"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, February 28, 2010

P2P Analysis - Oz Shy

On Friday I read a very insightful paper on the topic of P2P Money Movement. The paper was written by Oz Shy (Senior Economist - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston) and analyzes topics such as:

* Why P2P has lagged in the U.S.
* Drivers of growth for P2P in Europe
* Why regulators may intervene
* How regulators may intervene

Visit PaymentsNews.com to access the article

Click here to learn more about Oz Shy

Mobile Banking Updates - Feb 28

CUs Need to Remember That Mobile Banking Is Both Technology and Art
"Which one of these two statements is true? First, mobile banking is a new and innovative way of connecting a credit union with its members that will only become steadily more important. Second, mobile banking is an expensive, time-consuming and frustrating new technology that remains more of a gimmick than a lasting benefit."

Avoiding Mobile Madness: Mobile Finance and the Impact on Regulators
"Yesterday, I participated in an Emerging Issues Forum at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors—they called it 'Protecting Consumers in a Mobile Finance World.' Easier said then done. Granted, the Federal Reserve is trying to focus on the future technological trends impacting consumers, and not just the current issues we face on a daily basis. They are looking for the balance to ensure consumer protection while not stifling innovation—a lofty goal. Let’s hope they are up to the challenge."

Explosion of changes in Mobile and SMS Banking
"The February update of Mapa’s Mobile Banking and SMS Competitor Intelligence dashboards recorded several notable changes in the countries monitored.

Europe is catching up with the US banks following the introductions of iPhone applications from many major banks. In the American market, BB&T’s introduction of their iPhone application makes our dashboard complete in respect of American banks offering this product.

NatWest and RBS introduced a Mobile Banking iPhone application which is by contrast a first for banks in the UK. The service contains the same features as their original Mobile Banking application – both developed by service provider Monilink. NatWest / RBS have also extended their range of SMS services. Customers registered for the Mobile Banking service can now request a mini statement by texting ‘MINI’ to a specified number."

Friday, February 26, 2010

China Mobile to Buy $5.9 Billion Pudong Bank

"An investment may give the world’s largest phone company by users a platform to offer wireless-banking services to more than 527 million customers in the fastest-growing major economy. The investment would help replenish capital at the Shanghai-based bank after Chinese lenders extended a record 9.59 trillion yuan of credit last year.

'China Mobile has been trying to grow its mobile payment business, and a deal would provide some synergies,' said Alex Lee, who rates the listed China Mobile’s stock 'hold' at Taifook Securities in Hong Kong." >> Continue Reading

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Making the Most of Mobile

"Visualize this: A woman is pushing a loaded grocery cart through the frozen-food aisle when she gets a mobile phone alert. Her checking account balance has dropped to $100. Uh-oh, the food will be well over that amount.

But wait. Up pops a clickable ad, offering her the chance to sign up - right now - for overdraft protection.

That might be a marketing no-brainer, but it's still wishful thinking in mobile banking. 'Banks are starting to ask for this capability,' said Drew Sievers, co-founder and CEO of mFoundry, a Larkspur, Calif., technology firm that creates software for mobile banking and mobile payments. 'But security risks are a big concern.'" >> Continue Reading

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Future of Money: It’s Flexible, Frictionless and (Almost) Free

"Since 1998, PayPal had enabled people to transfer money to each other instantly. For the most part, its powers were confined to eBay, the online auction company that purchased PayPal in 2002. But last summer, PayPal began giving a small group of developers access to its code, allowing them to work with its super-sophisticated transaction framework." >> Continue Reading

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Feb 22

CEO Series: Lisa Stanton on What's Next with Monitise
"PYMNTS.com asked industry expert and author of Paying with Plastic, David S. Evans to profile industry thought leaders and executives to find out what's next in the world of payments.

