"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, December 31, 2009

New Mobile Devices

Rumors about Apple tablet computer ramp up
"A new tablet-style computer from Apple Inc. might be the first major launch in a new class of slate-like multimedia devices that could leapfrog the laptop. With a gleaming touch screen, it might be perfect for watching movies, reading books, listening to music or surfing the Web. It might come out next summer and it might cost $800. Or it might not. Despite a growing chorus of online tablet rumors, Apple has resolutely declined to acknowledge that any such device exists."

Google's Nexus One Pricing Details and Terms of Sale Leaked
"A day after Google confirmed its Android media event next week pricing details and the terms of sale were leaked for its highly anticipated Nexus One smartphone. izmodo broke the story with Nexus One site screenshots (Click on Gizmodo image to the left to enlarge) that show the phone on sale for two prices: a subsidized T-Mobile edition for $180 or an unsubsidized version for $530."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Dec 29

Get Set to Use Mobiles for Banking
"REMEMBER when a mobile phone was just a phone? In the past few years, we've used mobiles to take photos, record videos, listen to music, surf the web and more. But from 2010, experts say we could be using our phones as pocket-sized BANKS."

Wells Fargo Hosts Mobile Monday
"On that day late in the year, mobile phone product managers sat side-by-side with the Twitter team to ask questions and respond to queries of the nearly 3,800 people who follow Wells on Twitter. The result was valuable customer research and goodwill from two-way dialogue."

Twitter co-founder takes aim at mobile payments
"Jack Dorsey revolutionized online socializing by co-founding Twitter in 2006. Now he wants to transform the way people exchange money."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Dec 28

Blackberry Users Left Helpless By Multiple Outage, Mobile Banking Comes To A Halt
"With over 55% of all mobile banking coming from smart phones (June 2009 – Yankee Group Research) and more consumers switching to Internet only banks (ING Direct, Ally). Consumers are leveraging mobile banking beyond ATM locator and balance transfer; today users are expediting bill payments and domestic remittances. Mobile devices such as the Blackberry and iPhone are leading the way for mobile banking."

Musings about Mobile Payments 2009 - Glenbrook Research Brief
"For the last several months, Glenbrook’s Carol Coye Benson has been interviewing a number of companies involved in mobile payments in the U.S. and Canada. You’ll find all of the analyses she’s written following those interviews on PaymentsViews.com. The companies included are Billing Revolution, Blaze Mobile, Bling Nation, Boku, CashEdge, First Data Corp., mFoundry, mPayy, Obopay, Payfone, Zong, and Zoompass."

AliPay Gears Up in Mobile Payment Field
"The daily transaction value of Alipay.com Co., Ltd. (AliPay) lately surpassed CNY 1.2 billion. After setting foot in the online payment field, AliPay President Polo Shao is leading his company heading toward the mobile payment market, seizing the highland of mobile Internet."

Blaze Mobile adds Tetherball’s loyalty system to the Blaze Wallet
"Blaze Mobile and Tetherball are to provide US consumers with the ability to both redeem mobile rewards and coupons and make purchases using their mobile phone.

Blaze Wallet users already have the option of using a Blaze Mobile Prepaid MasterCard PayPass sticker to make payments using their phone at the point-of-sale. Now they will be able to use the same sticker to both make payments and receive/redeem offers from retailers such as Dairy Queen that are already using Tetherball's contactless mobile marketing solution."

Wendy’s Debuts Mobile Coupons
"Wendy's International is taking its first steps into the world of mobile coupons with help from partner Options Media Group Holdings, a services provider for on-demand e-mail marketing, Brandweek reported.

Through the new campaign, customers in the Northeast can opt in for mobile coupons and ads, which arrive via text message, in return for discounts at select Wendy's locations."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Dec 21

USAA Thwarts Mobile App Fraud
"USAA recently stopped a software developer from selling an imposter USAA application designed for use with Google's new Android phone. The developer had posted it for sale within Google's Android Marketplace, but USAA took immediate action and had the application removed."

GETTING PERSONAL CANADA: Carry Your Bank In Your Pocket
"While mobile banking took some time to become established in the Canadian market, mobile-payment services are expanding faster than waistlines at Thanksgiving.

