What We’re Reading: Citi’s Tweets, Google as a Bank and Mobile Deposits
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.
- For Credit Unions, Mobile Deposits Are a Lifeline — But Are They a Fee Generator?
The camera appears as a small icon on most mobile phones. But for credit unions, it’s a big part of ensuring their future viability against much larger institutions. And depending on whom you ask, it may also be a way to boost fee income. Mobile remote deposit capture (RDC), or the use of the camera on a mobile device to create an image of a check for deposit, is expanding across financial services.
- Google Wants to Be a Bank Now
Google, the search engine company that also happens to do 35 other things, is expanding its horizons once again with a new financial services division. On Monday, the multi-billion dollar corporation is set to launch a new credit business in the United Kingdom with plans to expand to other countries in the next few weeks, according to the Financial Times. Based on what we know so far, the program will let businesses take out a line of credit — between $200 and $10,000 — to spend on Google’s money-making AdWords program. Google’s treasurer Brent Callinicos told the FT that businesses just “weren’t buying Adwords as much as they need to,” and a pilot program in the United States last year showed that offering loans made customers advertise more.
- Reflections on the Remote Deposit Capture Summit 2012
Discussions with a number of financial institutions prior to and during the event suggests that mobile RDC is a source of both excitement and aggravation. The excitement is a function of the large and growing appetite among consumers and businesses for the capability. Stories abound about how enrolments and subsequent deposits happen within minutes of making apps available on the Apple iStore. The aggravation reflects a growing realization that we may have collectively over promised and under delivered mobile RDC’s efficacy to consumers.
- Intuit opens digital banking platform to third party app developers
Intuit data shows that customers now interact with their financial institution via the digital branch more than any other way. A recent Intuit internal study showed that Intuit’s financial institutions’ online customers interact with their financial institution’s website approximately 10 times per month. When mobile is added, users interact roughly 19 times per month. And, those who access using onliusing online banking, mobile banking and tablet banking access their accounts approximately 30 times per month.
- Being Financially Fit Can Help Your Heart
On a daily basis 79% of women stated that they feel stress because of their finances. Would you be surprised to know that “stress” is one of the factors that can increase your risk of heart disease? So how can we reduce this financial stress? With simple money management knowledge, that stress can be reduced significantly. With Heart Disease being the number one killer of women, and financial stress affecting so many of us, it is critical that we deal with this stress and become financially fit. A simple first step is to have the Money Talk with yourself which means write down where all the money is going.
- Wal-Mart, Amex team up on card for lower-income shoppers
Wal-Mart Stores Inc and American Express Co have teamed up to provide financial services to customers who often do not have traditional bank accounts by offering a prepaid debit card called Bluebird. The Bluebird will allow for deposits by smartphone and mobile bill paying, with no minimum balance or monthly, annual or overdraft fees, the companies said on Monday. “Bluebird is our solution to help consumers who currently may be poorly served by traditional banking products,” said Dan Schulman of American Express. “In an era where it is increasingly ‘expensive to be poor,’ we have worked with Walmart to create a financial services product that rights many of the wrongs that plague the market today.”
- Small Businesses Are Finding An Unlikely Banker: Amazon
With its foray into commercial lending, 18-year-old Amazon.com Inc. AMZN +1.68% is looking to help sellers obtain cash more quickly than they might otherwise from a bank or other traditional lender, an Amazon spokesman said. “Our goal is to solve a difficult problem for sellers,” he said. He declined to say how many merchants have been invited to participate in its Amazon Lending program, adding that it “is early” in the life span of the initiative, which began at the end of 2011. The goal of Amazon Lending, he added, is to “serve sellers of all sizes.
- Citi Won’t Sleep on Customer Tweets
Frustrated by the 40 minutes she spent on hold with Citibank customer service, Stacy Small tweeted her displeasure. To her surprise, a Citibank agent tweeted right back. “Send us your phone number and we’ll call you right now,” read the message. Within minutes Ms. Small, who owns a luxury-travel company in Los Angeles, was on the phone with an agent, one of about 30 customer-service personnel based in Jacksonville, Fla., and San Antonio who have received special training in social media.