"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, August 26, 2008

Mobile Banking at Finovate

In case you haven't heard the line-up for Finovate 2008 has been announced and it's stellar. Included in the list are mFoundry, mShift, Sybase, and Quicken.

Plus, if you're a member of BAMA, I have 5 promo codes (while supplies last) that I can give away to save you $250 off the price of admission. If you're interested simply login to the BAMA Group and send me a request via the LinkedIn message system.

Finovate 2008 Lineup

* BillShrink <billshrink.com>
* Boulevard R <boulevardR.com>
* CheckFree <checkfree.com>
* Checkpoint <checkpoint.com>
* Credit Karma <creditkarma.com>
* Digital Insight (Intuit) <digitalinsight.com>
* FiLife (Dow Jones/IAC) <filife.com>
* mFoundry <mfoundry.com>
* Mint <mint.com>
* MoneyAisle (NeoSaej) <moneyaisle.com>
* mShift <mshift.com>
* Inner8 <inner8.com>
* LendingClub <lendingclub.com>
* Pertuity Direct <pertuitydirect.com>
* Quicken Online (Intuit) <quicken.com>
* SmartHippo <smarthippo.com>
* Sybase 365 <sybase.com/365>
* Vidoop <vidoop.com>
* Wesabe <wesabe.com>
* WeSeed <weseed.com>
* Yodlee <yodlee.com>

About Finovate 2008

* Date: Oct. 14, 2008
* Place: New York, NY (Crowne Plaza Times Square)
* Cost: $995 through Sep. 30
* Website: finovate.com

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mobile Banking in the News

I may be a little biased, but here are two fantastic articles on Mobile Banking by Orla O'Sullivan (bio below) of Bank Systems & Technology.

August 21st
Mobile Banking Takes Off ... Or Does It?

August 25th
Huntington Hits Annual m-Banking Target in Two Months

Orla O'Sullivan
Senior Editor
Bank Systems & Technology

Orla O'Sullivan covered business for consumer and trade media on either side of the Atlantic before recently joining Bank Systems & Technology as senior editor. The New York Times is one of numerous titles in which she has been published in the U.S., while in her native Ireland she recently served as personal finance editor of the top daily newspaper the Irish Independent and radio correspondent to the national PBS, RTE.

She was editor in chief of Bank Technology News, and a web and book editor during her eight years at Thomson (Source One). She has been a longtime contributor to the American Banker's Association' monthly ABA Banking Journal.

Technology, the mortgage business, and financial marketing are areas of specialization.

She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Dublin and several vocational qualifications. She speaks a few languages.

Mobile Payments at the DNC

"During this year's Democratic National Convention (DNC), Denver's Pepsi Center will serve not only as a focal point of American politics, but also as an arena for the future of how people will pay for goods and services.

First Data will introduce a new payment technology to thousands of select media and delegates attending the DNC. Beginning August 25 through August 28, media and delegates receiving a limited edition pin from First Data can use the commemorative pin as a payment device to purchase refreshments up to $10 in value at participating Pepsi Center concession stands." Continue Reading >>

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Quicken Mobile - Beam

On Friday I received this alert that Intuit had released a new mobile aggregation tool.

Intuit Releases Mobile Account Aggregation Tool
"Quicken Beam is designed to let users access their account information via mobile devices. Intuit (Mountain View, Calif.) has released a beta version of Quicken Beam, a service that allows users to receive information on all their financial accounts via their mobile phones. Consumers receive instant access to their account balances and recent account activities." Continue Reading >>

However, it wasn't until this evening that I tested the product, and I must say that I'm impressed. As promoted the tool is for aggregation (i.e. no transfers or bill pay); yet, there were a number of pleasant surprises:

1) They receive huge points for allowing me to use my existing Turbotax credentials. Nice Work! No need to require another login and password.

2) They simultaneously launched two solutions. I can obtain information via text or by using an iPhone friendly browser site.

3) A simple short code: 636363

4) They stayed true to the aggregation model and allow you to add accounts from multiple institutions.

5) They have a built-in alert component. Simple, effective, and highly unexpected.

Overall, I'd give them solid marks. My only recommendation would be this...if you're going to build an iPhone friendly application, please also incorporate a bookmark icon that looks decent on my homescreen.

Be sure to check out the screen shots below and then enroll here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Japan's Influence on Mobile Banking in the U.S.?

In recent days, there have been numerous articles, references, and stories related to Japan and how they could influence the future of mobile banking and payments here in the U.S.

Specifically, here are a few of the ones that caught my attention:

Aug 8 - Many Inputs as Citi Thinks Mobile in the U.S. - American Banker
"In Japan, more people go on the Internet from mobile devices than from computers, Mr. Kietz said.

'The common wisdom is that what is happening in Japan today is going to be happening in the developed world two years from now,' he said. 'There are going to be more, cool phones available, and use of the mobile browser is going to increase substantially.'"

Aug 18 - Mitsubishi UFJ to buy California bank - International Herald Tribune
"Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, one of the largest banks in Japan, agreed Monday to buy the remaining part of UnionBanCal that it did not already own for about $3.5 billion.

The transaction values UnionBanCal, which owns Union Bank of California, one of the 25 largest banks in the United States, at about $10.1 billion.

Mitsubishi is trying to expand beyond its relatively stagnant home market as Japanese companies seek to broaden their presence overseas and take advantage of a weaker dollar."

Aug 19 - Japan's Mobile Tech Too Quirky To Succeed Overseas? - Washington Post
"For all of the cutting edge mobile technology that Japanese consumers have routine access to, surprisingly little of it has made its way outside of the country. Its government, however, wants to change this, and will begin an "aggressive push" to market the technology overseas, reports AP."

