What We’re Reading: Facebook’s Payment System, the Microsoft Tablet and Overdraft Fees
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.
- Facebook Upgrades Its Payment System
Facebook (FB) is moving away from its Credits virtual currency to a more robust payment system that supports real money. At the same time, new survey data show that consumers are interested in bringing their banking business to the social network. Nearly 30% of consumers surveyed said they might one day use Facebook for some type of banking service if it were offered, according to an online survey Cisco conducted in May among 1,061 consumers in North America. Cisco published its findings June 20. Though Facebook does not currently offer traditional banking products, it is aggressively making its payment system more compatible with existing means of moving money.
- Microsoft Tablet May Lack iPad’s Luster, But Should Sync Well with Banks
Microsoft’s (MSFT) announcement Monday that it will soon produce its own tablet took aim at Apple’s (AAPL) iPad, but it adds another potentially important gadget to bankers’ toolboxes as they ascertain the right formula for tablets. Though Microsoft is late to the tablet party, most banks use Microsoft software in their vast chains of technology, and its software is integral to some part of core and back office operations for nearly every financial institution, experts say. Its tablet might close the technology loop by offering customers and employees a device to use in branches and in distributed or mobile work environments. “For several years, Microsoft has been talking about presenting itself as a part of the branch of the future, it has been advertising and marketing around conceptual frameworks for new branches, and it has talked about embedded software passing applications from [desktops or servers] to tablets,” says Kevin Travis, a partner at Novantas.
- What’s Keeping the Underbanked and Banks Apart?
With some of today’s big announcements at the 7th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum, it’s clear that the underbanked are on FIs’ minds. So why is it that banks and the underbanked are on such uncertain terms? Is it something banks aren’t doing? Is it that banks don’t listen? Are the underbanked getting their financial needs met elsewhere?
- Hack of LinkedIn shows need for multiple passwords
One of the way social networks grow – their ace in the hole – is by playing on human nature. When someone you don’t know sends you a message asking to be your “friend,” do you really want to turn him down? If a woman you know on an online forum thinks you should connect to her on Google+, wouldn’t a “no” be an insult? People want to get along, so they click and their networks grow and the social networking companies prosper.
- Chase to Drop Overdraft Fees for Purchases of $5 or Less
As of July 22, JPMorgan Chase will no longer charge its checking account customers overdraft fees for any purchase of $5 or less. The change will help eliminate multiple overdraft fees – charged when customers overspend their account – for small purchases. Say that you have overdrawn your account and have a negative balance of, oh, $60 (probably incurring an overdraft fee of $34, according to Chase’s checking disclosure). Then you use your debit card to buy a snack for $4.50 and a cup of coffee for $3.50.
- Banks add security layers to protect customers
What are the odds that the head of a company that tracks financial fraud would have his own bank account breached? James Van Dyke, president of Javelin Strategy & Research, certainly found it ironic when Wells Fargo alerted him to a fraudulent transaction six months ago. He was also glad he had signed up for a service that notifies him every time there’s a credit card transaction that occurs in his California business’s name. “At first, it seemed like a lot, but now the mobile alert is comforting,” he said.
- Windows Phone 8: Speech, Wallet and more games on the way
As expected, Microsoft announced Wednesday that the Windows Phone will be more integrated with Windows 8. Just days after showing the world its Surface tablet, Microsoft continued to make announcements that indicate it’s finally ready to pull its strengths together and address some of its bigger weaknesses. Joe Belfiore, head of the company’s phone program, said starting this fall Windows phones will ship with the shared core and he promised “more apps, bigger, more important apps coming faster and beautiful games.” New Windows phones will have dual-core (and more) chips, three new screen resolutions and removable MicroSD cards. All existing Windows Phone 7.5 apps will run on all of the resolutions without any changes, Belfiore said.