What We’re Reading: Green Dot, Virtual Piggy and Mobile Banking
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.
- Account Balance Forecasts On the Way to E-Banking
What would it take to make personal financial management apps more popular? Cash flow predictions and deeper spending insights, say many observers in this market, from entrepreneurs to analysts to bankers. “Historically, most PFM solutions focus on what has already occurred. It’s too late. It’s done. You spent it. It’s gone,” Jacob Jegher, senior analyst at Celent, tells BTN.
- Mobile Banking Via Tablet Continues To Grow
A new study from SYNERGISTICS Research finds that four in ten Internet households already have some form of tablet device, and one-third of those report that they use those machines for online banking. The study, titled “Optimizing Mobile Banking and Payment Strategies,” found that mobile and online banking activity is most widespread among consumers ages 18 to 34-a demographic many credit unions and banks are trying to attract.
- Get a Fresh Financial Start with a Credit Union Savings Plan
When it comes to helping members budget and gain control over their spending in order to save more, Leaders offers Greenpath Financial Education, and Intuit FinanceWorks integrated into their online banking. “FinanceWorks is very similar to Mint, yet it’s already built-into online banking and allows the member to track spending, set goals, and categorize their finances,” explained Josh McAfee, Marketing Manager, Leaders Credit Union.
- Threat of the Week: Corporate Credit Unions Should Bolster Defenses Against DDoS
The accepted opinion among security professionals is that most credit unions will get a free pass to dodge the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) blitzkrieg that has been knocking big banks offline and that is because the attackers have exhibited a strong preference for hitting targets that – when they go down – generate headlines, like Bank of America or Capital One. Historically, DDoS attacks were driven by pings from a ragtag Zombie PC botnet. Today’s attacks against big banks are said to be organized by a nation state and they harness not Zombie PCs but industrial-grade web hosts and data centers.
- Virtual Piggy Puts Allowances Online–Could It Be Paypal For Kids?
Virtual Piggy’s software for desktop and mobile allows families to manage allowances and helps guide kids’ shopping online, 100% free for users. The rapidly-growing Hermosa Beach, California-based company has attracted the attention of billionaire John Paul Dejoria, (no. 92 on the FORBES 400 list with an estimated net worth of $4 billion) who in 2012 made a multi-million dollar investment and joined the company’s board. Actress Sela Ward and Oprah Winfrey‘s longtime partner Stedman Graham also advise.
- If You Use Chase Mobile Banking, You’re Probably Richer than All Your Friends Who Don’t
According to data recently released by Intuit, the use of banking technology in addition to banking through traditional brick-and-mortar branches may aid in saving money. The Intuit data, which examined information from approximately 50 financial institutions, collected between July 2009 and Sept. 2012, revealed that people who bank online are far more engaged with their financial institutions. Director of analytics at Intuit Financial Services, Russell Lester, stated the ease of accessing accounts and making transactions via online and mobile devices was beneficial for both parties. “The data is clear — greater engagement via digital channels leads to better financial outcomes for the user and the financial institution,” he explained.
- Green Dot’s GoBank Takes Aim at Gen “Y.2” and Slow-Moving FIs
Green Dot’s effort to blaze a trail for the next generation of banking highlights the building competition for Gen Y consumers and the challenges that must be overcome to redefine banking. It also sends a warning signal to the credit union industry that it must do something to avoid becoming a generational anachronism. As Javelin detailed in “A Tale of Two Gen Ys” – a report issued to subscribers last week and scheduled for public release Jan. 22 – the growing economic clout of Generation Y cannot be ignored. Of immediate interest are 25- to 34-year olds – whom we dubbed “Y.2” – a group of hyper-vigilant but cautious consumers raised with expectations of digital service but struggling at times to establish online and mobile financial habits.
- Banking Branchless & Mobile Only
Branchless banking is a banking strategy beginning to be widely adopted in many developed as well as developing countries over the world. Banks and FIs opting for branchless banking will not have any kind of physical presence or branches – whether expanding their network or starting a new network – in any of the markets. For example, First Direct in the UK launched branchless banking as early as 1989 and operates only via phone, post and online.
- New Bank Has No Branches, Just an App — And Thinks You’ll Volunteer to Pay for It
The company that made prepaid debit cards for the “unbanked” ubiquitous has a new venture: a bank. But Green Dot isn’t planning on opening any branches. To visit this bank, you have to open up the app. Green Dot’s GoBank, announced this week in San Francisco, attempts to push mobile banking forward by making banking mobile-only. And the company seems to believe the GoBank app will delight account holders so much that they will voluntarily pay for the privilege of using it.