology Companies to Watch” ranking over the past seven years, only three — mFoundry, Harland and SAS — have made the cut twice, a fitting testimony to the intense creative forces in the industry." Learn More >>

Monday, June 16, 2008

Chase Highlights Mobile Banking Services With U.S. Open Contest

In an effort to show off its mobile banking solutions Chase is giving tennis fans in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey the chance to text their way to tickets to the U.S. Open. Learn More >>

Sunday, June 15, 2008

BAMA - Mobile Banking

BAMA (Bankers Alliance for the Mobile Arena) is now being hosted by LinkedIn!

The purpose of the group is to facilitate the growth, development and success of mobile banking and mobile payments.

Existing members include 3 of the top 5 largest U.S. banks, top 25 banks, large credit unions and a handful of institutions from across the world.

Membership in BAMA is restricted to associates of banks, credit unions, and financial service companies including credit cards, mortgages, investments and insurance.

To join simply click here and submit a request to approve your work email address.

If you need to use a personal email address (and work for an approved company) please send me an email (address on homepage / above picture) with your
First & Last Name
Work Phone Number
Personal Email Address

Mobile Banking Webinar - TowerGroup

Mobile banking has shifted from being perceived as an interesting option to an essential business imperative, laying the foundation for more robust mobile payment offerings in the future. Learn more >>

Thursday, June 19, 2008, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST
Mobile Banking and Payments: Making Waves, Moving Toward a Flood
Presenter: Charul Vyas, Analyst, Emerging Technologies

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mobile Banking Week of 6/9

It has been an extraordinarily busy week for mobile banking. Here are the highlights:

Bank of America Reaches One Million Active Mobile Banking Customers

"Bank of America, the nation's leading provider of Online and Mobile Banking services, today announced that it has surpassed one million unique active Mobile Banking customers."

Put Your Bank in Apple's iPhone 3G App Store
"I've written about how the iPhone could change the way consumers use mobile phones to access data (see note 1). But this slide from the Steve Jobs keynote yesterday at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), says it much better..." Jim Bruene (NetBanker)

Unisys Reveals Consumers Don’t Trust Mobile Banking

"The research also revealed that 59% of the respondents don’t trust their mobile devices to provide a secure transaction. Only 9% currently use these devices to conduct transactions involving credit-card payments, money transfers and deposits."

Mobile commercial banking improvements by Wells Fargo

"Wire transfer services and image positive pay were added to CEO Mobile(SM) service, mobile-optimized version of Wells Fargo’s award-winning Commercial Electronic Office(R) portal."

Mobile Banking - Threats and Mitigation

"In this article, I’ll be explaining the threats observed and an ideal process to overcome these threats. The explanation would be based on the information exchange for the architecture discussed in my previous article. Each phase has the threats mentioned and a secure process to ensure these threats are mitigated."

Security Fears Remain a High Hurdle for New Payments Technologies

"Bruce Cundiff, senior analyst at Javelin Strategy & Research and moderator of a conference panel, cited a September 2007 Javelin study in which consumers who indicated they were unlikely to use contactless cards were asked to pick up to three listed reasons to explain why."

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mobile Commerce Summit 2008

Just a quick reminder that the Mobile Commerce Summit is coming up later this month.
Date: June 23-24
Location: Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

If you're interested in the mobile channel - this is THE place to be.

Looking for a vendor? They'll all be present including:
* Tripp Rackley (Firethorn)
* Joe Salesky (Clairmail)
* Drew Sievers (mFoundry)
* Lisa Stanton (Monitise)
* Serge Van Dam (M-Com)

Need to "compare notes" with a fellow banker? They're attending.

Like to hear from the analysts? Bob Egan (TowerGroup) and Bruce Cundiff (Javelin) will be presenting.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

E*TRADE Launches Groundbreaking Mobile Platform

E*TRADE Securities LLC today introduced E*TRADE Mobile Pro, a first-of-its-kind, integrated mobile software solution offering customers quick and easy wireless access to their E*TRADE accounts. Available exclusively on BlackBerry® smartphones from Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM), E*TRADE Mobile Pro gives customers many of the same interface, security, trading and banking features available on their desktops – with the added capability and convenience of accessing real-time information and transacting any time, anywhere, from their BlackBerry smartphones1. Learn More >>

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Credit Unions, Banks and Mobile Banking

Let me begin by saying that I began my career at a credit union, and I have only positive things to say about the experience. In fact, the member service that I witnessed during my time at IFCU is among the best I've seen during my 17 years in the financial industry.

