"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, September 26, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Sept 26

U.S. Mobile Payment Use Still Years Away, MasterCard Exec Says
"U.S. consumers are still at least "a couple of years" away from widely using their smartphones to make payments, despite technology that is already available, a MasterCard Inc senior executive told Reuters Friday.
Major U.S. banks, mobile phone companies and credit card processing networks are all vying to dominate the emerging U.S. market for smartphone payments. MasterCard and its rival processing networks, including Visa Inc and Discover Financial Services, are all intensifying their tests of technology that will allow consumers to pay for goods or services with their mobile phones."

Mobile Money Wins the Social and Economic Innovation Award 2010
"Based on the success of mobile money-transfer services in Kenya and other developing countries, The Economist has announced that Nick Hughes and Susie Lonie will jointly receive the Social and Economic award at its forthcoming Innovation Awards ceremony for their outstanding contributions in this field. Nick Hughes (Signal Point Partners) and Susie Lonie (Vodacom South Africa) started a mobile money initiative in Kenya in 2005 called M-PESA, which is a joint venture between Safaricom, the leading mobile telecommunications company in Kenya, and Vodafone."

5 questions about mobile banking with Hope Berman Levin
"When did U.S. Bank first provide mobile banking to its customers and what percentage of them use the service? We introduced mobile banking to our customers in July of 2008. It’s growing rapidly; specific numbers are proprietary. We have an app for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry as well as many other smart phones. Our largest population of mobile banking users use the iPhone."

Too Many Cooks in Mobile
"We could learn a few things about banking and payments security from some unsuspected places. Case in point: Africa, where the Central Bank has already spearheaded an effort to set guidelines for mobile financial transactions. Mobile banking and payments are rapidly accelerating the proliferation of banking services in Africa, a continent with relatively few banking branches. In fact, mobile banking and payments are seen as critical to the maturation of the Africa Union's economic growth and stability."

Visa powers contactless mobile payments for NY/NJ mass transit
"'Visa’s working to bring mobile contactless payments to consumers in the U.S. by transforming mobile phones with a microSD slot into Visa mobile payment devices,' said Dave Wentker, San Francisco-based head of mobile contactless payments at Visa.

'The mass transit trial in New York allows Visa and the transit agencies to test Visa payWave-enabled mobile phones and cards as a way for mass transit riders to pay for subway, train and bus fares,' he said. 'For transit agencies, this pilot allows them to reduce the cash handling costs and ticket distribution, allowing them to focus on their core business of getting people where they need to go.'"

Western Union offers mobile money transfers
"Mobile banking and mobile payments are just two kinds of financial applications coming on cell phones. Western Union has now unveiled mobile money transfers in Canada–a move indicating that despite security worries, mobile financial transactions are going to be common in developed economies. Western Union and EnStream want to change the paradigm, maybe even democratize the way money is sent and received, a company press release said."

M-Com Launches Another Person-to-Person Service - Customers Experience Industry-Leading Adoption of P2P Payments
"'Our customers across M-Com's commercial P2P deployments are seeing significant demand growth,' comments M-Com CEO, Adam Clark. 'A significant proportion of registered mobile bankers are already active and regular mobile P2P payers, with an average transaction value of about $240. About 40% of those are informal and personal in nature, 40% are for payments to small merchants such as plumbers, and the rest are for payments of goods exchanged by individuals through mechanisms such as eBay. Better still, both transaction volumes and transaction value are growing disproportionately faster than the general adoption of mobile banking services.'"

