What We’re Reading: BankAmeriDeals, Retail Banking and the Square/Starbucks Partnership
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.
- Bank of America’s Cash-Back Deals System Launches Nationwide
Bank of America announced the nationwide launch of its online rewards system, BankAmeriDeals. The system allows consumers to select deals online or through a mobile app and then redeem those offers by spending with an eligible Bank of America credit or debit card. The bank began testing BankAmeriDeals internally with Cardlytics in January, and has since rolled out the system regionally to consumers. After a consumer redeems a cash-back reward, the funds are credited to the credit or checking account linked to the consumer’s card.
- The Pros and Cons of Mobile Payment Services
Apps for accepting customer credit cards on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are becoming big business. Take for instance San Francisco-based mobile payments startup Square, which recently inked a deal with Starbucks to process all of the Seattle coffee giant’s credit and debit transactions. And major companies such as PayPal and accounting software provider Intuit have created their own payment apps, too. For small businesses, that means there are more options for simpler credit card processing or an inexpensive point-of-sale system.
- Putting the retail into retail banking
Whilst perhaps still not at the level the regulators want, shopping around for better financial deals is becoming much more prevalent in the UK, particularly in the insurance, credit card and mortgage markets. As a result, there is a huge market in lead generation, with comparison websites spending huge sums on TV advertising, resulting in merchants and demented opera singers being amongst the most recognized people in the UK! It’s also led to a revolution in how these products are sold – you can go into most supermarkets and buy a carton of pet insurance at the same as you are buying their favorite tinned food. This weekend saw a number of interesting developments that raises the question as to whether we are on the cusp of another step in the realization of financial services, and perhaps into a very different type of universal bank.
- Wells Fargo named best Internet bank in U.S.
Global Finance magazine has named Wells Fargo the “best Internet bank” in the U.S. for both consumers and corporations, according to its annual rankings published in its September issue. In the consumer category, Wells took the top spot in best bill payment, best website design and best in social media. In corporate, Wells was tops in website design, mobile banking and online treasury services. “Customers have woven online and mobile banking into their everyday lives, and engage with us each day through our social media channel. The Global Finance Magazine awards are a great honor,” Wells Fargo digital channels group executive Jim Smith said in a statement.
- Starbucks/Square partnership: what does it mean?
The Starbucks/Square partnership certainly is among the major recent announcements related to in-store mobile payments, and has the potential to significantly help jump start adoption. Key questions that our research addresses still remain: 1) “What’s the benefit to consumers” (short answer: it’s still more of a novelty. If a consumer could start ordering earlier in the long early morning queues or loyalty benefits such as discounts or coupons are integrated the mainstream consumer will be standoffish. For more details, see our data on consumers who are early adopters of mobile payments, banking, alerts and more, along with analysis of the solutions offered by various providers.
- Alliance Wants to Make Mobile Payments the New Norm, But Where Is Square?
The mobile payments industry may have entered adolescence this week. Square’s deal with Starbucks shows “m-payments” are no longer just the cute little kids on the block who everyone pats on the head and tells “good job” while the adults do the real work. In another sign of apparent maturity, most of the major players in mobile payments (with one big exception, its poster-child, Square — more on that in a moment) are forming an alliance to solve the problems that arise when trying to transition from novelty to norm. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have joined with the major credit card companies, Google, PayPal, Intuit and others to form the Electronic Transactions Association’s Mobile Payments Committee.