What We’re Reading: The Underbanked, Credit Union Executives and Social Media
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.
- It’s a Real Bank, and It’s Made by Real Internet
Green Dot today launches the smartphone-based GoBank, which will have no overdraft or penalty fees, no minimum balance and a “pay what you feel is right” monthly membership fee. GoBank promises that it can fully bridge the two worlds. That’s because pre-paid card provider Green Dot actually bought an FDIC-insured bank back in 2011 in Utah, after two years of regulatory hurdles.
- Mobile Devices Can Help Bank the Underbanked
Mobile technologies are revolutionizing financial services in both developing and developed economies, helping bring a wider range of services to a greater number of people than ever before. As a result of advances in mobile technologies, the way consumers interact with financial institutions is being redefined, providing a new level of access. While potentially revolutionary for everyone, this is particularly so for the underbanked.
- Pessimistic Outlook for 2013 in Web Survey of Credit Union Executives
An increasing number of executives are pessimistic about the 2013 outlook for their credit unions because of more regulations, low interest rates and a weak economic recovery, according to a Web survey of 271 credit union leaders by Abound Resources, an Austin, Texas-based management consulting firm. The survey found that 25% of credit union executives are either somewhat or very pessimistic. Last year, the Abound Resources survey found only 16% of credit union executives were either somewhat or very pessimistic in 2012.
- Reacting to Nasty Tweets, Snarky Posts May Help CUs Shine
Just when your credit union starts getting the hang of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google+, someone writes a negative post on your page, and all hell breaks loose. The ability to create a forum where credit unions can communicate directly with members or potential members creates a direct relationship. According to Michael Ogden media relations manager-new media for CUNA Mutual Group, a recent survey of credit unions by the groups marketing research department showed that 94% of credit unions are investing time and money on Facebook as a part of their marketing strategy. Facebook and Twitter are the two most-used social media platforms for credit unions and 55% of credit unions are using some form of Web analytics.
- Beyond Mobile Banking: Building New Consumer Apps
Examples of non-core mobile apps from financial institutions certainly aren’t common. That’s not to say that in the future, financial institutions won’t invest more time and money into this area. The strategy offers a number of advantages: Provide real value for customersIncrease loyalty, Attract new customers, Extend product and service offerings, Boost saving volumes and interest in investments, Improve corporate social responsibility. We are already seeing non-core banking apps, allowing people to take their financial institution with them where the last hurdle (house hunting, acquiring goods/services, etc.) ultimately comes back to paying for something. Device developments and the explosion of data will give consumers apps so they can navigate these experiences more seamlessly.
- Reboot Hadoop?
Big Data’s sweet spot starts at 110GB and the most common customer data situation is between 10 to 30TB.Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit came out with a set of articles highlighting the fact that “Big Data wasn’t just for Big Companies”. Brad is right. If you look at the distribution of businesses by employee count in the U.S here, you’ll notice, that, state by state, the number of companies between 20-500 employees is on average 40 times larger than that of large companies.
- US Bank to pilot NFC iPhone case
US Bank has chosen Salt Lake City and Portland as test sites for an iPhone case that turns the handset into a contactless payments device. The bank is offering its FlexPerks Visa customers in the cities the chance to sign up for the Go Mobile trial if they have an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S.
- Seven Resolutions to Get Your Nest Egg in Shape
But if you want to learn to stick with a budget over time, a growing number of largely free online tools and mobile apps can help. Services offered by banks and companies, including Intuit Inc.’s Mint.com import and aggregate data from your credit cards, loans, and bank, brokerage and 401(k) accounts. They break down your spending into categories, such as utilities or groceries, and some can even track how much you spend at specific stores or on specific items, like coffee. Once you know how much is going out and for what, it becomes much easier to pinpoint cuts that can make a real difference.