In this edition of the PYMNTS.com CEO Series, David sat down with the Global Alliance Director of Monitise, Lisa Stanton. Monitise is a leading provider of mobile payent solutions with an international reach. As the first employee for Monitse America, Lisa is well versed in the company's unwritten rule of thumb: any consumer, any network, any mobile device. What does the future hold for Monitise? Will improvements in NFC and mobile money transfers change the payments landscape? Find out what's next for Monitise and payments industry."

Fraudulent mobile applications will threaten mobile banking security
"It's a dangerous new take on phishing: Instead of being directed to a fraudulent URL, the device owner will have voluntarily downloaded a malicious application from a reputable app store run by Google, Apple Inc., Research in Motion Limited, Palm Inc. and others. From there, the application can overtly collect personal and financial information entered by the mobile subscriber, or covertly collect names, addresses, and any other sensitive data that resides on the mobile device. While app stores are working hard to perform the necessary due diligence on applications, demand for offering the broadest range of applications to the widest audience of users may cause rogue programs to go unchecked. The problem threatens mobile banking security and is likely to get worse before it gets better for a number of reasons."

Visa Appoints Bill Gajda as Head of Mobile
"Visa has announced that Bill Gajda, currently Chief Commercial Officer at the GSMA, will join Visa as head of mobile. Visa said that Gajda’s position 'is designed to further advance Visa’s mobile strategy, working in collaboration with the wireless and financial services industries to bring mobile payments and related services to consumers around the globe.'"

The Truth about Mobile Application Stores
"At the recent Mobile World Congress 2010, Dutch app store analytics firm Distimo presented their findings on the six largest mobile application stores in existence today: the iTunes App Store, BlackBerry App World, Google Android Market, Nokia Ovi Store, Palm App Catalog and Windows Marketplace for Mobile. In their presentation, they analyzed everything including store size, store growth, the most popular applications and where you can find the best deal. They recently shared some of the highlights from that presentation by way of a slideshow embedded on their blog."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

MShift Sues DI Over Mobile Patent

"MShift, Inc. today announced the filing of a patent infringement action against Digital Insight Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intuit Corp., as well as against Community Trust Financial Corporation and Community Trust Bank. The action, filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California, asserts that the mobile banking technology Digital Insight is providing its customers, such as Community Trust Bank, infringes on MShift's United States Patent No. 6,950,881 (the '881 Patent').

The '881 Patent' is entitled a 'System for Converting Wireless Communications for a Mobile Device' and was awarded to MShift on September 27, 2005. The '881 Patent' is a fundamental patent that covers communications between a mobile device and a network site. The inventions of the '881 Patent' enable mobile devices such as Smartphones to access network sites such as online or home banking sites by means of a conversion and adaptation engine which performs translations between the language of the network site (e.g. HTML) and the language supported by the mobile device (e.g., WAP, HDML, HTML) as required. By dynamically adapting and configuring data from one or more sources for presentation and use via mobile phones, the '881 Patent' describes an innovative conversion engine that defines the modern mobile banking experience." >> Continue Reading

Mobile Banking Updates - Feb 21

Highly Targeted SMS Push For Banking Mobile App Results In 20% Response Rate
"Defining a well thought-out, highly relevant and targeted mobile campaign can produce benefits that far outweigh any other medium, as a recent SMS campaign to promote a mobile banking app proved.

Last November, Scottish bank NatWest partnered with operator O2 to produce an SMS campaign to promote its new mobile banking iPhone app. With the help of O2 media, the operator’s sales division, a highly targeted SMS campaign was devised to send a text message to opted-in subscribers with iPhones who also had a NatWest bank account."

Wells Fargo offers ATM e-mail receipts in San Francisco
"'Customers are used to online and mobile banking to track their finances so figuring out ways to move the ATM channel into the way they're working is important,' said Velline. 'People are also looking for ways to be greener but they the want data on the receipts so email is a logical solution.'"

