"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, April 28, 2011

Mobile Banking Updates - Apr 28

30 Most Popular iPad Apps from U.S. Banks and Other Financial Services Companies
"Apple tweaked its propriety algorithm that ranks apps in terms of popularity (Cnet article). Evidently the changes impacted overall ranks, but had little or no impact on intra-category ranks.

That holds true with my casual observations within the Finance category. Regardless, it seemed like a good time to visit the App Store and document which financial iPad apps are currently most popular (see Table below)."

Multiple mobile payments models evolving, making an impact: panel
"A CTIA panel that included executives from JPMorgan Chase and Visa Inc. outlined various evolving mobile payments mechanisms that are having an impact, from SMS and applications to carrier billing and near field communication."

ING DIRECT launches mobile banking App on the new BlackBerry PlayBook
"ING DIRECT Canada has once again made it easier for clients to save anytime, anywhere, with the addition of a BlackBerry PlayBook App to its suite of mobile banking applications. ING DIRECT was the first bank in Canada to offer a BlackBerry App, iPhone App and mobile website simultaneously last year, and has since added iPad, Android and Windows Phone 7 Apps."

The 5 Most Popular Banking Apps for Your Phone
"What a difference a few years can make. Before the iPhone's ubiquitous 2007 launch, the hottest trend in banking was online bill pay. Few people (and fewer banks) had even heard of banking by phone. But as smartphones become a greater part of our daily life -- and as our daily life demands even greater efficiency -- mobile banking is prepping for its moment in the spotlight."

Monster Offers to Unveil Daily Deal Industry’s First End-to-End Mobile Banking Solution
"Monster Offers, a leading Mobile Banking solutions provider and Daily Deal aggregator, announced its strategic vision to help local consumers find relevant daily deals, make those deals extremely easy-to-buy, and provide accurate and detailed data analytics to the Daily Deal industry.

Leveraging its recent exclusive worldwide agreement with Zala, Monster Offers will deploy a series of consumer and business banking solutions under a newly formed subsidiary this quarter. These solutions will be available on more than 150 approved handsets including iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Nokia. Users will also be issued a Visa or MasterCard integrated with their deal redemption account."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mobile Banking Updates - Apr 26

Financial institutions must address security concerns in mobile banking and payments
"With smartphones and tablets becoming increasingly important to consumers, financial institutions must get serious about security as mobile banking and payments explode. Security factors that financial institutions must take into account include mobile malware, mobile software/app assurance, application and OS trust management, data protection, identity and access management, according to IDC Financial Insights. Tactics banks should consider include mutual authentication approaches that incorporate multi-factor, multi-layered security techniques, for example, online banking transaction confirmations via SMS or call back."

Heartland Bank's Mobile Banking NOW Available at The Market Place for Android!
"Heartland Bank is pleased to announce the Android App is now available in The Marketplace for Android users. Online banking customers can access their account information via SMS Texting, Web Browsing, or if you own an Android cell phone, you can visit the Android Market and search for "Heartland" or "Heartland Bank" to locate and install our mobile app. There is no charge for this application which is very similar to the iPhone app that was released a few months ago."

Mobile Banking Becoming an E-Commerce Staple
"Mobile banking, m-banking, or SMS banking refers to online banking that occurs via mobile phone or PDA rather than a PC. The earliest mobile banking services were offered over SMS, but with the introduction of smartphones and Apple iOS, mobile banking is being offered primarily through applications as opposed to text messages or a mobile browser."

Mobile banking thru Smart Money hits P13.5B in 2010
"Smart Money has facilitated P13.5 billion worth of transactions last year within remote communities that used to have limited or no access to financial services. It is an electronic money (e-money) platform utilizing mobile phone technology. It is a product of Smart Communications Inc. Smart Financial Services senior manager Maybelle Santos said Smart Money provides Filipinos anywhere in the archipelago with simple, secure, affordable and convenient means to send and receive cash, even without the presence of banks and ATMs in their communities."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mobile Banking Updates - Apr 24

B of A Looking to Trim Fat from Mobile Banking
"Many banks' mobile strategies have hinged on getting smartphone applications to market as fast as possible, but now the early adopters are moving on to the next step — making sure those apps live up to consumers' expectations. Bank of America Corp., for one, acknowledges room for improvement in its current round of apps for Apple Inc.'s iPhone, Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry and devices running on Google Inc.'s Android operating system."

comScore Report Indicates Mobile Banking is Gaining Popularity
"comScore has published its annual Online Credit Card Report, which delves into the US online credit card industry for the preceding year. The results show a swelling interest among mobile users to engage in online and mobile banking platforms. 20% of all mobile phone owning cardholders report using their handset to manage their bank accounts during the past twelve months."

