"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" 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ABSA Reaches 1 Million Mobile Banking Clients

Absa is the first South African bank to register its one millionth Cellphone Banking client, as the convenience of the mobile channel continues to drive rapid adoption among clients of South Africa’s largest retail bank.

Absa was the first South African bank to introduce Cellphone Banking services in the year 2000. Over the last few years there has been a surge in uptake, with up to 5000 new clients registering for Cellphone Banking – which carries no monthly fees – each day.

There are very few banks around the world that have reached this milestone.

“From observing the registration and usage numbers, 2009 will be the year in which Cellphone Banking develops serious traction in the market such that it is poised to overtake the number of Absa Internet Banking clients this year,” notes Christo Vrey, Managing Executive of Absa Digital Channels.

3 Big Mobile Banking Updates: Monitise, mFoundry, Mitek, Harland

"Monitise plc (MONI.L) welcomes the news that Monitise Americas, the mobile money people, and Metavante today announced the launch of text message banking services. The service will allow consumers to use text messaging to obtain any-time balance information on their accounts."

2) Mitek Makes Mobile Moves with mFoundry, RDM

Two of my "#1 in Mobile Banking" winners (mFoundry & Mitek) have teamed up. To review my listing of 2008 awards click here.

"Mitek used an iPhone to demonstrate its ImageNet product integrated with the mobile banking application from mFoundry, a provider of mobile banking and payments solutions, at the Transpay show. According to the companies, this marks the first time a check scanning/deposit capability has been integrated with a mobile banking application."

3) Harland Financial Solutions Signs 42 New Mobile Banking Professional Clients
"Harland Financial Solutions announced that it signed 42 new Cavion® Mobile Banking Professional deals since the solution was launched several months ago. The Web-based mobile banking application, which is the latest addition to Harland Financial Solutions’ Internet and business banking software offering, provides financial institutions an alternate delivery channel to offer their customers via core system integration."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Feb 22

CTIA Announces Industry Guidelines for Mobile Financial Services
"The CTIA has published “Best Practices and Guidelines for Mobile Financial Services (MFS)” - which were unanimously approved by America’s leading wireless carrier companies. According to the CTIA, 'this voluntary initiative was developed to provide consumers with a high level of safety and security for mobile banking, commerce and payments products and services.'"

Fiserv Finds Banks Interested in Offering Mobile Deposit Capture
"Fiserv has announced the results of recent market research that quantified the interest among banks and credit unions for mobile deposit capture and gauged their views on potential customer acceptance. Mobile deposit capture is an extension of remote deposit capture (RDC) that enables checks to be deposited anywhere via a mobile phone equipped with a camera to create and send an image of the check."

Nokia partnering with Qualcomm
"Nokia and Qualcomm have announced they will work together on 3G smartphone products, initially for North America. The partners aim at the remaining growth segment of the handset market."

The Mobile Wallet — Conflicting Business models and Evolution
"I just finished a report on the evolution of the mobile wallet, something we see as a key facet to the development of mobile payments. We’re finding that present market conditions and models demonstrate a lack of a business case for investment on the part of carriers to get truly capable, holistic solutions out there. This generally manifests itself in two ways…"

Not Your Father's Bank: Building Online Banking for Gen Y
"Growing up in a world immersed in digital technologies, members of Generation Y have the highest of expectations on how they want to interact with their banks online. Born at the dawn of the digital age in the early 1980s, the oldest among Generation Y have never known a world without personal computers and video games."

Aite Group ranks M-Com and Fiserv as a Top "Triple Play" provider
"Aite Group, LLC, a leading independent research and advisory firm focused on business, technology and regulatory issues and their impact on the financial services industry, has ranked M-Com, the technology behind Fiserv Mobile MoneySM, as a top "triple-play" mobile banking provider."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Feb 18

Monitise Gets Mobile Banking Grant to Expand in East Africa
"UK based Mobile Banking provider, Monitise says that it has been awarded US$1.5 million by the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) to help fund the launch of its mobile banking and payments service in East Africa."

Mitek Systems Reports Operating Results for First Quarter of Fiscal 2009
"Mitek Systems, Inc., an innovator of image analytics and mobile document capture applications, today announced financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 ended December 31, 2008."

