Five ways payments will be different in 2024

November 24, 2015
/   Voices

Predicting the future of cash and card payment volumes is arguably a fool’s errand – but Payments UK, Britain’s new trade organisation for the industry, is in a good place to have a go...

Contactless cards: Opt-in or opt-out?

/   Voices

Australia is toying with the idea of creating an opt-in function for contactless cards, in a move that highlights the problems around coping with new payment technology and how fraud risks are handled.

Five EMV lessons for the US

/   Voices

The EMV liability shift has occurred in the US, so what can we expect to see happen in the coming months and years as a result of this change?

Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

Many financial institutions assume that digital banking is lucrative because the most valuable customers happen to bank online. While there is certainly a correlation between online bankers and higher profitability, quantitative evidence suggests that...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

2014 is rapidly approaching and as the year wraps, the Digital Insight team has pulled together the top 10 trends in the digital banking industry based on data and trends from studying financial institutions....

Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

May 29, 2014
/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

November 21, 2012
/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading

May 5, 2011
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below. Virtual Banking Worlds Provide Tangible Lessons American...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

Does anybody know what comes next for mobile banking?

It’s a valid question, because we can all be sure it won’t be the same as it is now. That’s the basic understanding of technology: When something is working well, the best thing to do is to break it and find something that works better. If we don’t, someone else will.

Here’s a good reason to follow that rule. Consulting firm KPMG is out with its Global Mobile Banking Report for 2015, and the numbers are amazing. In only four years, mobile banking will double to 1.8 billion users worldwide. That’s a solid quarter of the entire world’s population. Is that really going to happen with the same tools and technologies we have now? That wasn’t the case with PCs, mobile devices, social channels or any other technology fields, so it’s a safe bet that there are entirely new paradigms on the way, and they will drive changes in customer habits.

The related question has to do with the institutions behind those advances. They’ll win, and others will lose. Remember, mobile banking users are among the most fickle customers around—one problem with the app can drive them to another bank with better options.

Stymied by the difficulties inherent in cultivating their own innovations, some institutions have taken to buying the goods—they just go about acquiring technology firms wholesale. But when money is involved, it changes the dynamic. There’s a raft of compliance mandates to consider, along with rising challenges from a variety of threat matrices. While certain other industries can be more liberal in their experimentation, the true potential of ‘Open Banking’ is still largely unrealized.

In this context, another finding from the KPMG study is particularly relevant. The report notes that adoption rates for mobile banking are highest in what are loosely described as ‘developing’ countries. For example, they reach 50%-60% in vast markets such as China and India. However, there are serious concerns here that need to be addressed.

Researchers from the University of Florida are reporting that mobile money systems in nations such as Brazil, India, Indonesia and Thailand exhibit alarming levels of vulnerabilities in the technologies used. They studies several dozen popular apps and identified numerous problems, ranging from ineffective cryptography and poor authentication to widespread data leaks.

Branchless banking supported by mobile capabilities clearly offer a significant advantage to an underserved demographic—these apps sometimes represent the only way consumers can pay bills, send money and conduct other transactions, all features that those in more developed markets take for granted.

However, it should also be remembered that some of these regions lack the industry maturity needed to address the problems. In fact, many of these services are offered not by the banks themselves but by telecommunications and other technology companies, without the regulatory protections involved.

There’s no panacea to be found here. The KPMG study says that there are three basic issues confronting continued growth, and it’s not hard to guess what they are.  First, innovation must be matched with adequate security. Next, that fickle customer won’t get any easier to please—if anything, it will become more demanding. And of course, a comprehensive mobile strategy that covers many bases is required, which means looking past the next cool app.

So that’s the challenge. Is your institution taking a big-picture approach to mobile banking, one that encompasses entirely new offerings that defy current conventions? If it isn’t, take a look around, because that’s what comes next.


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James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Brad Strothkamp