Consumer 10 Report: Banking with smartphone calls for caution
"Remember when using your home computer to do your banking was a big innovation? That's so 2010. These days, the hot trend is "mobile banking" - that is, using smartphones and other Web-enabled devices to access accounts."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

International Mobile Banking Updates

Banks warned to keep up with technology or lose customers
"Banks aiming to retain their customers must court the Middle East's young, technologically adept population with innovative payment methods or suffer dwindling profits, a top banker has warned.

Speaking at the Middle East Retail Banking Forum in Dubai, Sanjoy Sen, the regional head of consumer banking at Citibank, said banks should heed the growth of new card payment methods such as Visa payWave and mobile phone payment applications such as Square and Zong."

Standard Chartered Takes Banking Mobile with the Flash Platform
"Standard Chartered, a leading international bank with almost 150 years operating in markets such as Asia, Africa and the Middle East, realized that its customers wanted to bank anywhere, anytime in a simple, convenient and intuitive way. After all, well over half of its customers would be using mobile banking in 2011. Mobile banking, however, can be a Catch-22. The customer experience should be richly functional, versatile and engaging, but whatever Standard Chartered built had to present minimal development costs and a reduced time to market."

ANZ goMoney mobile banking app delivers new way to make payments
"ANZ New Zealand’s mobile banking application, ANZ goMoney is being launched today. The bank says it is the first convenient and simple way for customers to securely transfer money between friends, relatives and businesses using only mobile phone details. Currently available for use on an iPhone, ANZ goMoney is free and can be downloaded via iTunes. The application when launched in Australia by ANZ in August 2010 topped the iTunes charts as the most popular finance application only days after its launch. Currently 280,000 Australian iPhone owners use ANZ goMoney."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mobile Banking and Payment Security - Apr 19

How safe is your mobile wallet?
"When you whip out your smartphone to transfer money, deposit a check, or “tap” it on an electric reader to buy milk at your local 7-Eleven, do you ever wonder how secure it is? The good news is, using your phone as a “mobile wallet” is largely considered safe. In fact, some experts argue the security of mobile payments is on par with online banking, with the added layer of password protection."

Atlanta Fed states mobile payments will be ‘safer than plastic cards’
"'The mobile phone will be a much more secure payment device than the plastic cards we use today.' That is the view of the assistant director of the Retail Payments Risk Forum, in a blog post published this week by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. In 'Dispelling the myths about mobile banking and payments', Cindy Merritt says the mobile phone should be seen as a normal method of payment, and one that should be encouraged thanks to its superior security features when compared with magnetic stripe cards."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mobile Banking Updates - Apr 18

Developers, not phones, driving mobile banking apps
"While the Android OS may be leading the smartphone pack in sales, it's not the phone for which banks are writing applications. That would the No. 3 iPhone instead. Banks are writing applications for mobile services such as account access and online bill pay for the iPhone because that's the phone for which most other industry developers are creating applications, says TowerGroup."

The spinning compass of mobile banking
"At the Asian Banker Summit in Hong Kong last week, the passion that the banking community displayed to be a leader in innovation and customer experience was very apparent. For the East, the fast adoption of mobile technology is already becoming a game-changing trend and the financial services, especially retail banking, sector has a focus on mobile banking."

Where once it grew, now Bank of America shutters branches
"Long known for expanding nationwide through blockbuster deals, Bank of America Corp. is now whittling away at its domain, branch by branch. The Charlotte-based bank closed 43 branches in the first quarter of this year and has filed notices to close 68 more, according to a McClatchy Newspapers analysis of federal filings. The data shows the bank closing the most branches in slower-growing states such as Michigan and New Jersey."

Fundtech on corporate mobile banking
"More than half the respondents said that developing their mobile corporate banking services is a top or very important priority, while 42 per cent rated their customer’s interest as either extremely or very high. It was not all good news, as while 31 per cent believe corporate mobile banking will become a competitive differentiator for their bank, 38 per cent see it becoming just another service delivery channel."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mobile Payments - Apr 17

US financial institutions wary of investing in mobile payments
"Most American financial institutions have clear-cut strategies for mobile banking but say the market will need to mature further before they make any sizeable investments to support mobile payments, research from financial services technology provider Fiserv reveals."