West wakes up to banking via mobile phone

"Alastair Lukies, the co-founder and chief executive of Monitise, which has created a cross-network mobile banking platform, says that during a recession people want to have constant access to their accounts.'If you're a fund manager, do you really need to check your balance? Well, probably not,' he said. 'But many people out there do. Mobile banking is like an umbilical cord.'”

Kenya, Turkey, Japan lead mobile money trend
"'All the pieces are coming into place for mobile banking to transform the way some 1.5 billion people get banking services in emerging markets,' said Elizabeth Littlefield, head of CGAP, a policy and research center seeking to improve financial access for the world's poor. In Kenya, 5 million people have signed up in less than two years to use Safaricom's M-Pesa service, which enables people to send money to each other."

Mobile World Conference 2009

Bill Gates donates $12.5 million towards mobile banking
"The ultimate goal is to supply 20 million unbanked people with mobile financial services by 2012 in hopes of reducing theft rates, and therefore crime as a whole."

Visa will present mobile payment technology at GSMA World Congress

"Visa is expected to demonstrate Visa Mobile, its first commercial service in mobile offers that is enabled on Android powered mobile devices. Also, Visa will showcase NFC-based and SIM-based contactless payments which will enable customers to carry out mobile point of sale payments through their Visa payWave enabled mobile devices."

Sybase 365 launches SMS mobile advertising, geo-location services
"The mobile advertising service for content publishers, advertisers, carriers and consumers features dynamic, targeted, ad-funded content across SMS communication channels, with MMS to follow later this year. Enterprises can also use the mobile advertising service to promote its own offerings."

Ballmer Pushes New Microsoft Mobile OS

"So it was no surprise that the boss, Steve Ballmer, in his keynote address here at the 2009 Mobile World Congress took aim squarely at rivals Apple, Google, Research in Motion, Palm and all the other comers."

VASCO Data Security Demonstrates How to Leverage Mobile Platforms for Authentication
"VASCO Data Security International, Inc., a leading software security company specialising in authentication products, launches DIGIPASS(R) for Mobile 3.0 today at the Barcelona Mobile Conference."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Feb 15

INSIDE Contactless Working With Qualcomm to Accelerate NFC Mobile Handset Rollouts
"'This alliance is significant not only for our MicroRead NFC solution, but for NFC technology and the mobile payments market in general. We believe the availability of these reference designs will provide a significant boost to the deployment of NFC-enabled 3G handsets worldwide,' said Rémy de Tonnac, chief executive officer of INSIDE Contactless. 'We look forward to creating these reference designs with Qualcomm and contributing our expertise and ideas to further the development of the emerging NFC ecosystem.'"

Symbian Foundation recruits more supporters

"The not-for-profit organisation - which has been set up to unify Symbian, S60, UIQ and MOAP(S) software; and administer, oversee and develop the resulting Symbian mobile OS in its altered open source state - has added a further 14 voices of support to its endeavour. These include Bank of America, HP, MySpace, Qualcomm and SanDisc."

UK government throws more money at banking (this time it's mobile)

"The International Development Secretary will set out how modern technology is transforming the way banks work in the 21st century and explain that this could benefit the developing world most, with people gaining access to financial services for the first time ever."

Co-Op Financial Services unveils mobile banking, contactless card payments solutions

"CO-OP Financial Services is now offering credit unions a turnkey entry into mobile banking and contactless card payments, according to a news release. CO-OP announced its mobile banking offering in Oct. 2008, with the selection of mFoundry's financial services platform to deliver mobile banking offerings to credit unions via a downloadable client application."

Mobile Banking: Fact or Fiction?

"It doesn't take much imagination to see how mobile phones can improve the way we manage money and make payments...This leads me to my next point: Haven't we been here before? Didn't customers already tell us they are not interested in mobile banking?"

Mobile money in tough times: still a good bet for operators?

