"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, March 30, 2009

Not all “Banksters,” Huntington Exec Shows by Orla O'Sullivan

"In banking’s darkest hour bankers on the far side of The Pond have collectively been tarnished with the derisory term “bankster”. By running a marathon for a children’s’ cancer charity, Brandon McGee, a vice president with Huntington Bancshares, is doing his bit to redress the image of bankers and the oppressive negativity that prevails." Continue Reading >>

Please, I know times are tough but any donation you can make will be going to help a child. $10, $5 or even a $1. Click to Make a Donation to the St. Jude Children

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Mar 29

Mobile TopUp: The Gateway to Mobile Payments and Remittance
"he mobile world can be divided in two groups, those who pay for their mobile service via a bill after usage (post-paid) and those who pay up front (prepaid). Depending on where you are in the world, the importance of prepaid mobile is either very well known, or perhaps a big surprise. Nearly 70% of the world’s mobile subscriptions are prepaid; however, the uptake varies greatly. For example, in Africa 97% of subscriptions are prepaid, while in the US and Canada, prepaid makes up a mere 13% of subscriptions."

U.S. mobile banking market set for take-off
"Technology companies like Sybase (SY.N) and VeriSign (VRSN.O) are looking to tap robust growth in the nascent U.S. mobile banking market as text message use rises and banks aggressively explore ways to save. Mobile banking services typically allow users to make payments, check balances, transfer money between accounts and generate statements of recent transactions on their handsets."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Net.Finance 2009

Just a reminder - there are a few tickets left for Net.Finance 2009 at the JW Marriott in Las Vegas April 20-23.

"It’s an unprecedented time for the banking industry. Yet this is the most opportune time to assess your product offerings and truly listen to what your customers needs:

* How are you maintaining and defending your online budget in today’s tough economy?
* Are you sending the right message to your customers to drive loyalty? Where are you focusing your best marketing efforts in improving the online customer experience?
* Are you gearing up for the next banking channel – Mobile?"

Mobile Banking Updates - Mar 26

Nokia invests in mobile money firm Obopay
"The world's top cellphone maker Nokia (NOK1V.HE) has bought a minority stake in Obopay, enabling the U.S. mobile money firm to extend its product offering and geographical presence.'This investment reflects our belief in the global potential for mobile payments,' Teppo Paavola, head of Corporate Business Development at Nokia, said in a statement. The size of the investment was not disclosed."

MasterCard outlines mobile strategy
"The last piece of the mobile contactless payments puzzle in the U.S. is the commercial roll-out of NFC-enabled handsets from major OEMs and carriers, according to MasterCard. MasterCard Worldwide announced the issuance of the 50 millionth MasterCard PayPass card or mobile device, as of the fourth quarter 2008, which in the last year more than doubles the number of cards and devices in circulation worldwide."

HSBC adds mobile banking to outsourced payments platform
"Under the deal, HSBC's MPS (Managed Payments Service) - which brings together transactional banking, multi-bank connectivity and full data integration in an outsourced proposition - will now incorporate Petra Financial's Touchstone Mobile Banking software as an additional feature."

EPL and TRG Mobilearth team on m-banking offering
"Their approach to mobile banking is easy-to-use, cost effective and flexible. In addition, their culture and commitment to service strongly aligns with our own. We are excited to team up with Mobilearth to offer this emerging important member service."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mobile 2.0 - iPhone Edition by NetBanker

In case you missed the announcement last week NetBanker published a new report called "Mobile 2.0 - iPhone Edition."

"Online Banking Report announces an in-depth new research report analyzing the opportunities in the new mobile application markets: Apple’s App Store, Google’s Android Market, and RIM’s Blackberry App World. The report details how any bank, credit union or other financial services company can create a downloadable mobile app to garner buzz and create stronger customer relationships...The report outlines 33 potential features that financial institutions could include in a smartphone application, with recommendations for every budget size. Also included is a mobile banking overview and forecast, a review of the business case, recommendations for leveraging the iPhone buzz, and an examination of legal issues provided by guest columnists from the law firm of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel." Learn More >>

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Mar 22nd

Monitise, Carphone sign mobile banking software deal
"British mobile banking technology firm Monitise Plc and mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse formed an alliance to provide Monitise's mobile money software on handsets, the companies said on Thursday. No financial details were given. The alliance also covered a wide variety of initiatives including 'in store' and 'online' promotions and incentives for consumers to get linked up to their money 24/7, Monitise, which counts HSBC, NatWest and Alliance & Leicester among its customers"

Monitise plc: Monitise India Now Open For Business; Monitise To Launch Mobile Money Platform in India
"Monitise has announced the formation of MonitiseIndia, a new organisation that will deliver a multi-bank, multi-operator mobile money platform for India. The company will bring together a consortium of investors from across the financial services and mobile technology market. ICICI Bank, India's second largest bank, has expressed its intent to participate and invest in Monitise India, subject to the appropriate approvals."