Mobile Banking Subscriber Numbers Doubling Every Year, Says ABI Research
"New forecasts from ABI Research indicate that in 2015 about 244 million people worldwide will carry out financial transactions with their banks using their mobile phones. Of those, some 66 million will be in North America."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Now is the time of Mobile - Eric Schmidt

"Schmidt said that the future of mobile is also the future of banking and finance. 'It is our strategy to encourage the banking community to embrace mobile, it will help bring banking to the millions of unbanked people in developing countries. The work is currently being done by mobile operators – the correct credit card should be your mobile phone. There is so much information and it is much more useful. If you had a mobile banking app that is authenticated and tied to the banking system, for example.'" >> Continue Reading

Demand for Mobile Financial Services Grows

"While mobile coupon and mobile commerce usage may not have grown as quickly as many marketers hoped, Americans appear to be eagerly adopting mobile banking.

The 'Mobile Money Study' by Data Innovation found that a strong majority of US smartphone users (68.7%) had accessed banking or other financial services on their mobile phone in the past three months." >> Continue Reading

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - MWC

At Mobile World Congress, mobile banking takes center stage: Portfolios of the Poor meets the five firms who reach two billion customers
"Today, the CGAP Technology Blog comes to you from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The MWC is the world’s biggest business show for all things mobile related. In recent years we’ve noticed how the focus on mobile banking has slowly grown on the agenda – both in the conference itself, as well as for the mobile network operators who comprise the membership of the GSMA.

Just two years ago, mobile money was relegated to a side session of a few hours. This week, there’s two full days of mobile money content – starting with Monday’s panel of the so-called “two billion club” – the handful of mobile operators who combined reach one third of humanity with their cell coverage."

Mobile Contactless Payments at Mobile World Congress 2010
"The GSMA, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Telefónica, and Visa, together with Giesecke & Devrient, Ingenico, ITN International and La Caixa, have announced 'the arrival of contactless mobile payments at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year. The companies unveiled the result of months of collaboration and have brought the first ever SIM-based NFC payments pilot to Mobile World Congress.'"

YellowPepper and Fundamo Partner to Bring Greater Access to Mobile Money Services in Latin America
"YellowPepper, a leading provider of mobile financial services in Latin America, today announced the launch of YellowPepper Mony, a comprehensive mobile financial product for the unbanked. This product was created as part of a strategic alliance with Fundamo, the world's largest specialized mobile banking and payment software solution provider. YellowPepper Mony enables financial institutions and corporate clients to deliver secure, convenient and easily accessible financial services to consumers, such as mobile money transfers, international remittances, mobile bill payments and pre-paid cell phone service."

Visa, DeviceFidelity Partner for microSD-based Mobile Payments
"Visa and DeviceFidelity have announced plans to market a solution that can enable a mobile phone with a memory card slot to be used as a Visa mobile payment device. According to the companies, 'the solution combines Visa’s contactless payment technology, Visa payWave, and DeviceFidelity’s In2PayTM technology to transform a mobile phone with a microSD memory slot into a mobile contactless payment device. This can enable consumers to make mobile Visa payWave transactions at any retail location that accepts contactless payments. Trials are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2010.'"

Neustar Announces Mobile Barcode Interoperability
"Today at the GSMA's Mobile World Congress, Neustar, a provider of innovative solutions and directory services enabling trusted communications across networks, applications, and enterprises around the world, announced the debut of its Mobile Barcode Clearinghouse Services. The services will help expand the reach and targeting capabilities of advertisers and enterprises using 2D Barcodes, drive adoption among consumers, and enable interoperability among mobile operators, ad agencies, and application providers."

