"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" 

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Jan 31

Bank Account Fraud? There's an App for That
"Mobile banking once entailed little beyond the ability to receive a text message with your account balance. But these days, it’s finally starting to live up to its name. Virtually every large bank and many regional banks and credit unions have rolled out applications that allow their clients to use a mobile phone for fund transfers, bill payments and even depositing checks.

But with the increasing popularity and convenience of mobile-banking apps comes a big caveat: the risk of downloading and installing a fraudulent application that could draw your account information and, potentially, any other data stored on your mobile device. In other words, the next generation of “phishing” scams is about to explode – and it has the potential to do much more damage than earlier versions."

5 Burning Questions: Bling Nation's Meyer Malka
"Meyer Malka sits down in the Briefing Room Hot Seat to answer five burning questions about the mobile platform wars and to reveal "what's next" for BlingNation."

Is Mobile Banking Safe? Redefining Mobile Security through App Verification
"I was told with optimism recently that there is an upswing expected in the use of mobile banking services in the year ahead for key markets within the US and EU. The trouble is however, this growth is hinged on one MAJOR hurdle which is security.

Just the other week for example, news spread from media sources like USAToday.com confirmed that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) removed more than 50 mobile banking apps from its Android Market. These apps were just a few of the growing number of phishing apps that hackers are releasing into the financial services sector of mobile banking. The questions on the minds of many is, 'How could this happen and is my mobile banking app safe?'”

Active Blaze Mobile Users Access Digital Wallet a Staggering 9 Times Daily
"Blaze Mobile, a leading application for mobile banking, today announced that active Blaze Mobile Wallet users access their digital wallet an average of nine times each day and over 50% of the active users viewing their account balance and receipts. With consistent continued increase in Blaze Wallet downloads over the past year, the active access rate has continued with strong retention and usage rates. With access to over 8,000 financial institutions, Blaze Mobile offers convenience to customers who maintain multiple bank accounts and need access to review bank balances and view transaction history on the go."

The 30s crowd, not 20s, more digitally savvy about finances
"Wells Fargo recently surveyed 1,000 online banking customers and discovered that it's the 30-somethings who are more likely to use an online bank Web site, mobile banking and other Internet-related tools to manage their finances.

The 30-something folks are also using social networking, advanced photo and film technologies, and career networking sites more often than other respondents. With a lot of surveys showing how tech-savvy the younger generation is, it may seem surprising that it was not those from Gen Y but Gen Xers who are actually more hip to the use of online tools to manage their money. "

Versatile mobile to replace credit cards
"International IT company GFT Technologies AG (GFT) is developing future-orientated solutions for online payments. As payment with a mobile phone is increasingly becoming an alternative to the classic credit or debit cards, bank customers now have a wide range of payment options from which to choose. 'The mobile phone is the credit card of the future,' says GFT CEO, Ulrich Dietz. There has been a distinct rise in the use of mobile phones to make payments and take money out at cash machines, as well as to carry out banking transactions."

ClairMail Expands Optimized Mobile Web Support to Android and BlackBerry Devices
"ClairMail, Inc., the leader in mobile banking and payment solutions, today announced an update to the ClairMail mobile banking platform that extends its highly optimized mobile Web experience to Android and BlackBerry devices.
Based on its market leading SmartRendering technology, the ClairMail platform now supports a highly device-optimized version of the ClairMail mobile Web experience for BlackBerry and Android-based phones, such as the Curve™, Storm™, Pearl™, Motorola DROID and Google's Nexus One, with plans to support other devices as they are introduced to market. ClairMail has long provided the industry's leading mobile Web banking functionality on several hundred handsets, including the iPhone, with its proprietary device detection technology that delivers the best possible user experience based on each device's specific capability."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Online Banking Report Available: Ten-Year Online & Mobile Banking Forecast and 2009 Recap

"The report includes our latest 10-year online banking and bill pay forecast. For the third year in a row, the forecast was bumped up a few percentage points to reflect a more robust outlook for adoption, thanks primarily to mobile banking. For example, we now project 73 million U.S. households banking and/or paying bills by online or via mobile in 2013 (note 1).