Fundamo: MTN chooses Fundamo for the largest global roll-out of mobile wallet capabilities
"Fundamo, the world's largest specialist mobile financial services provider, today announced that leading African operator the MTN Group has chosen Fundamo's Mobile Wallet solution to power its "MTN MobileMoney" service, which will be available to a subscriber base of over 80 million users across 21 countries in Africa."

Juniper Research: Mobile coupons to increase by 30% during the next two years
"The research company identified two key drivers for the mobile coupons - on one side shoppers need to make economies in their spending, while on the other, merchants are keen to make sales in tough economic times. In that sense, both parties are attracted to the idea as they can be targeted at specific groups of customers and can be matched against particular interests and purchasing patterns."

Clickatell SMS receipts offer better security for mobile banking
"Bulk SMS provider Clickatell uses text messaging to help prevent fraud and identity theft for mobile banking. Clickatell SMS Receipts use text messages to notify users whenever one of their accounts is used for a transaction. The customer can then either verify or cancel that transaction. This service allows customers to cancel transactions at the point where they occur. As such, it prevents fraud from either on-line identity theft or from actual physical theft of wallets, cards and checkbooks."

Deutsche Bank bringing mobile payments to 80 countries
"Deutsche Bank’s Global Transaction Banking (GTB) unit recently announced an introduction of mobile phone payments service to its clients in 80 countries across Europe, Middle East and Asia. Europe-based mobile payment provider, Luup, is selected to be the bank’s “partner in crime” and the two companies will enable consumers to securely transfer money from any mobile device with any mobile network."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bankers for St. Jude

Day after day we are overwhelmed with the realities of jobs being cut, homes being lost and businesses shutting down. The news bombards us from every direction including television, radio, newspaper, internet and even at the dinner table with loved ones. Yet, I caution you not to dwell on the negative, because the news is so toxic that it can begin to poison your spirit.

That’s why I’ve decided not to wait patiently for better times. I believe that 2009 doesn’t have to be a year that we simply survive. To the contrary, I believe this year can be one of the most positive and rewarding years of our lives…if we step-up to the challenge.

This year I have set a goal to raise $10,000 for the St. Jude Children’s Hospital by completing my first marathon – the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

But, I can’t do it alone. I need your help! If you’re up to the challenge I’d like for you to join the “Bankers for St. Jude” team and run by my side on October 11, 2009. Now, I know a marathon sounds daunting, but here’s a list of just a few celebrities that have successfully completed a marathon:
• Will Ferrell (Time = 3:56:12)
• Oprah Winfrey (Time = 4:29:20)
• P. Diddy (Time = 4:14:54)

As President Obama said in his inaugural address, “there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.”

Key facts:
Cost to register for the marathon = $125
Training = Nike 17-week training program (Click Here)

If you would like to learn more about the Chicago Marathon, training, or St. Jude please check out the links below. However, even if you don’t decide to join the team, let me ask just one favor – please make a donation for the kids.

Join the "Bankers for St. Jude" Team

Make a Donation

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Learn More (Marathon/St. Jude)

Runner's World Marathon Training Tips

Celebrity Marathoners

The Non-Runners Marathon Trainer (Book)

Mobile Banking Updates - Mar 15

Southwest National Bank launches mobile banking service
"Trish Minard said Southwest National Bank doesn't try to be on the leading edge of technology and banking. But the $343 million bank has found itself in that spot after launching a mobile banking service, which allows customers to use Internet-capable mobile phones to access their bank accounts, view checks and transfer money between accounts."

Contactless m-commerce fails to take off
"The development of contactless mobile payments has failed to live up to expectations and the technology will account for just a fraction of the value of commerce transacted over cell phones this year, according to data from ABI Research."

Mobile banking is business in the US
"In a recent report published by Synergistics some startling findings about the take-up of mobile banking for Small Businesses are made. (Read more here). While the size of the sample and the research methodology can probably have an impact in the interpretation of the results, this is a massive endorsement for mobile banking."

The Battle of Mobile Software Apps
"Imagine if makers of, say, vacuum cleaners needed to design different models for different stores. One for Wal-Mart, another for Target, another for Tesco, and yet another for Carrefour. That's a bit what it's like to be in the business of writing programs for mobile phones."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - March 11

Nokia Unveils Ovi Store, Application Sales To Debut In May
"At the Mobile Word Congress in Barcelona, Nokia has unveiled its initiative to try and repeat the runaway succes of Apple’s App Store with its own mobile storefront dubbed Ovi Store. This was an expected move as the rumors about the Finnish mobile juggernaut’s mobile applications store already spread last week; they were late confirmed to Reuters by industry sources."

BlackBerry maker to open new online store
"The store's Web site, poised to rival Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)'s AppStore, is called BlackBerry App World. It replaces the company's previous online store, App Center, National Business Review reported Friday. The Web site promises a convenient location for BlackBerry owners to download 'games, social networks, personal productivity applications and so much more.'"

