"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, July 31, 2008

Mobile Commerce in the NFL

I'm excited to report that the Mobile Banking blog is now beginning to reach a broader audience. The new industry - Professional Football - the other day I received an email from a new visitor Ed Reif, Corporate Sales Executive for the St. Louis Rams.

Ed and I had a chance to catch up, and it appears that the St. Louis Rams are blazing an unchartered mobile payments trail in the NFL. The idea "Rams Cash."

On his blog (HelloMyCash)Ed writes, "We will be giving away the RamsCash Mastercard (debit) as our premium item during a home game. Participating sponsors will be able to push coupons(RamsCash) to opt in users." Continue Reading >>

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mobile Banking - Dead or Alive?

It's been a tough PR week in the world of mobile banking. Here are just a few of the articles.

Mobile Banking: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Fastest and Safest Way to fund Terrorist

Consumers Are Apathetic About Mobile Banking

My only comment would be this - on a weekly basis I speak with numerous mobile banking practitioners and the numbers I hear are not only impressive, they are outright staggering. Top of mind...

* Bank of America with over 1 million active mobile banking clients
* Another bank (lets call them XYZ) enrolling 1,000 new users per day
* Another bank (lets call them QRS) reached their 9 month goal in 4 weeks
* And on, and on, and on...

In fact, the truth is that if all bankers could share their performance numbers the market for "what if" research papers would quickly fade away. Does anyone remember the point at which researchers stopped questioning ATMs, Debit Cards, and Online Banking?

Monday, July 28, 2008

P-to-P and Mobile Payments

Recently, I've been doing a lot of research around the topic of p-to-p and mobile payments, and last week I came across the article "MasterCard to Enable P-to-P Mobile Payments by Cell Phone" written by Orla O'Sullivan in Bank Systems & Technology.

For those new to the space Obopay has clearly positioned themselves as one of the front-runners by forging relationships with ATT, Verizon, Blackberry, Citi, and now Mastercard. However, if you're looking for other potential vendors here's a list of names that I've been compiling:










Affinity Mobile
















Saturday, July 26, 2008

IBJ Covers Mobile Banking

I just wanted to take a minute to say "THANK YOU!!" to Scott Olson (Reporter), Robin Jerstad (Photographer) and the kind folks at the Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) for the article that was published this morning.

Click here to subscribe to the IBJ.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mobile Banking Updates - July 23rd

The fall conference schedule is beginning to take shape. To the right I've added:
* Net.Finance 2008 (New York) October 28-29
* Finovate 2008 (New York) October 14
* Mobile Commerce (San Jose) September 17-18
* Plus, I know of at least two other events being held in NY - more to come...

Other News:
Mobile Money Ventures and Citibank Hong Kong
"Mobile Money Ventures LLC (MMV), a joint venture of Citi and SK Telecom, today announced its first customer implementation with Citibank Hong Kong. Citibank will use the MMV platform to deliver mobile financial services to its customers in Hong Kong in Q3 2008."

Pay on the Go - Consumers and Contactless Payment
"The Federal Trade Commission and the Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic at the University of Washington will host a Town Hall meeting on July 24, 2008, to explore the growth of contactless payment systems and their implications for consumer protection policy. This Town Hall, titled “Pay on the Go: Consumers and Contactless Payment“ follows up on the FTC‘s November 2006 hearings, “Protecting Consumers in the Next Tech-ade,“ which examined key technological and business developments that will shape consumers‘ experiences over the next ten years."

American Express - Text Solution

It was just announced on the Payments News site that American Express has launched a mobile text solution.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mobile Text Banking and Sessioning

On Friday I received an alert for an article titled "ANY THOUGHTS ON CHASE’S TEXT-2-WIN CAMPAIGN" posted on the mopocket.com site. The article is primarily focused on marketing, but covers an interesting challenge that we'll all face as we enter the world of mobile banking via text/SMS.