"The global economy is sliding. The OECD predicts 2009 will be the worst year for the world economy since 1974. The mobile industry is already feeling the effects. Operator revenues grew by 5% in 2008, down nearly half from 2009, and are expected to soften further to 4.5% in 2009, according to Wireless Intelligence. And this is on top of the continual slide in ARPU (average revenue per user) which emerging market operators have seen for several years, as they pick up customers who are now disproportionately lower income. What does mean for mobile financial services?"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Walmart Mobile Applications

A good friend, Mustafa Patni (formerly with WaMu now with T-Mobile), just dropped me a note that Walmart is now promoting their mobile application. Check it out >>

Mobile Banking Updates - Feb 12

Phone virus that steals money
"A virus that attacks the mobile phones in Russia and 'steals money' by sending unauthorised SMS texts to gain control over the bank
account, could spread global, experts here have warned."

FirstBank Appeals To Young, Mobile Skiiers
"Once upon a time, banks feared customers wearing ski masks. But in today's mobile phone age, at least one bank welcomes them."

Standard Chartered launches Mobile Banking in Kenya
"Standard Chartered Bank is the first bank in Kenya to introduce ‘mBanking’ on the USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) platform to the market. This new product will provide Standard Chartered Bank’s customers with access to banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – anywhere in the world, at any time- all through their mobile phone."

Prepaid Card Follow Up - Aite

"Prepaid Debit Cards: A Credible Alternative to Checking Accounts
A new report from Aite Group, LLC argues that prepaid debit cards represent a competitive threat to banks' checking account relationships. It also provides insights into how banks, prepaid debit card providers, payday lenders and other parties can take advantage of prepaid debit cards."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mobile Banking and Prepaid Cards

Keep an eye on the convergence of mobile banking and prepaid cards. This is a really hot topic right now, and could help generate some revenue until someone is able to move NFC payments forward.

M-Cube launches mobile pre-paid card system
"Prepaid card outfit M-Cube has lunched a mobile banking application for consumers using pre-paid cards in the UK and Ireland.

Subscribers to the service can carry out a range of transactions directly from their mobile phones without the need to sign into their account via a computer. The secure SMS-based application enables cardholders to activate cards, arrange account top-ups, check balances, order a mini-statement, and report lost or stolen cards. The app also includes facilities for live chat and foreign currency transfer."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Feb 8

Bank of America close to 2 million mobile banking users
"Bank of America's web-based mobile banking service is close to reaching 2 million users, up 1 million over May 2008. The number of mobile banking users represents 10 percent of the bank’s 29 million online banking users"

Barclays tightens mobile banking security

"Barclays has become the first UK high street bank to offer free security software to its mobile banking customers, in a deal with anti-malware vendor Kaspersky Lab. Customers logging into the Barclays.mobi site can download the free software, which includes anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-theft protection, by clicking on the 'Kaspersky offer' link."

Is This the Year Mobile Banking Goes Big?
"2009 is shaping up to be the year that mobile banking takes off. Again. Yes, we know you’ve heard this one before. Soon everyone will be checking their account balances and transferring funds from their cell phones. But whereas in the past the only thing banks had to show for these claims was mobile services that they’d spent millions developing, this time they’ve got a crucial asset in their favor: customers."

Smart Phone Mobile Tools Seen as Client Magnets
"Banks and aggregators say that mobile financial services, and especially tools that run on smart phones, are not just a way to improve customers' access to their accounts but also are a lure for new customers."

Branching Out: Mobile Banking Finds New Users

"You may not want to learn how much smaller your bank account has gotten. But banks are making it easier than ever for consumers to access account information on their mobile devices. Big banks are offering new services or improving existing ones that allow people to access their accounts while on the go."

Gemalto and mChek Join Forces to Serve Mobile Payment Markets in South Asia

"Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, today announced its partnership with India-based technology partner mChek, a leading provider of mobile security, banking and payment applications, to bolster the range and choice of secured mobile banking solutions available on Gemalto SIM cards to markets in South Asia."

Industry Analysis on Mobile Banking Now Available From The Mobile Marketing Association

"The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) (www.mmaglobal.com) today announced the publication of its Mobile Banking Overview; an educational resource designed to provide analysis of the unique marketing opportunities and attributes that the mobile channel represents for the financial sector."