Sybase unveils SMS services for mobile location and advertising
"Sybase has announced two new mobile services based on SMS messaging, one for phone users to get turn-by-turn directions, another for vendors to insert ads or promotions at the bottom of the message blocks. Both offerings are based on the SMS platform of the company’s Sybase 365 subsidiary, which processes yearly over 2 billion SMS and MMS messages that pass between subscribers on different mobile carriers."

Orange and Barclaycard will launch mobile payment services
"Orange, currently the world’s ninth largest mobile carrier, today announced a strategic partnership with Barclaycard, the global credit provider owned by Barclays plc. The two companies will launch a series of mobile financial services in the UK, with the final purpose of 'revolutionizing the way people pay on the high street and web.'"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Huntington Text Banking

You may have seen that Huntington officially announced the launch of text banking on Friday ...

Huntington Introduces Text Banking for Customers
"Whether on the go, on the run, or on the phone, Huntington customers can now stay on top of their finances with Huntington Text Banking, a new banking service recently unveiled. Huntington Text Banking is a secure, convenient and easy way for Huntington customers to access their bank accounts anytime, anywhere, using a cell phone or mobile device." Read more >>

But, you probably have not seen this...

I was able to reach my source within the bank and learned that their mobile banking and text banking products are posting huge adoption numbers.

For instance, their mobile banking product was launched on June 30th 2008 and within just 30 days they surpassed 9,784 unique users. Additionally, he went onto share that during the first month the users were interacting with the service as follows:
* 2.75 Balance Requests
* 2.03 History Requests
* 0.27 Branch/ATM Location Inquiries
* 0.14 Transfers
* 0.05 Bill Payments
5.24 Interactions/Client

Comparatively, their text banking product launched on January 29th 2009 and has achieved 17,118 unique users in just 30 days with the following interactions:
* 5.30 Balance Requests
* 0.50 History Requests
* 0.40 Service Requests (NICK=nicknames, COM=commands, HELP=support)
6.20 Interactions/Client

Near the end of the discussion he said, "I'm proud of what Huntington has accomplished. We're the 25th largest bank in the country, but we continue to provide our clients with services that are typically only available at the largest FI's. I suppose that's why Keynote recently ranked Huntington as the #6 online banking provider (unofficially #5 since Wachovia has been acquired by Wells)."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Mar 4

Mobile Payments Gear Up
"According to a recent research study by SYNERGISTICS RESEARCH CORP. entitled, Mobile Payments – The Consumer Perspective, it was found that almost one-fifth (18%) of Internet households report that they have done some type of mobile payment, including online bill payment, transfers or payments to individuals, online loan payments, and online purchases."

Mobile Transaction Security Still a Concern
"A report by ABI Research shows that consumers’ concerns over the security of mobile transactions were not appeased in 2008. The U.S. Mobile Phone Purchases Trends report compared two surveys taken at the end of 2007 and 2008, each of which sampled more than 1,000 U.S. mobile phone users aged 14–59."

IPhone Users Download Five Apps Each, Use Web Most
"Smartphone users around the world generally download about five software applications each, even iPhone users, according to market researcher InStat."

dotMobi Allocates First Two-Character Mobile Domain to Fifth Third Bank
"dotMobi, the company behind .mobi - the only Internet address created specifically for locating content that works on all mobile phones - today announced the allocation of the first two-character mobile Internet domain to Fifth Third Bank: http://53.mobi."

Visa in Hot Water Over SMS Alert Service
"Sounds as though Visa has encountered a little bit of trouble today. Word is they’re being sued by a small US business for infringing a patent which covers the use of SMS messages used to alert spenders of transactions."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Citi Launches mFoundry iPhone App

I just discovered that Citi has launch an iPhone Mobile Banking application designed by mFoundry.

Mobile Banking Updates - Mar 1

As I gathered these articles this evening it occured to me...we have not seen any recent papers or "research" questioning the growth or relevance of mobile banking.

Mobile Banking Poised for Takeoff
"You've probably heard it before – mobile banking is the next big thing. It's about to take off. But this time, analysts say it's poised to happen, and the numbers seem to back that up. "This is the big year in terms of percentage growth ... This is the killer app," says Mark Beccue, senior analyst in consumer mobility with technology research firm ABI Research."

Mobile Banking Zooming Ahead
"If anyone has any doubt that mobile banking is growing, all they have to do is look at US mobile numbers from ABI Research showing that the number of users jumped from 400,000 in 2007 to 3.1 million last year."

More banks signing on to mobile
"With new services that let cus tomers manage their finances via a mobile phone, last week Com merce Bank joined a growing number of other institutions such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America and HSBC already offering mobile banking services. As a result, the mobile phone is beginning to have more in com mon with the ATM."