CashEdge Launches Popmoney™ for Small Business - First Email and Mobile Payments Service Designed for Online & Mobile Banking Small Business Customers
"CashEdge, Inc., the leading provider of Intelligent Money Movement™ services, announced today the launch of Popmoney™ for Small Business, the first electronic invoice and payment solution designed specifically for small business customers of financial institutions. Popmoney for Small Business provides businesses with the unique capability to pay vendors and employees electronically using only an email or mobile number. They may also pay using an account number."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Sept 19

The Mobile Banking Webinar - Sept 22 The London Stock Exchange
Tim France-Massey, Royal Bank of Scotland
Phil Sowter, Barclays
Paul Berney. Mobile Marketing Association

Mobile Service Targets Cambodia's 'Unbanked'
"How do you roll out a banking service in a place where most people don't have bank accounts? Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. tackled that question in developing WING, a banking and payment system it launched in Cambodia early last year. In Phnom Penh, said Peter Dalton, ANZ's general manager for innovation, it's not uncommon for workers to send money to relatives in rural areas via a taxi-bound courier, which is risky as well as expensive. The Melbourne, Australia, bank estimates that only about 500,000 of the country's 14 million population have bank accounts, but 'there is a need for saving and sending money,' he said."

Obopay and Star Network Partner for Mobile Transfers
"The agreement enables Obopay to offer the industry's only mobile money transfer solution with real-time capabilities that places the demand deposit account at the center of the transaction, the company said. The Star Network offers transaction speeds that are not possible with Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers, which often take several days to process. With this service, financial institutions can offer a secure and convenient way for their customers and members to send and receive money using their mobile phones."

Afghanistan shows the UK how mobile banking should be done
"Last week on TV I saw a Barclays Bank ad showing how 'easy' it was for people to use their phones for mobile banking and I realised how far the UK is behind when it comes to this business. It was the first such commercial I'd seen.
The plethora of cash machines that appear to be in every shop nowadays and the (recently treated) plague of credit cards means UK banks have been woefully slow in offering customers this service. Meanwhile, in poverty-stricken countries such as Afghanistan it is transforming lives and probably saving them as well."

BofA Tests Mobile Payments
"Bank of America is extending its mobile financial offer, giving contactless chip-based payments another shot in the U.S. Mobile payments and mobile banking are quickly changing the financial landscape, not just for consumers but also for banks and credit unions. So what new opportunities are emerging in the arena of payments, and how are U.S. consumers expected to embrace these options?"

First Data to offer turnkey NFC service to US banks from early 2011
"First Data has partnered with South Korea's SK C&C to offer turnkey NFC-based TSM and mobile wallet services to its US banking and merchant customer base. The two companies will deliver a complete set of mobile commerce services to First Data's financial institution and merchant customers, including a TSM (trusted service manager) platform and mobile wallet software. Credit, debit, prepaid and gift cards will all be supported."

Banks need to go mobile to improve customer opinion
"New research from digital agency YouGov has revealed that banks could hugely improve their customer’s opinions by launching mobile banking services. The study, commissioned by on-line financial services company Intelligent Enviroments, reveals that 25% of people aged between 18 and 34 would be more approving of their bank if they were offered mobile features."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mobile Banking from BankInfoSecurity.com

Unknown Risks of Mobile Banking
"One pioneer in mobile banking suggests that banks and credit unions should not let security fears inhibit their moves into mobile innovations. Many security unknowns surround this emerging channel, but San Francisco-based Patelco Credit Union, $3.75 billion in assets, pushed its way ahead of the pack when in 2001 it launched its browser-based mobile banking service.

Anthony Vitale is Patelco's assistant vice president of information technology development; he's been with the credit union for nearly 10 years, and says Patelco's vision for mobile banking has changed quite a bit over the last decade."

Mobile Banking: Guidance is Coming
"William Henley, senior vice president of regulation for BITS, says banking institutions can expect new mobile banking regs and guidance in the near future.

No question: Mobile banking's usage and growth have been mixed, with some early adopters jumping aboard quickly and others taking a more paced approach to mobile services. But there's also little doubt that mobile banking, and soon mobile payments, will play a key role in the way financial institutions interact with their customers and members."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Sept 12

Microfinance & M-banking Virtual Conference Recap
"Thank you to everyone who participated in CGAP’s virtual conference over the past two days on the topic of microfinance and mobile banking, coinciding with the release of our latest Focus Note Microfinance and Mobile Banking: The Story So Far. A special thanks to our moderators for each session who shared many interesting insights from their own experiences."

