Author: Brandon Kunz, email@example.com
When $2 trillion+ JPMorgan Chase announced that it was offering mobile remote deposit capture, it received a flurry of attention from the press, from industry analysts, and directly from consumers and small business owners who have seen its QuickDeposit for Mobile commercials spread across prime time television and even the Super Bowl.
Chase was already well known for convenience with an extensive customer servicing infrastructure of over 5,100 branches and 10,000 ATMs. So, why the significant and very public push into mobile remote deposit? And why now, when most financial institutions are leery of making any aggressive move with remote deposit capture due to regulatory and compliance concerns?
In speaking about this topic at the ProfitStars Educational Conference this year in Chicago with a wide variety of ProfitStars’ clients including Chase, several of our other large financial institution clients, and a diverse group of smaller financial institutions it became clear that despite the fact that while many of us who have been around the industry for a long time thought mobile remote deposit fool’s gold just a few years ago the world around us has changed.
The core value proposition to the end user of remote deposit capture has always made sense, including:
- Saving trips to the bank and the associated risk
- Accelerating clearing and enhancing cash flow (sometimes just a matter of eliminating “desk float”)
- Reducing return item risk
- Making it possible to maintain relationships with preferred financial institution providers regardless of relocation and business growth
What has changed is our ability to provide these benefits through a much more convenient and readily available channel than ever before. We are almost a full year ahead of Javelin projections from April of last year in smart phone adoption. Key market segments are particularly attracted to the mobile channel and have clearly stated their desire in word and action for convenience and time savings through meaningful mobile applications. These factors together with the ability of the more reputable remote deposit solutions on the market today to effectively mitigate the risk of remote deposit transactions through proven security controls, user tracking, deposit limits and review procedures and enterprise level duplicate detection technologies all triangulate to change the question to not whether your financial institution will offer mobile remote deposit but when.
And the answer to the “when” question for most financial institutions at the PEC this year was within the next 12-24 months. Chase’s recent marketing efforts have certainly made an impact on the expectations of consumers and small businesses around the country and competing banks need to react accordingly.
All banks, regardless of size, should be aggressively developing a mobile deposit strategy, and should be planning to implement it in the near future. The service will extend deposit gathering to consumers and small businesses at the lowest possible price, while increasing loyalty at the same time. Those that act quickly have much more to gain, and will be well positioned to capitalize on the future market.
Author: Lee Wetherington, firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a confession. I just accepted my first personal credit card payment from a colleague down the hall, and I’m on a payments high. Sure, it was only a dollar, but it was glorious. Not because I used my iPhone, a card-swipe dongle, and a free app to do it. Not because my colleague used his finger to sign for it. But because of what happened next.
Before either of us could recover from the simplicity, elegance, and sheer techie coolness of what just happened, my colleague received an instantaneous text receipt with a link to a map on which the location of the transaction was conveniently marked by a virtual push-pin. Our mouths agape, our payments-geek beanie propellers swirling, we moaned in dumbstruck approval—which immediately prompted the arrival of another colleague.
And this is the real source of my payments high. The experience went viral. Suddenly there were three of us.
Capitalizing on the euphoria, my colleague’s text receipt also included a short, pithy invitation to join…Square. Yes, the same company recently taken to task by Verifone for lax security, Square was the company providing this payments experience.
My colleague tapped the invitation link in his text receipt and signed up with Square in less than 90 seconds. No long forms, no merchant-account setup/approval, no hassle. “Give me that,” he said, taking my card-swipe dongle and inserting it into his phone. “Now you pay me that dollar back.”
“You can’t use my dongle!” I insisted, though not sure why. “Besides, you haven’t even set up and verified the account into which you want my dollar deposited.”
“Let’s just see if it works,” he said. And it did. It worked.
Within 5 minutes, all three of us were planning our next respective opportunities to win friends and influence people with our smartphone card tricks.
Now, depending on where you’re plotted on the continuum of freedom and security, what I’ve just described either frightens or fascinates you. The frightened will ask a series of predictable questions. “Where did the dollar go? Why is he allowed to use your dongle? Could he possibly pay himself, bypass cash advance fees, commit kiting?!”
The fascinated will celebrate the freedom. “You mean you don’t have to be a business to accept a card payment? Anybody can do it? Sign me up!”
As we migrate to a mobile-centric world, payments are the holy grail. Recent announcements by Google, Verifone, and others fuel the long-held hope that ubiquitous wave-and-go, tap-and-go convenience at the point-of-sale is near.
That said, the single biggest barrier to mobile adoption is fear surrounding security. But fear is on the front end of everything new and worthwhile in our industry (credit cards, online banking, remote deposit, etc.). And fear is especially prominent in payments—for good reason.
At the end of the day, however, what moves us through the fear toward better, faster, cheaper ways of engaging and transacting are transformative experiences that compel breaks with old behaviors. Granted, Square has some encryption homework to do, but it has nailed the end-user experience, democratized card acceptance, and raised the bar on usability, without which security is largely moot.
Security must ultimately square with breakthroughs in usability, but usability moves us forward.
So, are we square?
Author: Chris Sutherland, email@example.com
Virtualization…so what is it? Virtualization is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of your IT environment’s operating system, a server, or resources. In today’s world of power hardware, it is not uncommon for servers to use less than 10% of their capacity. This is one key reason why IT organizations are considering virtualization of some, or even all, of their computing infrastructures. Virtualization helps them derive the biggest “bang” of their proverbial computing “buck.” Virtualization works by inserting software called the “hypervisor” or the virtualization layer. The hypervisor performs the mapping between the virtual and physical resources. It is what enables the various resources to be dispensed, regardless of the underlying hardware, and in some cases, the software OS. In effect, the hypervisor takes over hardware management from the operating system.
