What We’re Reading
Below are interesting stories the Banking.com staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below.
- Prepaid Divide on Social Media
Nearly a billion consumers worldwide participate on social network platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. But prepaid industry executives and merchants are split about how the medium could improve closed-loop gift card sales. “I don’t know if Facebook is such a great place for gifting,” Walter Paulsen, senior vice president of business development and retail at the prepaid card provider Giiv Inc., said during a panel discussion March 9 at the Prepaid Card Expo here. “I certainly don’t think the code has been cracked yet.”
- Find Small-Business Leads via Social Media
Most bankers think of social media or online banking when they consider customer acquisition channels. However, there is another dimension to multichannel — using a bank’s existing consumer retail customer base to reach those individuals who are also small-business owners. With today’s e-communications platforms, it’s easy to go after this segment. According to Raddon Financial Group’s 2009 Small Business Survey, most small-business owners are more likely to use a local bank (55%) or a credit union (35%) than a large bank because of what has happened in the banking industry.
- Bank, CU Groups Form Rare Alliance in Suit Against Interchange Rule
In a rare show of unity, the leading bank and credit union industry groups filed a joint friend-of-the-court brief on Friday to support TCF Financial Corp.’s lawsuit against implementation of a rule that would limit interchange fees on debit cards. The groups argued the Federal Reserve Board’s proposal to limit such fees, which was required by the Dodd-Frank Act, was too narrowly defined. “The board’s erroneous interpretation of the Durbin Amendment threatens to wreak havoc on this vital component of our nation’s economy and to cause substantial structural disruptions to the financial services industry,” the brief said. It was signed by The Clearing House Association, American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Credit Union National Association, Mid-Size Bank Coalition of America, The Financial Services Roundtable, Independent Community Bankers of America and National Association of Federal Credit Unions.
- U.S. Bank, PayPal, Wells Fargo, Intuit and Fiserv Concur: Mobile Banking Will Go Mainstream
U.S. Bank has now joined Chase and PayPal bringing mobile remote deposit capture to its consumer and small business customers. Mobile banking is clearly building momentum. It is becoming a “must have” solution for your product set. While current mobile users have come to this channel for a need or convenience, looking ahead, some believe that users will come to this channel because of their day-to-day attachment to their cellular device. “Business people, regardless of company size, are constantly on the go so they want tools to help them manage time-sensitive cash, payment and fraud prevention decisions from wherever they are, whenever” contributes Nadilee Russell, SVP Business Solutions at Intuit Financial Services.
- Lawmakers Readying Bills to Delay Debit-Card ‘Swipe’ Fee Caps
U.S. Senator Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, discusses the outlook for legislation to delay proposed debit-card “swipe” fee caps that have been challenged by financial companies and questioned by bank regulators. Tester talks with Peter Cook in Washington on Bloomberg Television’s “InsideTrack.” Senators worked to complete their bill late yesterday as House Republicans got a first look at language that would put a hold on Federal Reserve rules aimed at making fees paid by retailers “reasonable and proportional” to processing costs, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. A proposal by Senator Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, could be introduced as soon as today, according to his spokesman Andrea Heller.
- Square, Verifone, BankAmericard and PayPal: History Requires Payments Innovators to be Security Leaders
Verifone has fired a missive at Square, aimed squarely at the innovative company that brought card-swipe devices to nearly anyone with a smartphone. As with PayPal a decade ago barriers to becoming a payments-accepting merchant have been removed, this time by Square. As is often the case, in place of the barriers are new security concerns. BankAmericard and PayPal were launched amidst significant fraud concerns too. In fact, whole new categories of protection methods, technologies, regulations and products came in the wake of what is now Visa and EBay.
- Digging Up Dirt. And Deciphering It.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Wall Street’s self-policing organization, has been broadening the scope of information about securities-industry professionals available to investors through its free BrokerCheck service at www.finra.org/brokercheck. BrokerCheck now discloses certain customer complaints and legal actions involving brokers as far back as 1999. A broker previously had to rack up three or more such complaints before they appeared on BrokerCheck. Some information, such as criminal convictions and certain penalties, are now permanently available. Some details about brokers who are no longer registered but who may be working as another type of financial adviser, such as a financial planner, are now available for 10 years, instead of two.