Jack Henry & Associates Announces Standalone Person-to-Person (P2P) Electronic Payment Solution
"Jack Henry & Associates, Inc., a leading provider of integrated technology solutions and data processing services for financial institutions, today announced TheWayiPay(TM), the standalone version of the iPay person-to-person (P2P) electronic payment solution which is provided by its recently acquired iPay Technologies division."

Mobile Banking and Mobile Deposit is growing
"Smartphones let you watch sports events, play games, read books, and check e-mail. Now a suite of mobile banking services is just a tap away, too. Banks have significantly expanded their mobile offerings as concerns about wireless security ease. Many of these banks just have the ability check balances and transfer funds, but many are starting to offer Mitek Systems’ Mobile Deposit technology that allows one to deposit a check via their smart phone. The important thing to point out is that Mobile Deposit can save you tons of time and money, because you can essentially deposit a check from anywhere at anytime."

Qualcomm’s Firethorn Begins Rollout of Wireless Gift Card Ahead of Holiday Season
"Three years ago, San Diego’s Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) paid $210 million in cash to acquire an Atlanta mobile banking startup called Firethorn Holdings. At the time, some commentaries emphasized that mobile banking in the United States was emerging at a snail’s pace. Even Firethorn founder Tripp Rackley told GigaOm last November, 'It’s going to be a long time before mobile payments take off; there will be a lot of people trying to make that happen. But until we go into a grocery store and see people pulling phones out to pay, we won’t be there.'"

Mobile Security Problems Will Drive Demand for Authentication Products
"As mobile phones become basic tools of commerce, the threat of significant theft through hacking and other illegal activities is rising, causing enterprises and network operators to scramble to find ways to protect their customers' data through mobile authentication solutions, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading Mobile Networks Insider (www.heavyreading.com/mobile-networks)."

Mobile Banking: How Secure Is It?
"Movement in the mobile channel is exciting for bankers and customers alike. But that movement does not come without security concerns. How secure is mobile banking? The short answer: No one really knows. The complexity of the mobile channel -- which includes a number of players, from the financial institutions and customers themselves to the wireless carriers and third-party developers of downloadable applications -- is part of what makes mobile so daunting."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Sept 8

Salin Bank Launches New Website
"Family-owned and Indiana-based Salin Bank is excited to announce the launch of their newly re-designed website, www.salin.com. This new website embraces the “sailing” theme that reinforces the family-owned bank’s name – pronounced 'sail-in.'"

The Business Case for Mobile Banking
"Mobile phone usage is pervasive in both emerging and developed markets. As consumers shift more personal business to their mobile phones and smartphone ownership skyrockets, financial institutions and mobile operators should introduce a broad portfolio of new, cost-effective mobile services."

Wells Fargo Mobile Banking Adding Wachovia Customers
"By now, almost every big bank offers mobile banking of some kind. By text message, standard cell phone internet browser or smart phone application, many tech-forward consumers are checking balances, making transfers and setting up payments on the go, at the touch of a button (or touchscreen). Wells Fargo, which was one of the first banks to introduce mobile banking applications for smart phones such as iPhone and Android."

The Magnificent Future of Mobile Phones
"The modern day mobile phone, with its far-reaching coverage and millions of apps, is already an amazingly useful device. Yet innovators in the field of finance and health care want to give the cell phone a whole new set of jaw-dropping functions.

The new technologies will pit payment giants Visa and MasterCard against wireless carriers and start-ups in a race to create a platform that allows consumers to purchase goods, distribute money and manage accounts using only their smart phones. The stakes transcend the technology and strike at the heart of who will retain market dominance over $6.70 trillion in payment transactions."

The 49% Text Banking Gap
"Quick. What comes to mind when you envision mobile banking? I'm guessing most of you pictured a mobile website or shiny new app running on a recent iPhone, Blackberry, Android or other smartphone. And if mobile banking was used only by techies, that would be about right. But banking is used by just about everyone, and everyone still doesn't have a smartphone and Internet data plan."