Banks May Find Holding Back On Mobile Payments Costly
"Financial institutions that are taking a “wait-and-see” approach to mobile payments risk falling behind early investors as the market begins to take shape, concludes a whitepaper from Fiserv Inc. For its research, the Brookfield, Wis.-based technology company commissioned independent research firm Forrester Research Inc. to survey by phone 15 executives from major U.S. banks and credit unions in October."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mobile Banking Updates - Apr 14

Bank Online – Integration Of Mobile Deposit Into Mobile Banking Choices Launched
"Mitek Systems Inc. reported today that the company and its channel partners signed 26 new agreements with banks, credit unions and other financial institutions — including two more of the nation’s top 10 retail banks — to deploy its leading mobile remote deposit capture (RDC) application, Mobile Deposit®, during its second quarter, which ended March 31."

Dakota Territory FCU Goes Live With CO-OP Mobile
"Dakota Territory Federal Credit Union, based in Deadwood, S.D., is now offering CO-OP Mobile to its 3,400 members, providing them with mobile banking access, no matter what type of mobile device they own. 'We are already participating in CO-OP Shared Branching services, so this was the next logical step for us,' said Floyd Rummel, President/CEO, Dakota Territory FCU. 'The whole process of going on-line was very smooth, easy and painless.'"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

International Mobile Banking Updates

In South Africa, cardless ATM withdrawals via mobile phone
"The virtual ink had scarcely dried on our story about South Africa's upcoming Mahala Free Banking Platform last week when we received word of yet another mobile banking innovation in the country. Customers of Johannesburg-based First National Bank (FNB) can now make withdrawals from an ATM without a bank card using just their mobile phone."

Initial Details of Third Party Mobile Banking Unveiled
"We first heard of Third Party Solution for Mobile Banking in November 2009, when Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and State Bank of Pakistan jointly announced the proposed formation of unified regulatory framework for Third Party Solution Provider (TPSP) system for enhancing mobile banking in the country."

Rakbank launches Mobile Banking solutions
"A renowned market leader in customer service, Rakbank announced the launch of its Mobile Banking service, an alternative channel that provides customers with the opportunity of conducting banking transactions via their mobile phones. Rakbank's Mobile Banking is available on smart phones as well as conventional mobiles to ensure that all their customers can make use of this practical service."

OCBC banking app scans barcodes
"Mobile banking apps typically allow customers to view their account details and carry out transactions such as funds transfers. OCBC Bank's Android app, released last month, also offers users the ability to scan selected bill barcodes for easy payment. This video segment is part of ZDNet Asia's Financial Services special report."

Mobile banking via app has rewards, risks
"The days of restrictive banking hours have long since passed, and now you can add smartphone apps to a growing list of technologies that have made it easier to access your accounts -- any time, any place. The applications offered by several of Canada's big banks give users an ever-growing range of options including checking balances, transferring money between accounts and paying bills."

Obopay wins prestigious Asian Banker 'Technology Implementation' Award 2011
"Obopay Inc, one of the world’s leading mobile banking and payment providers, has been awarded this year’s ‘Asian Banker Technology Implementation Award’ for its work in India. Obopay, along with Yes Bank, was honored with the award under the ‘Best Multi-channel Capability Project’ category. The prestigious award, given annually in honor of organizations that have helped in successfully implementing banking projects/operations with technology as its backbone was accepted by Deepak Chandnani, CEO, Obopay during the award ceremony in Hong Kong. The winners were chosen from a strong list of contenders."

Mexico to introduce m-banking services by year-end
"Mexico is planning to launch mobile banking services by the end of this year. According to Guillermo Babatz, president of the Mexican Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV), m-banking service users will be able to make payments and money transfers directly from their mobile phones."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mobile Banking Updates - Apr 12

First Data and SK C&C USA Launch Trusted Service Manager (TSM) Solution
"The comprehensive First Data TSM solution is now available for enablement of Near Field Communication (NFC) devices for issuers, merchants and mobile network operators (MNOs) looking to quickly prepare consumers for the fast approaching mobile payment reality through the most scalable, cost-effective and secure service available today."

10 million UK consumers using mobile commerce but 83% have experienced problems
"A survey commissioned by Tealeaf®, the leader in online customer experience management (CEM) software and conducted online by Harris Interactive®, reveals 10 million online consumers in the UK made a transaction using a mobile device in the last year[1] but, in what should be a convenient and simple way to shop, 83% of these experienced problems when conducting such mobile transactions."

Fiserv Provides Remote Deposit Capture Solutions to More than 160,000 Users
"Fiserv, the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, announced today that more than 3,300 financial institutions are now using Fiserv solutions that enable Remote Deposit Capture (RDC), bringing the total number of end-users to more than 160,000. In 2010, those users processed nearly four billion items."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mobile Banking Updates - Apr 11

Wells Fargo’s Latest Mobile Innovation: Commercial Card Expense Reporting
"In its latest addition to a growing number of corporate banking services, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) today announced that its WellsOne® Commercial Card customers can manage their accounts and capture expenses with smartphones.