The report also includes a revised 10-year forecast for U.S. peer-to-peer lending. After experiencing a 30% decline in 2009, we expect healthy growth next year with a record amount of loan originations." >> Learn More

Sunday, January 24, 2010

USAA Launches Android Application

"The free Android app is loaded with helpful tools to keep you connected and in control of your finances — from wherever you are. Besides immediate and secure access to your accounts, our versatile app features a convenient ATM locator that guides you to fast cash and a loan calculator that helps you estimate monthly payments when shopping for a new home or car." >> Learn More

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hillary Clinton Promotes the Use of Mobile Banking

"'Our ability to bank online, use electronic commerce and safeguard billions of dollars in intellectual property are all at stake if we cannot rely on the security of information networks,' she said.

Referring to social and economic development, Clinton said the Internet can serve as a 'great equalizer.'

By providing people with access to knowledge and potential markets, networks can create opportunity where none exist.

'Over the last year, I've seen this first hand in Kenya, where farmers have seen their income grow by as much as 30 percent since they started using mobile banking technology,' Clinton said." >> Continue Reading

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Jan 20

Haiti Earthquake Puts Mobile Payments in the Spotlight
"While a disaster of massive proportions, the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti nevertheless is boosting online giving and mobile payments in particular as U.S. donors seek the fastest way of putting their donations to work in the stricken country. As of 9 a.m. Eastern time Monday, more than 2 million donors had given $21 million in $10 increments to the American Red Cross’s Haitian earthquake-relief effort, according to Tony Aiello, chief executive of mGive, the technology platform of Mobile Accord Inc. Founded in 2005, Denver-based Mobile Accord works with 200 non-profit groups to raise funds via mobile devices."

Discover: Contactless Payment Sticker Users Inadvertently Crippling Performance
"In a cruel twist of fate, hapless contactless payment supporters (a dying breed if ever there was one) were swiped by some more bad news this week, courtesy of a new report from Discover Financial Services. It seems that in a trial of its Zip contactless payment program, most consumers tried to hide the stickers inside their phones, a move that unintentionally cripples performance."

BBVA Bancomer Aims For 500,000 New Mobile Banking Users
"Mexico's largest bank, BBVA Bancomer, said Monday that it aims to sign up half a million clients for its new mobile banking service during the first year of operations. In a press release, BBVA Bancomer said its Bancomer Movil service allows users to check their account balances, transfer money between accounts, and pay for goods purchased at retailers affiliated with the Nipper mobile payment system. "

FNBO Direct Launches CashEdge's POPmoney -- the First Email and Mobile Person-to-Person Payments Service for Banks
"CashEdge, Inc. (www.cashedge.com), the leading provider of Intelligent Money Movement™ services, announced today that FNBO Direct, a division of First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO), has launched CashEdge's person-to-person (P2P) payments service, POPmoney, to its customers. FNBO Direct began offering POPmoney on January 18 through its site www.fnbodirect.com."

Where is the Next-Generation Wallet?
"In the United States and around the world, financial institutions and non-banks are considering how and to what extent they should incorporate mobile financial services into their business models. With worldwide mobile subscriber penetration rates surpassing 50 percent in 2008, these decisions take on an even greater importance for competitive institutions. The evolutionary path plotted by mobile banking and mobile payments can be very different, depending on a variety of factors, including a market's level of banking sophistication, available technologies and experience with antecedent products, services or technologies."

70% of smart phone owners use mobile financial services
"Data Innovation today announced the findings from its first Mobile Money Study, a mobile survey of 246 smart phone users conducted December 2009. Data Innovation, a market research firm specializing in the wireless industry, conducts primary research with an exclusively mobile panel. The study found that nearly 70% of respondents had used at least one mobile banking and/or payment service in the past three months."

“Txt Ur Bank”: How Banks Are Incorporating SMS into Mobile Banking
As anyone walking through a crowd of high school student might notice, texting is one of the most popular forms of communication among young people. It makes sense; it’s a quick and easy way to keep in touch, not to mention easier to send in class than traditional note passing. However, as these teens become financially independent, banks are looking for a way to tap into their favorite mode of communication in order to attract this population of new customers."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Jan 18

Colorado Banks Donate Percentage of Transactions to The Salvation Army
"As the world mobilizes to aid the victims of Jan. 12th 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, two community banks in Colorado are helping consumers turn day-to-day transactions into donations. The State Bank and Park State Bank & Trust are teaming with mobile payments provider, Bling Nation, to contribute one percent of all mobile transactions to The Salvation Army, one of the highest rated charities on CharityNavigator.org."