One of the author's primary concerns with the Chase campaign is that text messaging should be used to, "create conversations and interactions that in the end draw people toward your brand physically and/or digitally."

First, let me say that the author is absolutely correct - this would be ideal. Unfortunately, due to the inherent constraints of SMS technology, this is not an easy task. In fact, the truth is that while basic interactions via SMS are extraordinarily easy the more complex interactions (i.e. the ones used for dynamic conversations) involve "sessioning" and are much more challenging.


Think of it this way. If a client sends a message to the the bank that says "hist" the response is simple - the bank returns the clients most recent transactions. However, what information should the bank send to the client if they receive the command "more?" The answer - the bank would have no idea unless they also know what information has been previously sent to the client.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mobile Banking from U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank has officially launched their mobile banking site and associated marketing materials. Visit www.usbank.com/mobile or visit their browser-based site at m.usbank.com

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mobile Payments via NFC

"A new analysis of the NFC mobile payments opportunity forecasts that the gross transaction value of payments made via NFC contactless technology, for relatively low value purchases (such as refreshments, tickets and food), will exceed $75bn globally by 2013." Juniper Research Continue Reading >>

Mobile Banking Forecast - John Devlin

John Devlin lead analyst for the report entitled “The Mobile Wallet: How? What? Where? And When?”

“To illustrate the forecast level of growth for mobile financial services, we are forecasting the number of cellular users to grow by 32% over the next four years; a significant number given the size of the market. By comparison the number of active users of mobile banking and payment services is estimated to grow by 662% over the same timeframe, demonstrating the high growth potential that we see for mobile financial services” Continue Reading >>

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mobile Payments - NFC Sticker Follow Up

On Thursday I received a call from Serge van Dam (Head of Marketing - MCOM) in response to the article I posted last week about NFC stickers.

Somewhat to my surprise I learned that not only was M-COM familiar with the solution, but had also recently conducted a pilot.

Here are just a few of their key findings:

* The trial was run in conjunction with Paymark (New Zealand’s largest payment switch) and retail bank ASB (a subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia).

* The findings confirm what we have always believed about payment channels – convenience is king” claims Adam Clark (CEO - MCOM). “Convenience and ease of use were considered the biggest drivers of preferred payment instruments for consumers prior to the trial, and over 75% of participants declared afterwards that the contactless mobile payment experience was more convenient that card based and cash transactions.”

* Cash was the most substituted payment instrument during the M-Com trial, largely due to the low average transaction size during the trial (coffee and snacks were the most frequently purchased items).

* Users also stated that they had an interest in applying contactless mobile payments across other regular purchase types they partake in - namely; parking (72%), vending machines (69%), public transport (63%) and convenience stores (61%).

* “Participating merchants felt that once the technology was in place, including staff familiarity, it delivered a faster and easier payment process for their low value transactions. Ultimately, they were able to push through more purchases, which means more revenue and more profit”

* M-Com is currently working through assessing the technical feasibility of various near-field communications (NFC) deployment models. Later in 2008, M-Com plans to integrate its contactless payment capabilities into its mobile banking platform – BankAnywhere – to enable retail banks to seamlessly offer mobile banking and payment services to consumers off a single technology investment.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Recap from Mobile Commerce Summit - Part 3

Are you ready for some passionate discussion? Here we go -

There was another hot topic at this years Mobile Commerce Summit, but it's one that you won't find listed on the agenda and was not covered by any of the panelists. The subject - alternative forms of NFC.

Until now most discussions about NFC have revolved around downloadable applications, embedded chips, and carriers. However, the recent buzz is about finding alternatives and the most prominent is the use of an NFC chip that can be affixed to the outside of the handset (i.e. an NFC sticker.)

This is essentially the same technology that has been used for years in NFC debit/credit cards, but the fact remains this is a new use-case and an interesting idea. Now, this is probably the best time to state that I'm neither an opponent or proponent of the idea. I'm simply going to share the information that I was able to glean.

