I was quoted using unusually provocative language (for the conservative banking industry) in the New York Times on Saturday , in which I referred to First American Bank’s public calling out of Bank of America as “hot bank on bank action”. Reporter Ron Lieber used the words “punk rock fashion” to precede my quote, as he went on to describe the jarring public dispute on Read the rest of this entry »
It’s been an “interesting” week to follow the fortunes of Bitcoin and Mt. Gox, with rumors abounding of the death of both the exchange and the fledgling currency itself. It certainly looks like the wheels have fallen off Mt. Gox, with today’s announcement of filing for bankruptcy protection and $63.6 million of outstanding debt. But, the demise of Bitcoin itself is less certain. The faith that investors have placed in Bitcoin has clearly been a ‘buyer beware’ situation – even the most cursory look at the value of the currency over the last year is a textbook rollercoaster ride…
Person to person (P2P) payments are quickly becoming a regular feature of today’s banking industry. ClearXchange, the P2P payment platform that developed as a partnership between Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo, has announced that it has added Capital One to its list of owners. Capital One is the second FI to join clearXchange (the first institution was the regional FI FirstBank) and is scheduled to go live with the service later in 2014. According to Javelin data, the addition of Capital One now gives clearXchange the capacity to reach 40% of all U.S. banking adults and 53% of all adult credit cardholders. Read the rest of this entry »
Not surprisingly, the Javelin Research Team have had quite a lot of media requests since the start of the year relating to the Target data breach and why the US hadn’t moved to this new fangled chip card technology called EMV (no, not a record label with a dog sticking it’s head into a gramophone). I’m not going to get into the many, many conversations we had about whether the Target breach could have been prevented with EMV, or the relative benefits of chip and signature compared to chip and PIN. What I am going to discuss is the topic that didn’t come up – when will the payments industry finally ditch the magnetic stripe?
At Mobile World Congress, MasterCard announced the acquisition of C-Sam. C-Sam’s current customers include Isis and Starhub, a carrier in Singapore. C-Sam will provide an “operating system” for MasterPass, a white label wallet platform that can be marketed to retail banks, mobile operators, and payment providers globally. Mobile wallets are becoming increasingly important to merchants. Last year in the U.S., almost $60 billion was spent by consumers using their mobile devices. Additionally, according to the 2013 Lexis-Nexis Merchant Study of 1,139 US merchants, 19% of merchants’ total revenue was derived from the mobile channel. The C-Sam platform includes SDKs, and supports NFC, bar codes, and cloud-based transactions, and includes banking, loyalty, in-app and other offers. C-Sam provides an in-store and online back-end and front end platform for MasterCard to build upon. PayPal bought Braintree; Visa bought Fundamo; now MasterCard buys C-Sam. Smart acquisitions of proven players are quite often the best way for payment networks to “innovate from without.”
1) Mobile Banking Instant
In 2014, the top new trend is “Mobile Banking Instant,” the streamlined delivery of information through the mobile app without requiring a log-in. By just showing up at the app, mobile banking customers can virtually peek through a keyhole to see just a limited amount of information without needing to unlock the door and open the app. First Niagara securely allows a quick look at available balances for up to five accounts without signing in to mobile banking. TD Bank gives access to basic information without log in and Bank of the West allows a peek at balances without signing on. Citi, in beta, allows a look at up to 15 account balances and deposit checks without log on, using an opt in method. This feature can be used to open up mobile banking to new customers, for example, those who want to check for Social Security deposits or tax refunds, but don’t want to be bothered with learning a log on or password. And with today’s consumers often having shorter Read the rest of this entry »