Mobile Transfers Taking Aim at Cash Payments
"'Dialing for dollars' could take on new meaning this year. At least four mobile transfer systems are set to go live in the next few months, enabling people to send one another cash with their phones. Though the idea has been kicking around for years, bankers say the convergence of two technological advances makes these systems much easier to use, and could turn the phone into an electronic cash replacement. Some executives predict people will be willing to pay for mobile transfers, providing a valuable new source of fee income."

Near field communications vs. the web
"Is the near field communications movement set to really take off anytime soon? There have been many piecemeal steps toward such services, a lot of pilot programs and intermediate moves, such as adhesive strips for mobile phones and cards. One recent report states that 'during 2010, leading mobile network operators, banks, retailers, transport operators and others will be seeking to finalize their NFC business plans ready to launch commercial services in a number of countries from as early as January 2011.'"

Mobile Banking and Payments Feed Customer Experience Lab
"The recurring headlines touting mobile banking and more recently, mobile payments, reinforce my opinion that technology-based innovation in financial services is often ahead of the business-based needs the technology solutions address. Mobile banking over the past 10 years has been a poster child for this phenomenon."

Banks and mobile operators to go head to head for NFC mobile payments business
"Banks and mobile network operators are set to go head to head in a bid to control the market for NFC mobile payments services, according to a new research report published today.

'NFC mobile phones will be used to replace everything from credit cards and loyalty cards to bus and train tickets, library cards, door keys and even cash,' says Sarah Clark, editor of NFCW and author of the new report. 'What hasn't yet been decided, however, is who will win the battle to provide consumers with their new hi-tech mobile wallets.'"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Google Removes Suspicious Mobile Apps from Android Market

"Google has removed a series of suspicious mobile applications from the Android Market. Google says the applications were taken down for violating the site's use policy by using the names of banks without their permission.

Google has removed several banking applications from its Android Market mobile application store for violating Google's terms of use.

The presence of the applications in question, which according to those with direct knowledge of the situation did not misuse or steal user information, has nonetheless triggered concern among users." >> Continue Reading

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Jan 10

Qualcomm shares its mobile-wallet vision
"Wireless-chip giant Qualcomm expects to launch a wireless-gift-card-and-transaction service late this year called Swagg, another step toward the San Diego company’s ultimate goal of having cell phones replace credit cards and become a mobile wallet for consumers.

Paul Jacobs, Qualcomm’s CEO, gave a sneak peek at the service during his keynote address yesterday at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. While he didn’t provide a lot of details, Jacobs said the mobile-gift-card portion of the Swagg platform should be available before the next holiday season."

Mobile Banking Faces Uphill Battle in Mature Markets
"The mobile phone is turning into the platform of choice for banking in emerging markets. In developed markets, however, the phone has struggled to compete with existing payment methods, and the challenges aren't going away in 2010.

Mobile banking services gained momentum in 2009 with roll-outs in dozens of countries in emerging markets, including Brazil, Cambodia and Malaysia, and the pace will continue this year, according to Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner's Mobile Devices and Consumer Services group."

Microsoft Monoculture Going Mobile?
"Mobile banking is growing fast in Korea, and the rising popularity of smartphones, which work more like handheld computers than conventional phones, was supposed to take the market even further.

However, critics say a letdown is due, with government authorities all but assuring that Microsoft will dictate the Internet banking experience on portable devices as it does on desktop computers here."

Bill Me Later hit with class-action lawsuit over interest rates
"Bill Me Later is facing a class-action lawsuit claiming the online sales processor skirts California consumer protection laws to hike its interest rates.

Kyle Sawyer, a Bill Me Later customer in Torrance, Calif., filed the lawsuit Jan. 6 in U.S. District Court for the northern district of California. The complaint accuses Timonium-based Bill Me Later, a subsidiary of online auctioneer eBay Inc., of using a middleman to avoid California law prohibiting exorbitant credit penalties and interest rates."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Jan 8

Mobile Money Ventures and Citibank Launch First Mobile Banking Solution from a Foreign Bank in Thailand
"Mobile Money Ventures (MMV), a leading global solutions provider of the next generation of mobile financial services, today announced the continued global adoption of its mobile financial services platform with the release of Citi Mobile in Thailand. The solution – now available in six countries – allows customers convenient and secure access to their bank accounts by using their phone's mobile browser."

2009 Proves to be a Milestone Year for Monitise Americas
"Monitise Americas, LLC, the leading mobile banking and payments provider, announces today that it has had a banner year and is firmly established as a leader in the mobile financial services market.