Mobile payments - using your cell phone to pay bills, purchase merchandise, check your bank balance, and transfer money through an embedded chip - is growing five to 10 times as quickly as Internet usage spread throughout Canada in the late 1990s, according to Richard Crone, a California-based payment-services consultant."

First Two Banks Go Live with CashEdge's POPmoney(TM) Person-to-Person Payments Service
"CashEdge, Inc. (www.cashedge.com), the leading provider of Intelligent Money Movement(TM) services, announced today that two top U.S. banks are the first in the nation to launch POPmoney(TM), its groundbreaking new email and mobile person-to-person (P2P) payments service offered through banks. Five additional financial institutions have signed on to launch the service in early 2010, demonstrating strong momentum for the innovative new P2P payments service."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Dec 18

M-Commerce World Summit 2010
"M-Commerce World Summit 2010 will draw together highly-regarded speakers representing the mobile network operators, banks, money transfer providers, mobile transfer networks, mWallets and ‘interoperability hubs’, handset manufacturers, technology and equipment providers will be invited to share their latest efforts in launching mobile financial services and the key challenges facing them at M-Commerce World Summit 2010."

eCommLink, CPNI Partner for Mobile Prepaid Debit Solutions
"CPNI and eCommLink have announced they will be partnering to offer CPNI’s mobile solutions to the prepaid debit card industry. The companies say they will jointly market to eCommLink’s existing program manager and financial institution customers - effectively 'mobilizing card programs already in place.'"

Free Mobile Payments with the mPayy Android App
"mPayy's Android app uses the API services available from the mPayy application in order to bring a complete mPayy experience directly to the deck on your Android phone. The mPayy Android application enables users to make and receive payments, track activity, and withdraw funds from their mPayy accounts to linked bank accounts. Small business account holders are also able to issue refunds for any sale through the application, even if it occurred on their website."

Monitise on a roll with new partnerships
"Monitise, the provider of mobile banking and payments technology solutions, says it is on track for full-year revenue expectations on the back of record consumer growth. The group has also announced two new partnerships and 15.8m of additional funding, partly aimed at extending mobile banking into the retail sector. Revenue is expected to exceed 1.7m for the half-year to 31 December, an increase of at least 55% on last year's 1.1m."

Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union Selects Firethorn for Mobile Banking Services
"Firethorn Holdings, LLC, a Qualcomm company, today announced that Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU) has selected Firethorn's mobile banking services for its more than 365,000 members. PSECU has more than $3 billion in credit union assets.

'PSECU maintains a branchless business model so expanding into the mobile environment gives PSECU a new avenue to provide innovative and convenient services,' said Dave Vigil, senior vice president of Firethorn. 'We look forward to helping PSECU grow and evolve its mobile strategy to better serve its members.'"

ClairMail Receives 2009 Market Penetration Leadership Award in Mobile Banking From Frost & Sullivan
"ClairMail, Inc., the leader in mobile banking and payment solutions, today announced that it was awarded the 2009 North American Market Penetration Leadership Award in Mobile Banking from global research organization, Frost & Sullivan. Recently named by Bank Technology News as a Leading Mobile Banking Innovator for 2009, ClairMail continues to distinguish itself as a leader in the financial services industry with this prestigious honor."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bankinter is first Spanish bank to develop application using augmented reality

Bankinter is first Spanish bank to develop application using augmented reality

- Augmented reality adds contextual, real-time information to physical information captured by mobile devices.
- Bankinter currently has two layers of information: one with office and ATM information, and the other with available real estate properties.

15/12/2009. Bankinter is the first financial institution in Spain to develop an augmented reality application for mobile handsets.

Augmented reality allows a series of mobile devices to add contextual information to the physical image captured by handsets in real time. In order to access Bankinter applications, customers must download Layar, a free Augmented Reality browser available for Android and iPhone 3G devices which shows additional information on top of the images captured by handsets’ camaras. In this sense, Bankinter, thanks to Spanish developer Signo, Ingeneria del territorio, is the first Spanish financial institution to have built a layer within Layar.