NFC: Past, Present and Future
"What a difference a couple of years make! During CES in 2008, visitors were treated to a variety of demonstrations at the "NFC Zone" where they could experience the power of simplicity NFC style. Yet, at last's month edition of the consumer technology pilgrimage, NFC seemed to stand for "Not Found at this Conference." What happened? Is it just the financial crisis, something more profound or the natural growing pains associated with a disruptive technology?"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Feb 15

As Mobile World Congress approaches, let’s look into mobile’s future
"With Mobile World Congress (MWC) almost upon us, the mobile industry is already geared up to set us on a path for the next year. New handsets will be announced and pre-announced, partnerships forged, services and apps unveiled, and future technologies demoed, giving us a pretty good idea of where the next twelve months will take us. But what if we zoomed out quite a bit more and took a bit of a shot in the dark to try to predict the mobile trends for the next decade."

Survey: Users Prefer “Web Brands” Over Carrier Services
"I’ve long said that carriers continually miss the boat in terms of leveraging their position to capitalize on mobile marketing and advertising, and a new survey reinforces my stance even further.

CSS Insight, in its most recent survey, indicates that most consumers ignore the services offered by wireless carriers in favor of more familiar names on the Web. While the research suggests ways for network operators and phone-makers to maximize the uptake of the mobile Web, results indicate that many of these opportunities are being overlooked (again)."

Banks' Eureka Moment on Mobile Services
"Financial companies, discovering that people who bank by phone don't always bank online, are changing how they look at mobile services. Once considered just a component of online banking, mobile services that function independently of PCs are emerging. Banks have realized that mobile phones are a delivery channel in their own right. 'There's a whole group of customers for whom text banking is very attractive, and these are customers whose lives don't revolve around a PC,' said Arah Erickson, Wells Fargo & Co.'s head of retail mobile banking."

Leave The Credit Card, Take The Cell Phone
"Small business owners, listen up: Rachel Wallace, marketing director at Wallace Oil in La Junta, Colo., has a new "big box" killer. (Thought that would get your attention.) Wallace Oil owns and leases six gas stations and a convenience store, and Wallace is always looking for ways to land new customers and keep her existing ones coming back. Last spring The State Bank of La Junta showed her a demonstration of a new mobile payment service powered by Bling Nation."

Samsung unveils Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11n smartphone
"Samsung has taken the wraps off the first phone to be fitted out with its Bada operating system. It also has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0. Called the Wave, the handset sports a 3.5in, 800 x 480 OLED touchscreen. While Bada runs behind the scenes, users interact with the third incarnation of Samsung's established TouchWiz UI."

China Mobile begins commercial rollout of mobile contactless payments system
"China Mobile has begun the commercial deployment of mobile contactless payments based on RF SIM technology. The new SIMs, which incorporate both a payments chip and a contactless antenna, are now widely available from China Mobile stores and can be purchased for a one-off fee of ¥150 (US$22 approx). Subscribers can then simply replace their existing SIM with the new RF SIM and instantly begin to use their existing phone to make payments at the point of sale."

Haiti Donations: A Turning Point in Mobile Commerce?
"Only two days after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake leveled the capital city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the American Red Cross raised $7 million via text messaging from more than 700,000 wireless customers. Donations poured in from every wireless network, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Red Cross' relief efforts in Haiti signaled a turning point in the history of mobile commerce. 'It was a major validation about the possibilities of text and mobile commerce and what we're going to see in the future," says Gartner analyst Jeff Roster.'"

The New Market Player VoiceCash Makes Mobile Banking a Reality
"What’s in a location? It’s a good question when someone sets out to change the way the world banks. In fact if Michael Kramer was talking from a marble clad penthouse in Frankfurt or London it might sound more convincing. But Munich? But after a few minutes of Mr Kramer’s company the unimposing office suddenly becomes one of the reasons that he actually seems to have the potential of changing how a large part of the world banks."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Clairmail Extends Connectivity of Industry Leading Mobile Banking Platform

"ClairMail, Inc., the leader in mobile banking and payment solutions, announced today that is has completed membership to the Jack Henry Vendor Integration Program, extending ClairMail's mobile banking reach.