Notable achievements in 2009 for Monitise Americas and its partner, U.K.-based Monitise plc, include:

* Over 200 U.S. financial institution partners signed up for Mobile Money services1
* Registration of one million customers in the United Kingdom and the United States.
* 200% quarter-on-quarter end-user growth rate
* Over 2,000 different types of mobile phone handsets now support Mobile Money services
* Launch of the U.S. Mobile Money iPhone App available for download from the Apple App Store"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Jan 6

Mobile Banking Seen Having Crossed Acceptance Threshold
"At the start of 2009, consumers said, almost timidly, that it would be nice to be able to manage their bank accounts with mobile phones. Now, they are demanding such services.

After years of development work by financial companies and vendors, mobile banking is coming of age. Early adopters have quickly come to appreciate the convenience of managing their money anytime, from anywhere, and many observers say that these functions are only the beginning."

Five mobile trends to look out for in 2010
"If 2009 was the year of the smartphones and mobile applications, 2010 will be one where their positions are cemented in the industry. Some "smart" features will trickle down to midrange devices, but most will be offloaded to the "cloud" where data, applications and services can be accessed anywhere from any device with an Internet connection. Basic handsets, on the other hand, will continue to flourish in emerging markets where mobile penetration is increasing. So we may end up with a "dumbbell" effect where the heavyweights are at both ends, with the middle segment providing as a supporting role."

mPayy Launches Free iPhone Mobile Payment App
"mPayy, Inc., an emerging leader in mobile and online alternative payments, today announced the availability of its “mPayy Mobile Payments” application from the iTunes store for free download to all iPhones and iPod Touches. The application extends functionality mPayy recently released on the Android platform to the millions of iPhones and iPods in circulation."

PNC Bank Customers Can Now Send Money Using Email or Mobile Phone Number
"PNC is the first major bank to provide a service that allows customers to send money securely on-line without having to share checking account and routing information. Developed in conjunction with CashEdge, Inc., a leading provider of money transfer capabilities, the service is free for all PNC customers and available as part of PNC’s online banking system."

Mobile Banking: Mobile Security and the Future of Banking Profitability.
"Let there be no mistake about it, we as a global community have a certain lingering bitterness in our mouths for the financial sector. After all, in the end much of this global economic crisis is directly linked to poor management at some of the world’s largest banking institutions. Why then do I care about introducing an out-of-the-box model for generating new revenue structures for these very banks?"

Gemalto increases its investment in Netsize, a leading mobile communications service and commerce enabler
"Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, today confirmed that it has subscribed to a capital increase in Netsize, with an option to potentially acquire the company outright at a later date. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Netsize offers mobile payment solutions based on operator billing (through premium SMS, MMS and WAP for example) for 100 mobile operators in 28 countries, reaching over 1 billion billable subscribers worldwide, and provides mobile messaging, with SMS and MMS delivery to over 200 countries."

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Key to Mobile Banking Success in 2010. Security. Security. Security

Hackers To Hit Apple iPhone, Google Android Handsets Next Year
"Roel Schouwenberg of Kaspersky Lab Americas made a number of either intemperate or prescient comments to USA Today. It may take a year to find out if he is a fool or a profit.

Schouwenberg predicts that hackers will make major assaults on the Apple iPhone and handsets running the Google Android operating system beginning in 2010. 'The first malicious programs for these mobile platforms appeared in 2009, a sure sign that they have aroused the interest of cybercriminals,' he commented to the national newspaper. Google is scheduled to launch its own handset, the Nexus One, early next year."

Experts Break Mobile Phone Security
"The algorithm used to protect the security of communications on 80 percent of cell phones in the world can be relatively easily cracked to intercept calls, according to cryptographers at the 26th Chaos Communication Congress, a computer conference in Berlin. A German researcher presented an attack on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)--showing it's possible to eavesdrop on cell phone calls and intercept SMS messages. Mobile phones worldwide use GSM, though in the United States many carriers, including Verizon and Sprint PCS, use a competing standard."

More threats on Internet in 2010 but smartphones added to criminal target list
"As usual, we can expect the Internet to be rife with potential cyber crimes and annoyances next year - more spam, more fake antivirus software and more computers hijacked by criminals.

But 2010 will also see more attacks moving to smartphones, now that the devices are being used more like mobile computers, predict security experts. What's expected to be targeted are 'apps' - software applications that let users do things like mobile banking and payments, as well as any other personal or work information on their smartphones. 'Attackers will probably be devoting more time to creating malware for those devices," said David Cowings of Symantec Security Response.'"