The Layar application, downloadable free of charge from the Android market and AppStore, utilizes camara, GPS, compass and movement sensors of these specific handsets to capture real images and locate users’ specific location and orientation with regards to direction they are facing. The handset’s camera captures a users’ surrounding and reproduces the image on the screen, as the browser superimposes value-added information on the screen, to show both image and information.

With this application, any person can download active Bankinter layers within Layar and use the information available with the browser to locate offices and ATM’s. In this sense, depending on a customer’s situation and orientation (detected by the handset), a user is offered information about the nearest offices and ATM’s including directions on how to get there, characteristics such as handicap access and office hours, and distance to nearest offices or ATMs.

Bankinter also has a second layer with residential and commercial properties currently for sale. With this, users can focus their cameras on a specific building where there is a property for sale and the Augmented reality browser will superimpose information within the image which includes a wide variety of information including: price, size, pictures, property characteristics, etc.

This application, the first in Spain offered by a financial institution, is a step forward in developing value-added services through mobile handsets and mobile technology which the bank has been implementing for customers, in addition to traditional m-banking and m-brokerage services, or 3G Internet service offered by Bankinter since the beginning of this year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Dec 15

SK Telecom To Buy 49% Of Hana Card Stake For KRW400B
"SK Telecom Co. (SKM), South Korea's largest mobile phone carrier by revenue, said Monday that its board has approved a plan to buy a 49% stake in a credit card unit of Hana Financial Group (086790.SE), potentially giving the two companies a leg up in the highly saturated credit card and telecommunications markets"

Luup launches mobile banking solution
"Luup International, a leading provider of mobile payments solutions, has launched its mobile salary disbursement solution in the Mena region. The solution is specifically tailored to assist corporate businesses affected by the regulation meet their ever growing needs when disbursing salaries to their unbanked workforce. By deploying the mobile payments platform employers can provide unbanked employees with an account accessed through their mobile phone, called a ‘stored value account’, into which salaries can be paid electronically."

mFoundry Captures Top Spot in Bank Technology News Ranking of the Top 10 Companies & Technologies of 2009
"Mobile financial services leader mFoundry announced today that it was selected by Bank Technology News (BTN) as the leading company in its 8th Annual Innovator Awards ranking. Each year the awards, which this year were announced in December, rank the companies and individuals that the publication deems most innovative. This marks the third consecutive year that mFoundry has been named to BTN’s prestigious list."

First branchless bank starts pilot testing
"The BPI Globe Savings Bank (BanKo) is presently pilot testing retail microlending using mobile money technology (MMT) in an undisclosed area. BanKo is a thrift bank that will specialize in microfinance and branchless banking using mobile teachnology. It is co-owned by the Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI), Globe Telecommunications Inc. and Ayala Corp."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Dec 13

hyperWALLET Adds 10th Language to Global Payments Platform
"hyperWALLET Systems, a leading provider of global payment solutions, today announced the addition of Japanese and Malay language support to its global payments platform, web and mobile payment solutions. These two new languages bring the supported total to ten, providing additional linguistic options for organizations that wish to offer localized payment services to customers across international markets."

Key Mobile Banking
"Key's Mobile Banking is a fast, convenient, and secure way to access your KeyBank accounts anytime, anywhere, using your iPhone® or BlackBerry® smartphone."

Carol Realini’s thoughts on the Obopay iPhone app launch
"1) Why did Obopay choose to launch an iPhone application?
Obopay loves smart phones – since they are such great platforms to deliver a rich, colorful experience. We have been a long time supporter of BlackBerry, and now with this release we add a state-of-the-art iPhone application. "

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mobile Banking Updates - Dec 9

Exponential growth in US mobile banking activities reported
"The report refers to the comparison between two consumer research assignments conducted in May 2008 and June 2009. With two report one year apart, it is possible to draw some conclusions on changes in behaviour. The report concludes (amongst others) "exponential growth seen among the younger generations" in using their mobile for banking and also payments."

Obopay Turns Mobile Phones into Banks
"Computer scientist Carol Realini was planning to take early retirement after Chordiant Software (CHRD), a customer-relationship management software company she chaired, went public in 2000. Relishing her newfound freedom, Realini went on a social-action mission to Africa. The experience was eye opening, to say the least: In the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), she saw people haul sacks of devalued currency to local vendors to buy scratch cards that would provide a few minutes' calling time on their mobile phones."