* This solution has an existing infrastructure and is not reliant upon carrier participation or revenue sharing.
* Branding opportunities. Your logo would be on the NFC sticker which is then placed on the back of the phone.

* Not a true mobile wallet. A person could not have numerous chips on the outside of their phone.
* Perception of being a security risk.

Again, this concept is somewhat new and therefore was not a part of the formal discussion, but I can tell you that it was being passionately debated in the shadows.

Please let me know your thoughts, but as always I will not publish anonymous comments. It's important to know both your opinion and the motivation behind it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mobile Banking Updates

CFE Introduces Free Mobile Banking
"Members of CFE Federal Credit Union now have access to their accounts 24/7, right in the palm of their hands. CFE has launched mobile.mycfe.com, its mobile banking solution powered by MShift. With mobile banking, members have the convenience and security of accessing their accounts from virtually any web-enabled handheld device."

Sybase Purchases Cable & Wireless International
"In a deal that makes it the world's largest multimedia messaging service interoperability provider, Sybase (NYSE: SY) announced Tuesday it purchased Cable & Wireless' international MMS Hubbing service."

IBC Launches Mobile Banking
"Need to check your balance or transfer funds fast? IBC Mobile is convenient and secure. With IBC Mobile, you can use your mobile device (i.e. Cell Phone, Pocket PC, etc.) to access balances, pay bills, transfer funds and find nearby IBC Branch or ATM Locations."

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Recap from Mobile Commerce Summit - Part 2

One of the most interesting sessions from the Mobile Commerce Summit was titled "NFC Mobile Payments Ecosystem and Applications - An Update of Pilots around the World."

Here are a few of the comments that caught my attention:

1) When Dom Morea (SVP - First Data) was asked the question, "Who will pay?" (i.e. how are the carriers compensated in the new model) He responded, "If incremental value is created people will pay."

In other words, don't worry about specifying "who" right now because the fact is everyone will be willing to pay if the solution generates revenue and creates shareholder value.

2) James Anderson (VP - Mastercard) then added the following:
* If the only solution is to take dollars from an existing player - we're dead.
* Look at your customer base. Figure out who will pay for NFC and then sell to them.
* 80% of the value will come from 20% of the market
* The banks that lead will begin to take good clients from other institutions. That's the benefit that will cover the upfront cost until the value is proven.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Huntington Introduces Mobile Banking

Secure method of banking provides easy, on-the-go access to Huntington bank accounts

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Whether on the go, on the run, or on the phone, Huntington customers can now stay on top of their finances with Huntington Mobile Banking, a new banking service unveiled today. Huntington Mobile Banking is a secure, convenient and easy way for Huntington customers to access their bank accounts anytime, anywhere, using a cell phone, smart phone or any other mobile device with browser access.

Existing Huntington Online Banking customers can log in today using their existing username and password at http://mobile.huntington.com and have free* access to:

- View up-to-the-minute account balances and history on Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Lines of Credit and Loans.
- Transfer funds seamlessly between Huntington accounts.
- Pay your existing bill pay payees with on-time delivery guaranteed.
- Find the nearest Huntington location on the go.

"Huntington Mobile Banking provides all the perks and benefits of Huntington Online Banking in the palm of your hand," said Mary Navarro, regional banking group president at Huntington. "Huntington recognizes that time and convenience are paramount to our customers. This service provides the freedom and peace of mind that comes with being able to stay on top of your finances no matter where you are, no matter what time of day it is."

Huntington Mobile Banking is convenient and secure. Huntington Bank uses the same 128-bit encryption and security technology utilized for Huntington Online Banking. Huntington never transmits full account numbers through its Huntington Mobile Banking service, and ensures customers are never responsible for any unauthorized transactions with a Mobile Banking Guarantee.

For more information about Huntington Mobile Banking, visit http://www.huntington.com/mobile.

*Data charges from your individual mobile carrier may apply.