What We’re Reading: Mobile Bill Pay, Going Green, ATM Technology and Digital Wallets

by Banking.com Staff December 15, 2011   Spotlight

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 or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • Young Adults Trust Banks More Than Other Mobile Payment Providers

American Banker

Young, tech-savvy adults may be the quickest to embrace new technology, but don’t bet on them trusting social media sites or funky startups with their cash. Banks win out easily, at least for now. A new study from Market Strategies International suggests young adults are more likely than any other group to trust banks more than alternative payment providers when it comes to emerging mobile-payment services. “We tested the hypothesis that younger folks who are quick to adopt new technology and are willing to put their entire lives in Facebook trust these alternative providers more than they do banks, and found no support for that theory,” says Mark Willard, senior vice president and head of Market Strategies’ financial services division.

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  • Wells Fargo Ties Customer Relationship Management to Its ATMs

American Banker

Wells Fargo has long been an early adopter of new ATM technology — it was the first bank to convert paper check deposits to images, and last year became the first banks to allow simultaneous “mixed media” deposits of cash and checks. It recently finished one of its older projects — allowing “no envelope” deposits at all 12,000 of its ATMs, an upgrade that took the better part of the past decade. The end of the migration means the entire fleet is enabled to sort, count, verify and make cash deposits available for immediate use. The bank classifies the ATM check deposits made by 9 PM as “same day” deposits, in effect lengthening the banking day. As the bank passed that milestone, ATM chief Alicia Moore spoke with BTN about the other capabilities the bank has added to its huge ATM network, advancements that are designed to improve the machines’ ability to work in concert with other channels.

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  • TD Bank Pledges to Decrease Paper Use

American Banker

TD Bank Group said Tuesday that it is aiming to become “paper neutral” in its North American operations by the end of 2012. TD has the overall goal of reducing its paper use by 20% by 2015. Over the next year, the bank will expand its paperless banking options and other online services for customers. The bank also said that it will partner with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to offset the impact of the paper it uses. The program will work to protect areas of threatened forest habitat. TD’s goal to reduce its paper use comes a year after it became carbon neutral.

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  • Customers opt to stay with big banks to avoid the headaches of switching

Boston Globe

Smaller rivals and anti-Wall Street protesters have launched campaigns to persuade depositors to leave the nation’s largest banks, such as Bank of America, Citigroup Inc. of New York, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. of New York, and Wells Fargo & Co. of San Francisco. But analysts predict the vast majority of customers will stay put. Many appreciate the convenience of vast networks of ATMs and branches and the variety of services offered by the biggest banks. And many like Miller, annoyed as they might be, just don’t want to deal with switching accounts.

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  • Mobile cash transfers gain currency; More banks offer person-to-person money services using email, cellphones

Chicago Tribune

An increasing number of banks are rushing to offer or enhance person-to-person money transfer services. In many instances, all you need to send money to someone is their mobile number or email address. Person-to-person mobile payments are still in their infancy in the United States, with only 4 percent of Web-connected adults using them in 2010, according to a report last month by Forrester Research Inc. But those using the technology are enthusiastic about it: More than half of all mobile person-to-person payment users conduct such transactions at least monthly, and interest has been growing over the past three years, Forrester said.

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  • Six million households paid a bill with a smartphone last year

Into Mobile

Fiserv, a financial and technology solutions company, conducted some really interesting research that showed a significant uptick in the way consumers pay their bills. It turns out that six million Americans have used smartphones to make bill payments in the past year, according to the company’s 2011 Billing Household Survey. This is not only due to the change in how mobile devices operate, but the way all billers have made it easier for customers with destination websites for billing and payment – tailored for last minute and one-time payments. Discussing the survey’s findings, Jardon Bouska, an executive for Fiserv, said: “This year’s Billing Household survey demonstrates that consumers are looking to their banks and billers for multiple billing and payment options that are quick and easy, and can change to meet household needs and expectations.”

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  • War Over the Digital Wallet

Wall Street Journal

The war of the “wallets” is escalating, with two of the biggest names in technology skirmishing over who will control how consumers spend money using their smartphones. Google Inc. said it would bow to a demand by Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest cellphone operator, and withhold Google’s mobile-payment technology from devices sold by the carrier. While a seemingly small choice, the move shows just how valuable—and disputed—this part of the digital landscape is becoming. Google claims Verizon is blocking its Google Wallet mobile payments app from being pre-loaded on its newest smartphone or being downloaded by consumers themselves.

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