That said, earlier today I read an article on the CUNA website titled, "CUs ahead of competitors on mobile banking," and there's some terminology that I'm struggling to justify. For instance, the article states, "credit unions are leaders in the mobile banking efforts surfacing so far."

How is the term "leader" is being defined? If you look at quantitative data such as "number of users" then clearly Bank of America is in the lead with nearly 1 million clients. Or, if you consider the qualitative such as "depth-of-solution" I would again argue that the banks such as Wachovia and Wells Fargo would be at the fore front.

The article references a study that says, "23% of the largest credit unions" versus "17% of the largest banks." And again I'd suggest that the terms are a little vague. Are we comparing the top 25 banks and the top 25 credit unions, or are we relying what appears to be a more subjective definition of "largest."

Just a little food-for-thought: Always remember to dig into the data behind the research before you accept the executive summary as gospel.

Obopay to Enhance Mobile Payments Security

Obopay has selected SafeNet’s Payment HSM products to provide higher standards of banking security for its customers. Obopay provides person-to-person money transfer, person-to-merchant payment, utility bill payment, prepaid top up and insurance payment services. In this scenario, highly confidential information needs to be encrypted and decrypted between the Obopay platform and the bank platform. SafeNet’s Payment HSM products address this issue and provide higher performance and security standards. Learn More >>

Everlink and Monitise to Provide Mobile Banking

Everlink Payment Services, a leading provider of electronic transactions and payments services to the Canadian Financial Services marketplace, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Monitise Americas, LLC, a leading mobile banking and payments service provider. Everlink will offer the Monitise Americas mobile banking platform to financial institutions throughout Canada, including 375 credit unions, several domestic and foreign subsidiary banks and Independent Service Organizations (ISO’s). Learn More >>

FSTC Launches Mobile Technology Initiative

The Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC) announced an initiative to examine the various technology models supporting mobile payments today and to make recommendations on an approach that would facilitate an interoperable mobile payments infrastructure in the future. Learn More >>

S1 and Clickatell Partner for Mobile Banking

S1 Corporation (Nasdaq: SONE), a leading global provider of customer interaction software solutions for financial and payment services, and Clickatell, a leading global mobile messaging provider, today announced a partnership to provide on-demand text-based mobile services through the S1 Enterprise and Postilion Internet Banking solutions. Learn More >>

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mobile Banking from NAB

The Better Banking Blog -
"In the seven days since the launch of the NAB service 2,926 customers have registered to use the SMS option."

Mobile Banking Charges
* 25 cents per account balance
* 25 cents per mini statement
* 40 cents per transfer

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Mobile Banking Updates

Corporate Mobile Banking: Separating Hype from Reality - Forte Blog

Javelin publishes 2008 US Mobile Banking Benchmark Study
"Overview Javelin’s 2008 US Mobile Banking Benchmark Study examines banks and credit unions on consumer mobile banking offerings within three categories: Access, Security and Features. Top US financial institutions (FIs), asset-ranked were mystery-shopped for their mobile banking service offerings, using Web and phone data collection methods."

Provident adds mobile banking

"Provident Bank of Maryland and a state-chartered credit union are among the latest financial institutions to offer their customers the ability to bank from the palm of their hands."

"H&R Block (NYSE: HRB), Metavante (NYSE: MV), and Monitise Americas, LLC, today announced that H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard® cardholders will begin to have access to mobile phone text messaging to check their balances and receive account reload mobile alerts. H&R Block will start piloting the text messaging capabilities made available by Metavante Mobile Financial Services, powered by Monitise Americas technology."

Bank offers balances by cell phone
"First Fidelity Bank is launching a new mobile banking program on Sunday to allow customers to access account information through Internet-capable cellular phones."