World Economic Forum honors Obopay as 2010 Technology Pioneer!
"Obopay is one of 26 companies from around the world to be honored with this prestigious award. In addition, Obopay is one of only 11 companies in the Information Technologies, Telecommunications and New Media category and is the only financial services provider receiving the award."

USAA Cited for Pioneering Mobile Banking Applications
"American Banker, the leading information resource serving the banking and financial services community, has named USAA CEO Joe Robles as its 2009 "Innovator of the Year." The announcement was made today in the publication's 2009 Banker of the Year Awards issue. While many technological innovations come from India, China or Silicon Valley, this year's top banking innovation was created in a lab in San Antonio."

ClairMail Partners With Mitek Systems to Deliver Integrated Mobile Deposit Capability for Bank Customers
"ClairMail, Inc., the leader in mobile banking and payment solutions, today announced a strategic partnership with Mitek Systems, Inc. (OTCBB: MITK), an innovator of image analytics and mobile document capture applications. ClairMail will integrate Mitek's Mobile Deposit® application into its own mobile banking and payments platform, which powers the mobile banking services of many of the nation's top financial institutions. With Mobile Deposit incorporated into the ClairMail platform, financial institutions will have the ability to provide consumers faster availability to funds and an extra level of convenience."

Citi's Mobile Picture to Get Sharper
"After years of evaluating a wide range of mobile banking applications separately, Citigroup Inc. is starting to link the pieces together. Citi has teamed up with at least five technology partners to figure out what banking services people really want to access with their mobile phones, and how to make it happen. Marylou Dowd, a senior vice president with Citi Mobile, said the massive company's separate divisions have been operating on their own, forging their own vendor relationships to develop different mobile tools. But in recent months Citi has tried to consolidate its efforts, culminating this summer in a reorganization of its Internet and mobile groups."

Shopping by Mobile Phone Picks Up on Black Friday
"This year may go down as the period that shopping by mobile phone during the holidays came into its own. Black Friday saw greater use of mobile phones by consumers to zero in on and make purchases, industry data reviewed by Dow Jones show. From a very small base last year, mobile online payments through PayPal surged nearly 650%."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mobile Congress 2009 Recap

I'd like to take a minute to thank Simon Conyers and Arena International for hosting Mobile Financial Services Congress 2009. The speakers were top-notch, the agenda was focused, and the location (Biltmore Hotel - Miami) was first class.

Everyone I met raved about the open dialogue with the speakers and the relationships they forged during the week. It was unique in that attendance exceeded expectations; yet, the venue was intimate enough to provide ample opportunities for meeting and speaking with other mobile professionals.

Here are a just a few nuggets of information that caught my attention:

* Robert Mark (ANZ) - 40% of ANZ's mobile banking users are "off-line" clients and mobile banking users are half as likely to churn

* Jeff Dennes (USAA) - USAA is witnessing over 1 million mobile banking contacts every week

* Armin Ajami (Wells Fargo) - Wells Fargo allows their clients to enroll for text banking through their mobile banking application. A simple...yet brilliant piece of functionality I have not seen to date.

* Juli Anne Callis (NIH FCU) - Juli Anne shared a great marketing campaign designed around the idea that customers should use mobile banking because they're "Too busy to waste time, and too smart to waste money."

* Doug Peacock (M&I) - Shared that 25% of their mobile clients use the product more than 10 times per month

* Andres Fontao (Bankiter) - 73% of the banks clients actively use SMS banking and 38% use mobile banking

* Ginger Schmeltzer (SunTrust) - Mobile banking clients are 27% more profitable than regular online bankers

And these notes are just a fraction of the 21 pages I brought home to absorb. If you weren't able to attend this year...be sure to pencil this one in for 2010.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Consumers Ready to use Mobile Phone as Wallet

I'm in the airport traveling to the Mobile Financial Services Congress and just learned about this new report from Firethorn. Visit this link to learn more about the research: http://www.firethornmobile.com/research