Participation in the program enables ClairMail's mobile banking and payment platform to be more tightly integrated with Jack Henry's core processing system through jXchange. By integrating with jXchange, ClairMail can now easily deliver its flexible mobile banking solution to Jack Henry customers, enabling them to fully leverage the mobile channel with the benefits of all three modes of mobile banking -- SMS, mobile web and ClairMail's unique Smart Client application -- in one streamlined interface." >>Continue Reading

Mobile Commerce from Target

"Target guests no longer need to carry their Target GiftCards in order to redeem them, thanks to the innovative Target Mobile GiftCard.

By taking advantage of Target’s mobile technology, any guest, tech-savvy or not, can save GiftCard information to a PIN-secure account on the Target.com mobile site. All that’s needed is a mobile phone with Internet capabilities,* which a guest can use to retrieve GiftCard barcodes for scanning at checkout.

Guests may access their Target Mobile GiftCards to add value at store registers, and check GiftCard balances at any time via the Target.com mobile site. In addition, Target Mobile GiftCard functionality allows guests to save multiple GiftCards to their account and label each one for easy reference." >> Continue Reading

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Feb 8

Are You Ready for the Risk of Mobile Malware?
"The recent news that Nexus One smartphone owners were unable to send or receive data is just a precursor to what security experts say is the next big threat to mobile phones and services - mobile malware.

According to Dr. Markus Jakobsson, a noted security expert in the field of phishing and crimeware, mobile phones -- especially smart phones -- pose the next big headache for security professionals. And financial institutions should be particularly concerned about risks to mobile banking."

U.S. makes small strides in getting Afghan army fighting fit, but hurdles remain
"The U.S. military is also experimenting with electronic payment and mobile banking -- allowing Afghan forces to be paid and to transfer funds through their mobile phones -- to avoid the problem of soldiers leaving their posts on payday to take cash back to their families."

Apple Slowly Integrating Quattro? Bans In-App Location-Based Ads For Developers
"Being the secretive enterprise they are, Apple has never been one to tell the world what their plans are. Tradition rings true with their purposed intentions with Quattro Wireless and their inevitable entry into the mobile advertising space.

A subtle message graced a page on Apple’s iPhone developer website as an 'App Store Tip,' saying 'If you build your application with features based on a user’s location, make sure these features provide beneficial information,' begins the so-called tip. 'If your app uses location-based information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on a user’s location, your app will be returned to you by the App Store Review Team for modification before it can be posted to the App Store.'”

SpeechStorm Showcases IVVO at Mobile World Congress
"SpeechStorm, the Irish company behind some of Europe's largest Video-driven mobile banking services for mobile phones, will be showcasing its latest Video IVR service, dubbed IVVO, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week.

SpeechStorm's award-nominated Interactive Voice and Video Response (IVVR),or Video IVR system, IVVO, combines familiar voice-based IVR self-service features with video to create a compelling visual experience."

Apple's iTunes Preview now offers browser-based App Store access
"Apple this week expanded its browser-based iTunes Preview, now allowing users to view information on software within the App Store without ever launching iTunes.

Web site links to the iTunes Preview page can be obtained by choosing the "Copy Link" option within the iTunes application. The URL then takes users to an Apple-hosted site that provides a description, price and screenshots of any application on the App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch."

Ready to bank on your smart phone?
"Less than 10 per cent of Canadians are using mobile banking, but experts say it won't be long before the service is more popular than online banking.

Research suggests that consumers in this country would prefer to check their bank balances, transfer money, or pay their bills while sitting on their morning train commute or standing in line at the coffee shop rather than at their office or home computer."