Now, why should virtualization be considered by today’s businesses? There are five main reasons to consider virtualization:
- Get more out of hardware resources. By letting several virtual servers share a single set of hardware resources, a much larger average of utilization rate is achieved, and hardware and support cost of that hardware can be lowered.
- Reduce Data Center costs. In today’s world, people need to control or cut costs, and virtualization can assist here, too. By centralizing and virtualizing servers, you can reduce the amount of real estate space needed to house the equipment. Less servers and less space lead to less HVAC, power, and possibly even less administrative overhead.
- Increased Availability of servers and data. With the proper configuration you can gain increased availability and uptime. With products for High Availability, you no longer need to schedule time after hours for system down or service calls. You have the ability to migrate guest servers to available working hosts and perform your maintenance or fix damaged equipment.
- Gain operations flexibility. Have you ever heard the words, “I have a program that I need YESTERDAY!” Virtualization makes it easy to provision and reallocate servers. Using pre-existing templates, you can create servers more efficiently and quickly adapt to market changes and needs.
- Improved desktop management and security. Within a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, you are provided with environments that can be accessed locally or remotely, with or without network connections, from almost any standard PC, laptop, or tablet PC.
Virtualization is definitely one of the hottest topics in the IT Industry today. There are lots of things to consider when looking into virtualization, so it is not something that is to be taken lightly. You should do your research and talk with consultants to help you address your particular environment’s needs. For more information, check out the ProfitStars free webinars about virtualization at www.profitstars.com.
Author: Lee Wetherington, firstname.lastname@example.org
For anybody who follows the financial services space, Personal Financial Management (PFM) is no new thing. Intuit’s acquisition of Mint and the failures of both Wesabe and Rudder have dominated headlines and fueled a lot of industry buzz about future acquisitions, mergers, and partnerships between upstart PFMs and established financial service providers.
More recently, PFM has broadened to Online Financial Management (OFM), the new, sexy way of talking about next-generation cash management for businesses as well as consumers. Both PFM and OFM typically provide a centralized dashboard that not only aggregates data in one place but visually presents that data in a meaningful and —if you’re really hip—actionable way, i.e., here’s your data, what it means, and an option to act on it.
But what about FM for the FI? Why can’t the average financial institution have the same thing most are now working so hard to provide consumers and businesses by way of PFM and OFM? Well, now they can! It’s called Optimizer, and it made its grand debut last fall at Finovate in New York City. Better still, I had the honors of introducing it. See the video here!
Optimizer brings together all of our ProfitStars® profitability applications (for ALM, product, branch, and customer) in one place to create a 360-degree view of the financial institution. More than just a single-sign-on to individual profitability applications, however, Optimizer provides a comprehensive dashboard view that enables the financial institution to monitor performance, centralize all reporting, and connect the right people to the right information in real-time to collaborate on challenges and opportunities as they arise, all of which help the financial institution make better decisions faster.
Today, with rates, volumes, and margins at all-time lows, knowing where you’re making money is rivaled only by knowing where you’re losing it, and being able to act on this knowledge instantly is a matter of survival. FM for the FI is finally here!
Author: Deborah Matthews, email@example.com
As a payments strategist and the proud owner of a Magic 8 ball (both real and iPhone app versions!), I particularly enjoy the beginning of the year when industry pundits prognosticate the future for the coming year.
Experts’ predictions for 2011 span a wide range, including the all-too-obvious mobile innovations, heightened focus on compliance, getting serious about social media, the downfall of the debit card and the return of the credit card, a transformation of the branch as we know it, increased incidents of data breaches, the need for improved security, and creative strategies for recovering lost revenue. Add to this mix the uncertainty about the impact of Congressional mandates and 2011 is shaping up to be a year like no other.
Knowing how to navigate through dynamic and uncertain times is enough to create a few gray hairs for even the most steadfast among us; but the real danger extends beyond that. Ever heard the term “inattentional blindness”?
Inattentional blindness was first documented in Scientific American in 2004, when Daniel J. Simons of the University of Illinois and Christopher F. Chabris of Harvard University conducted an experiment where subjects were asked to watch a one-minute video of two teams of basketball players. They were instructed to count how many times the team in white jerseys passed the ball. Halfway through the game, a gorilla crosses the court, thumps his chest and walks out. Surprisingly, only half of the participants in the experiment recalled seeing the gorilla. The other half were so focused on counting how many times the ball was passed that they completely missed the gorilla!
Inattentional blindness is what happens when we focus on one element to the degree that we can’t anticipate an unexpected turn of events. Our brains are designed to filter out informational overload, resulting in missing critical clues and cues because we don’t recognize that they are relevant to our situation or because we discount things that on the surface appear to be irrelevant.
I’ve been told numerous times that one of the most daunting challenges of recognizing strategic opportunities and capitalizing on important shifts in the industry is keeping our eyes wide open with maximum peripheral vision while simultaneously attending to today’s issues.
With a plethora of ultra-hot topics competing for your attention and resources, how do you distinguish the strong signals from the static? Which represents the next big opportunity (or threat)? What techniques are you using to ensure you “see the gorilla” this year?
Articles with 2011 predictions:
Compliance, Analytics Top TowerGroup's Vision of 2011 Bank Initiatives
Transaction Directory 2011 Predictions
10 Game-Changing Tech Trends for 2011
4 Key Regulatory Issues of 2011
Five payment trends to watch in 2011
ACH Fraud: How to Beat it in 2011
Experts' 11 credit card and debt predictions for 2011
2011's Regulatory Known Unknowns
Banking's Future: Better Than You Might Think