Through the CEO Mobile® service, WellsOne cardholders are now able to add out-of-pocket expenses, view charges, and check available credit – right on their smartphones. And WellsOne Commercial Card program administrators can view and edit credit limits and review declined transactions."

What the Big Banks Think of Mobile Banking
"Researchers predict that more than half of us will own a smartphone by the end of the year, and even people who consider themselves tech-shy probably have an ordinary cell phone in their purse or clipped to a belt. Not just for texting or surfing the net, these devices are at the cutting edge of the way we interact with our financial institutions.

A rapidly growing number of activities you can do in person or via a phone call can now be accomplished - sometimes faster, because there's no waiting in line or on-hold time - with a few taps of the keyboard on your cell phone. In fact, five years from now, Javelin Strategy and Research predicts that 86 million of us will use our mobile phones to conduct our banking activities."

Consumer Adoption and Satisfaction with Mobile Banking Surges in 2011
"In a recent mobile banking research study commissioned by FIS™ (NYSE: FIS), the world’s largest provider of banking and payments technology, results show that 50 percent of all smartphone owners used mobile banking within the last 30 days and that 76 percent of mobile banking users were satisfied with their experience – a 16 percentage point gain in satisfaction from 2010."

Mobile banking: SMS can provide marketing, security and services for finance
"As smartphones have fuelled an incredible surge in applications, there has also been a retro-effect on older technologies. More and more institutions are seeing how the humble SMS can be used to provide very modern services. We spoke to Roland Foller, director of product management for mobile messaging at MACH, to find out the ways it’s using messaging to provide services for banks and financial institutions."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mobile Banking Updates - Apr 10

"Card Services for Credit Unions (CSCU) is pleased to announce that Motorola Employees Credit Union (MECU) is now offering its members a full suite of mobile banking services, including Downloadable Apps for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, SMS Text Banking and a universal Mobile Browser App, through a partnership with CSCU and MShift, Inc."

Mobile banking cuts into bricks & mortar biz
"Many years ago, commercial and savings bank branches were built as architectural cathedrals. Most of these large bank locations have been closed and converted into catering halls and exhibition space. They include the former home of Citibank at 55 Wall Street, Greenwich Savings Bank on Broadway and 36th Street now known as Gotham Hall, Cipriani 42nd Street, formerly known as the Bowery Savings Bank, Capitale at 130 Bowery and the iconic Williamsburgh Savings Bank branch on Broadway in the Williamsburgh section of Brooklyn."

Phone-based banking: Dial 'M' for money
"There are almost 80 million smartphone subscribers in the United States. Banking applications make up 37% of all applications purchased for the Apple iPhone, Google Android and RIM Blackberry. And according to a study conducted by FIS Mobile Financial Solutions, about three out of four banking users are happy with their experience this year, a 16% gain from 2010.

'We are seeing mobile deployments by banks accelerating in 2011, with our clients growing mobile users by 35% monthly,' said Douglas Brown, senior vice president of FIS. 'The momentum is driven by unprecedented consumer demand.'"

Consumer tech grows bank customer 'stickiness'
"According to Pranav Seth, head of e-business at OCBC Bank, the bank's Internet and mobile banking initiatives were not driven internally. Rather, with the organization's emphasis on customer service, it had 'no choice but to enter these platforms', he noted in a phone interview with ZDNet Asia. 'Internet and mobile banking...have created a level of interactivity, or stickiness, with our customers that are not possible on other platforms,' he explained."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mobile Banking Updates - Apr 7

Sun National Plays Large in the Cloud
"Say 'cloud' and 'businesses uses' to a group of 12 bank IT execs, and you'll likely get a dozen different answers. But one common thread in the debate is the cloud's vast potential as a low-cost leveler-smaller institutions without big bank scale or stomach for unknown risk can tackle big projects. Sun National Bank, an institution with assets of about $3.4 billion and more than 60 offices, adopted a private cloud solution to roll out its new mobile banking service last year, and is currently evaluating cloud options for existing services, such as telephone banking."

The NFC-Based Mobile Wallet Isn't Science Fiction... Yet
"There's plenty of talk behind the concept of mobile NFC payments enabled through a smartphone-as-digital-wallet. The concept of the mobile wallet is linked to the future of mobile banking and payments in general.