Personally, I agree with Mr. Kietz and I'm excited to see Mitsubishi acquire an institution in the U.S. Their resources, knowledge, and experience will lead to significant advancements in technology and could help expedite the development and adoption of NFC.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Visa, North America & Mobile

"Visa, the global leader in payments, and eight leading North American financial institutions - PNC Bank, SunTrust Bank, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, and Wells Fargo in the United States, and Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank Financial Group, and Vancity in Canada - have agreed to initiate a pilot program with up to a total of 2,000 participants to test the delivery of real-time notification alerts on Visa accounts." Continue Reading >>

RBC Royal Bank

TD Canada Trust

Alerus Mobile Banking

ClairMail, Inc., the leader in 2-way mobile phone-based customer interaction, today announced that Alerus Financial, a Midwestern-based financial services company offering banking and wealth management services, selected ClairMail to power its new mobile banking offering. Continue Reading>>

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mobile Banking Updates

Major banking group considers replacing BlackBerry with iPhone
"Global banking conglomerate HSBC is taking a hard look at using the iPhone 3G over its current fleet of corporate BlackBerry devices."

Absa introduces mobile money transfer via ATM network

"South Africa's Absa Bank has launched CashSend, a service that enables customers to send funds via ATMs to recipients that do not have a bank account or card."

Sybase CEO John Chen charts a mobile course
"The Hong Kong-born engineer, who became chief executive a year after his arrival, set about the slow task of rebuilding the Dublin-based company. Part of his strategy has been mining the then-nascent mobile software market. Sybase now has annual revenue that tops $1 billion."

Mpayy Promises Payments from Anywhere
"Although Conrad Sheehan thinks he has come up with a way to provide the mobility factor in the formula for ecommerce success, he's an unlikely dot-com entrepreneur at age 41."

Mobile Banking Commercial on YouTube

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mobile Payments Update - TowerGroup

Mobile payments to be disruptive industry force - TowerGroup
"Mobile remittances - a person-to-person payment system that is cross-border in nature and involves mobile data applications at either end of the transaction - is moving in on a total global remittances market of a half trillion dollars annually (USD). New TowerGroup research finds that the accelerating investments being made in ubiquitous mobile payment platforms will be a disruptive industry force."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wizzit Mobile Banking in South Africa

Wizzit CEO, Brian Richardson, and colleagues describe the Wizzit model, including tackling the "Three A's = Affordability + Accessibility + Availability" to give millions of previously unbanked individuals access to a bank account...

I found this YouTube video on Joost Bonsen's blog.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mobile Banking Articles - Aug 11

Here are a few interesting articles.

Many Inputs as Citi Thinks Mobile in U.S.
"Citigroup Inc., which is taking a variety of approaches as it introduces its mobile banking services around the world, plans to put to work the knowledge gained abroad as it fine-tunes its U.S. offerings."

I was drawn to the following quote...

"The market is giving us feedback," about consumers' usage habits, Mr. Kietz said, and clear support for the browser model is "defining mobile banking in the U.S. in the near term."

Japan’s super-advanced mobile web: Too unique to serve as a global blueprint?
"In Japan, since 2006 more people have been accessing the web through cell phones than through PCs. Is this a picture of things to come in other countries?"

IBM Makes Mobile Push
"When it comes to big-business technology, you could argue it’s not a party until IBM shows up. Not only is Big Blue the top seller of business software, its services division is also the biggest global provider of hands-on tech advice. So when IBM (IBM) makes big mobile announcement, it’s worth a listen."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mobile Banking from PNC

A few minutes ago I was doing some research on business mobile banking and I stumbled across this result for a PNC product.

Now, you won't find any reference to mobile banking on their website if you go through the "front door," and I don't believe they've made a formal announcement. However, it certainly looks like they are close to a launch. You'll also notice that they have gone with a downloadable solution, and based upon their list of compatible devices I'd venture to say that this is an mFoundry solution.

If you click on the link you'll land on this page.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mobile Banking Updates - Aug 5th

Fundtech and Firethorn to Provide Mobile Corporate Cash Management
"Fundtech Ltd., a market leader in global transaction banking solutions, and mobile commerce enabler Firethorn Holdings, LLC, a Qualcomm company announced today that the two companies will work together to add mobile connectivity to Fundtech's CASHplus cash management system."

The Grameen-Obopay Bank A Billion Initiative

"Obopay Inc., a service provider for payments via mobile phones, and Grameen Solutions, the company globally recognized for promoting economic and social development through information and communications technology, have announced an alliance - 'The Grameen-Obopay Bank A Billion Initiative', to use mobile technology to deliver banking services to a billion of the world's poorest people by 2018."

Banks Down Under Monetize Mobile
"The National Bank and ANZ, related New Zealand banks, have been charging for mobile services—as have all their competitors—since they went live with the offering more than a year ago."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mobile as a 2nd Authentication Factor

I'm often asked the question, "is it safe to use mobile banking?"

And my response is...Yes! In fact, I'd argue the mobile banking clients are less likely to experience significant fraud because they have the ability to more closely monitor their account activity - anytime, anywhere.

Plus, with the advent of tools such as PhoneFactor, I contend that your mobile device can actually make it even safer to utilize other banking channels as well.

If you're not familiar, PhoneFactor utilizes a phone call as a second form of authentication. Think token without the extra hardware.

Here's how the service was described by BTN in the article Ten Technology Companies to Watch 2008, "When a customer enters their username and password to an online banking site, PhoneFactor intercepts the signal and sends an encrypted message to the PhoneFactor voice response unit. The customers cell phone rings, and they’re asked to push a button or enter a code if they’d like to login. If not, some configurations allow users to immediately report fraud."

They also have a demo - check it out.