What We’re Reading: The Underbanked, iPhone 5, P2P Mobile Transfers
- Who are the unbanked?
Nearly 10 million households across the country are living without a bank account. And in some states, these residents make up a big slice of the population. Among all of the regions in the country, the South has the largest percentage of residents who are “unbanked,” meaning they don’t have a checking or a savings account. According to an FDIC report released this week, 10% of the region’s population doesn’t have a bank account, compared to the national average of 8.2%.
- Banks Working On Linking Up Their Payment Systems To Make Person-To-Person Mobile Transfers Easier
The nation’s big four are discussing how they can link up their payment systems to make it easier for consumers to send money via mobile devices or even emails. The first step involves getting all the banks on the same playing field. Right now, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo are already cool with operating on a system called clearXchange. The remaining Big Four bank Citigroup has teamed up with 1,400 smaller banks on the Popmoney system.
- Members’ Needs Driving Force Behind PFM Adoption
The $915 million Unitus Community CU blocked access to a popular online personal finance software service provider over possible security issues, said Laurie Kresl, vice president of planning and business development for the Portland, Ore.-based credit union. “We started looking into why our members wanted to share their financial information [with the software service],” Kresl recalled. “So we thought since we are in the business of taking care of our members’ needs, it was up to us to offer them a PFM; one that would appear on our online banking site and provide them with security.” After reviewing proposals from numerous vendors, Unitus partnered with Geezeo of Tolland, Conn.
- New Mobile Payments Standards Issued by PCI
Mobile payments via smartphones will in fact take off soon. A step in that direction: the PCI Security Standards Council now has issued its PCI Mobile Payments Acceptance Security Guidelines. a dense, 20-page document designed to bring safety and security to the emerging sector. The current document focuses on two issues: how best to secure mobile payments transactions and how to secure the apps used for mobile payments.The document stated: “Any risk that exists on a standard desktop or laptop computer may also exist on a mobile device. In addition, mobile devices may have a broader set of functionalities than standard desktop and laptop computers, resulting in more security vulnerabilities.”
- The Mobile Banking Infographic
More and more people are using mobile banking services. In fact, now that 87% of the U.S. population has a mobile phone, half of which are smartphones, the trend will undoubtedly continue its upward trajectory. According to some estimates, 20% of mobile subscribers use their phone to access mobile banking services, with 80% saying it’s more convenient than an ATM machine. The most common use (for 90% of mobile banking users) is to check account balances or recent transaction, followed by money transferring between accounts (42%). Only 12% used their phone to make a mobile payment in the past year, though that figure will rise, as well.
- iPhone 5 Omits One Technology
It turns out that getting N.F.C. to work right with the new design of the iPhone wasn’t even possible. The iPhone 5’s all-aluminum-and-glass body would block information from being transmitted to a terminal. Another explanation is that Apple simply didn’t want to add N.F.C. yet, because the company doesn’t do something unless it feels the market is there. For instance, it never released a cheap Apple netbook because it didn’t have faith in that market. Other times it is way ahead of the marketplace – witness the iPhone itself, which radically changed the cellphone market.
- Mobile Devices Hit Retail Pay Dirt
As customer habits shift, big businesses will be at risk. For example, iPads and iPod Touches already are becoming popular alternatives to cash registers and credit-card swipe machines. Take Nordstrom-over time, the large retailer says it plans to go “completely mobile” in its stores. It is outfitting employees with iPod Touches or similar devices equipped to take credit cards. With more walking cash registers, the traditional kind provided by, say, Fujitsu, may be threatened. The same goes for regular credit-card swipe terminals from the likes of VeriFone Systems.
- More Americans opt out of traditional banking
In the aftermath of one of the worst recessions in history, more Americans have limited or no interaction with banks, instead relying on check cashers and payday lenders to manage their finances, according to a new federal report. Released Wednesday, a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp study found that 821,000 households opted out of the banking system from 2009 to 2011 and that the “unbanked” population grew to 8.2 percent of U.S. households. That means that roughly 17 million adults are without a checking or savings account. An additional 51 million adults have a bank account but use pawnshops, payday lenders or rent-to-own services, the FDIC said.