But talk is cheap. The closest thing to widespread contactless payments still requires a physical card with MasterCard PayPass or Visa PayWave baked in. The Samsung Nexus S, running Google's Android OS, is one of the only mass market phones in the U.S. with an independent NFC chip built in. Apple said it won't include NFC in its next iPhone one day, while the next, a report said it will. Meanwhile carriers, vendors and payments providers are all racing to build their own widespread network of NFC payments.

China's Mobile Banking Penetration Reaches 52%
"According to the "2011 China Mobile Banking Industry User Survey" recently issued in Beijing by Chinese mobile internet portal 3G.cn, as of February 2011, mobile banking reached a penetration rate of 52.2% among Chinese mobile internet users, compared to 36.8% in July 2010. The report also shows that the industry is making inroads amongst the middle-age demographic, and users' personal monthly income level continues to rise."

Payment made easy with OCBC Android app
"OCBC Bank yesterday said that it has launched a mobile banking application, allowing its customers using Android phones to scan barcodes to obtain billing details and make payments from their OCBC Bank accounts. The bank said its customers have started downloading the application, OCBC Android Mobile Banking, from the Android Market since March 26."

FNB dominates cellphone banking
"First National Bank's {FNB's) cellphone banking offering has the biggest slice of the mobile banking market in SA, according to the latest Reserve Bank industry report. Every six months, the Reserve Bank releases a consolidated industry payment report, and the latest report indicates the bank is the market leader in the cellphone banking space."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mobile Banking Updates - Apr 5

Citizens Lets Corporates Off Leash with Mobile
"While mobile banking hit consumers first, there's arguably a stronger use case for corporate clients who can use new apps to take their work on the road. Citizens' October introduction of accessMobile, which offers free access to corporate mobile banking apps, has attracted a majority of its target market in just a few months. The Rhode Island-based bank's Prabhat Vira recently discussed the smarts behind smartphones for business banking."

54% of Bankers Call Creating Mobile Corporate Banking Services A High Priority
"An Aite Group survey of 267 bankers conducted this month, sponsored by Fundtech, found intense interest among banks in developing a mobile banking channel for their corporate clients. It also found a high degree of worry among the bankers about security and fraud issues."

Talking Smack About Mobile RDC
"Like a summer basketball game at the playground, mobile banking tech firms are trash talking over how mobile remote deposit capture should be offered, though their real dispute is about who can best calm the nerves of banks worried about missing out on the high demand for mobile RDC because of time to market issues.

Much of the jawing followed mFoundry's recent launch of mDeposit Express, a standalone mobile RDC product that banks can use to provide customers with a fast-deploying mobile RDC product, regardless of their current mobile banking platform, with an implementation time of 30 days or less-along with the option to add mobile banking later."

St.George launches Windows Phone 7 banking app
"The Mobile Banking Lite app allows Windows Phone 7 customers to quickly and easily check their account balance and transaction history. It can be accessed by entering a single password — once the full log-in details, including customer number, security Number and password have been entered the first time. St.George Bank CEO, Rob Chapman, said the app was the first Australian mobile banking app for Windows Phone 7 smartphones and the first app of its kind from an Australian bank."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mobile Banking Updates - Apr 3

Mobile banking is booming, survey shows
"Despite online security concerns, the number of Americans who use mobile devices to access financial services is growing fast, according to new data from comScore.
In the fourth quarter of 2010, almost 30 million Americans accessed their bank, credit card or brokerage accounts from a cell phone or tablet, up 54% from the same quarter a year earlier.

Here's how that growth breaks down for the three primary mobile banking channels (note that some people use more than one):
* Smartphone/tablet app: 10.8 million users, 120% increase
* Mobile web browser: 18.6 million users, 58% increase
* SMS text messaging: 8.1 million users, 35% increase"

Bank of America Is Said to Plan Hiring New Team of Online Banking Managers
"Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the biggest U.S. bank by deposits, is seeking to hire three executives to improve its retail online and mobile-banking services, said two people with direct knowledge of the search.

The bank retained Chicago-based recruiter Heidrick & Struggles to find a head of business development, a sales manager and an executive responsible for online and mobile strategy, said the people, who declined to be identified because the search is private. Managers with experience at rival banks have been interviewed, one of the people said."

Wells Fargo EVP Shares Channel Strategy
"As banks continue to roll out new ways of banking via mobile devices and the web, the holy grail of sorts is integration -- tying platforms together to provide a consistent experience across all channels, including ATMs, branches and call centers, in addition to mobile and online. Providing this unified banking experience means synchronizing transactions so that a customer can open an account in one channel and immediately be able to make a deposit or withdrawal via another. It also demands the ability to create a new feature or modification for compliance reasons and then extend it across all channels simultaneously."