Javelin finds mobile banking down. Why?
"A recent Javelin Strategy and Research study of over 5,000 respondents in the US found mobile banking usage down. The study has caused a lot of head scratching in the industry — myself included. The report compares this year’s survey to similar surveys in 2009, 2008, and 2007."

The Masterminds Behind Breeze Mobile Banking
"Currently, mobile banking is an incredible banking and financial solution that has focused primarily on the large banks, those that have large enough assets to weather even the toughest financial challenges. However, these banks also need to spend as much as 33% of profit into declining or stagnant markets in order to stay in business. However, the smaller banks are also in dire need of innovative solutions for their customers."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jeff Dennes. Mobile Banking Pioneer

"Ed. Note: Since press time, Jeff Dennes has left USAA for a new assignment.

How quickly does Jeff Dennes, executive director at USAA and overseer of the financial services firm's online and mobile channels, react to the rollout of new mobile devices? He began using the Apple iPad the day it came out."

PS...Yes, I know where he's heading but I don't have a "green light" to share. More to come...


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mobile Banking Updates - Sept 1

Editor`s Pick: 10 Must read on mobile banking and microfinance

The Mobile Mandate
"For Bank of America, mobile banking is a channel through which the $2.6 trillion institution hopes to truly reach the masses. BofA launched its mobile-banking platform in May 2007 and today has 5 million mobile WAP/browser-based and downloadable-banking-application subscribers. In May, BofA launched its SMS/text banking service - a service that is open to all BofA customers - and today has more than 500,000 users.

In an exclusive interview, Marc Warshawsky, BofA's senior vice president of mobile channel planning and design, shares his thoughts about the future of mobile-banking adoption. 'We're looking at ways to target a variety of customers, drive more awareness and attract a larger segment.'"

When it Comes to Mobile, Bank of the West is Done Waiting and Seeing
"The mobile banking train hasn’t left the station yet, but time is running low to be considered an early adopter before the service becomes ubiquitous among banks. In the case of Bank of the West, which introduced its new mobile platform last week, now’s the time to jump in as more banks will likely view mobile as a must-have in the near future.
“We’ve seen quite a bit of customer demand, and that noise has grown over the past six to eight months, especially as you’re seeing more mass marketing and mass media advertising around mobile banking,” says Matt Macomber, head of the Internet and online banking group at Bank of the West."

Schwab Needs to Catch Up In Mobile Apps
"Charles Schwab (SCHW) needs to more aggressively adapt to the growing use of mobile technology that is rapidly changing banking and investing in a way similar to the disruption previously caused by the Internet. Mobile banking is moving into the mainstream and financial institutions will soon face a competitive environment in which the majority of rivals offer mobile services, with success based largely on the company's technology strategy, according to Matthew Talbot, vice president of m-Commerce at Sybase 365, a division of SAP (SAP)."

TD Bank rolls out mobile banking apps to streamline customer service
"TD Bank is streamlining its customer service operations via mobile applications for Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android-powered devices. Initially, customers can use the mobile banking applications to find stores and ATMs, check deposit, loan and credit card balances, view pending transactions and account history, transfer funds and make bill payments."

Phones, Calculator Give a Glimpse of Mobile Tech in Afghanistan
"Afghanistan’s vibrant cellphone ecosystem is one of the country’s economic bright spots. There are about 12.5 million cellular subscriptions in the country of 27 million people. Jan Chipchase, executive creative director at Frog Design spent some time in Afghanistan recently for a research study on mobile banking."

Samba announces the launch of mobile banking
"Samba Financial Group, the premier banking services provider in Saudi Arabia announced the formal launch of their mobile banking applications for the Apple iPhone and Blackberry handheld instruments. It is a fully transactional service that allows Samba customers to check their accounts, make payments and transfer funds through their mobile phones at anytime, and from anywhere using the same user name and login password as on Samba online."