Trial of true mobile payment begins in Shanghai
"'Mobile payment' is a large category. It covers everything from using SMS to confirm your credit card in a retailer, to simply ordering an item over the mobile internet. But for me, the true meaning of 'mobile payments' has always been to actually use your device as a payment method. Combining NFC with mobile devices, you could just wave your mobile over a reader at check-out to pay for your goods. This already works well with cards (like the Oyster card for the London Underground), and the same technology can simply be placed in your phone. Today, China Mobile and a Shanghai-based tech firm, SEIMMA Tech Co., have launched a mobile device payment trial in Shanghai."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wells Fargo: Text Banking for Offline Clients

"Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) announced today that text banking — a safe and easy way to stay on top of account information — is now accessible to all customers including those who have yet to enroll in Wells Fargo Online Banking. Wells Fargo is the first major financial services company in the United States to offer text banking to all its customers.

'Our text banking service is now available to all Wells Fargo customers via a mobile phone, not just online banking customers. Through simple and secure text queries, text banking is the fastest, easiest way for customers to see a snapshot of their accounts,' said Arah Erickson, vice president and head of Wells Fargo Retail Mobile Banking. 'We are proud to enable access to account information through whichever channel best suits customers' changing needs and preferences. Text banking is convenient and customers say it works well with their busy lifestyles.'" >> Continue Reading

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mobile Browser Banking to Grow by 14% Over next 12 Months

"The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) (www.mmaglobal.com) and its official research partner, Luth Research (www.luthresearch.com), today released highlights from the latest US Consumer Briefing, a monthly survey of U.S. adult consumers about their mobile marketing behaviors and opinions. Available exclusively to MMA members, the new survey shows that 17 percent of all adults currently use mobile banking, with interest levels suggesting that usage will grow to 22 percent within the next year...

The survey further revealed that consumers' most common form of mobile banking uses a mobile Web browser (11 percent of respondents), followed by SMS (8 percent) and applications (5.5 percent). Over the next 12 months, mobile-Web-based banking will grow to 14 percent, while applications will grow to 8.5 percent. SMS mobile banking usage will likely remain flat." >> Continue Reading

Mobile Banking Updates - Feb 2

VeriFone’s PAYware Mobile Now Available on iPhone App Store
"VeriFone Holdings has announced that it is shipping its PAYware Mobile secure credit card encryption sleeve for iPhone and that the complementary PAYware Mobile app is now available on the App Store.

According to VeriFone, 'PAYware Mobile provides small businesses with simple and secure card processing capabilities using the revolutionary iPhone. The app and patent-pending card encryption technology are provided free in conjunction with a low cost PAYware gateway services agreement.'"

CIBC becomes first major Canadian bank to offer a Mobile Banking App for iPhone
"CIBC today announced its CIBC Mobile Banking App is available from the App Store, offering greater flexibility and choice for CIBC clients to bank on the go by becoming the first major bank in Canada to offer a mobile banking App for iPhone. The App gives CIBC clients the flexibility to use their iPhone or iPod touch to check account balances, transfer funds, pay bills and even send INTERAC Email Money Transfers."

Monday, February 1, 2010

'Phishing' Scams Cast Net on Mobile Banking - WSJ

"The next generation of 'phishing' scams, focused on mobile banking, has begun, and it has the potential to do much more damage than earlier versions.

As mobile-banking applications have increased in popularity, so has the risk of downloading and installing a fraudulent app that could draw your account information and, potentially, any other data stored on your mobile device.

The trend still is in its infancy, but there already have been instances of potential fraud. In December, Google Inc. pulled 50 applications from its Android Market online app store in response to concerns that they may be malicious." >> Continue Reading

U.S. mobile banking counts on apps to grow

"As the popular Apple Inc advertisement goes, more Americans are discovering the benefits of mobile banking and the applications that facilitate it.

The rising popularity of applications, the proliferation of smartphones and greater familiarity with text messaging are driving the use of banking services on mobile phones.

As smaller banks follow large banks in offering mobile banking services, this year will see a further acceleration of growth.

'Applications are seeing tremendous adoption,' said Kay Nichols, executive vice president of FIS Channel Solutions, a unit of electronic payment processor Fidelity National Information Services Inc." >> Continue Reading