Alumni News– February 27, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgWired column looks at LoopPay and the evolution of digital wallets.
  • Silanis Technology partners with Box to help the cloud storage and file sharing specialist provide financial services.
  • Bank of the West to offer photo billpay courtesy of technology from Fiserv and Top Image Systems.
  • Finovate Debuts: Novabase Puts Watson-Powered Wizzio to Work Boosting Sales and Productivity.
  • Mainstreet reviews top roboadvisors including Wealthfront, Betterment, Personal Capital, FutureAdvisor, SigFig, Motif Investing, and LearnVest.
  • Prosper partners with Western Independent Bankers to offer consumer loans to unattractive borrowers.
  • Tech City News features video highlights from FinovateEurope 2015.
  • That Was Easy: Staples to Use Lendio to Power Small Business Lending.
  • Daily Fintech looks at programmable bank trends via APIs from Fidor, Open Bank Project, Yodlee, and Xignite.
  • AlleyWatch interviews MaxMyInterest CEO and founder Gary Zimmerman.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

New OBR Published: The Rise of Mobile Banking

clip_image002Seven years ago we published our first full report on mobile banking. At that point, you could see that it would be widely used to access current balances and transactions. However, the broader services powered by the camera (remote deposit); GPS (location-aware alerts); and the audio jack (Square) were practically unimaginable back then.  

But now it doesn’t take much of an imagination to see that banking is best done on a smartphone. The screen size is perfect for managing the small amount of data needed to understand your current financial position. And the always-on, always-with-you device is ideal for handling issues that just can’t wait until you are home in front of your desktop computer.

So let’s no longer think of mobile as a support channel. It’s the other way around. Branches, call centers, and even online banking will support mobile banking, which is destined to be the dominant form of money management for the next 20 to 30 years.

Last month, we looked at a key missing ingredient in mobile banking, the new account application. This month, we look at the advanced capabilities banks must support to make the mobile UX superior to online.

About the report

image Advanced Features for Mobile Banking (link)
A guide to the important smartphone features coming in 2015 and beyond

Authors: Julie Schicktanz, Research Analyst &
Jim Bruene, Editor & Founder, Online Banking Report

Published 9 June 2014

Length: 44 pages

Cost: No extra charge for OBR subscribers, USD $395 for others (here)

Companies mentioned: ABN AMRO (Netherlands), Amazon, Apple, Bank of America, BBCN Bank, Blippar, BNP Paribas (France), Chase Bank, Cluster, Emirates NBD Bank, First National Bank (South Africa), Fiserv, Fitbit, Google, Greater Texas Federal Credit Union, Halifax Bank (UK), Isis, Malauzai, Mitek, PayPal, Pixeliris (France), PrivatBank (Ukraine), Rabobank (US), Royal Bank of Canada, Samsung, Simple (BBVA), Square, Southern Bancorp, St. George Bank (Australia), Starbucks, USAA, Verity Credit Union, Wells Fargo, Westpac (New Zealand)


Report excerpt:


New OBR Published: Mobile Account Opening

image One of the biggest debates in banking today is the role of the branch, and especially its significance in new account opening. Many analysts, this firm included, see remote account opening as a better experience for the customer and potentially much cheaper for banks (though it requires downsizing branch networks to achieve meaningful cost savings).

But so far, most of the debate has been around the pros and cons of online/desktop account opening vs. the human-guided experience in branch. What’s missing in this discussion is the key role that MOBILE account opening will play going forward.

With superior technology (think OCR via smartphone camera, instant funding by taking a picture of your debit card, and real-time access to new deposits) mobile opening is much more compelling than desktop alternatives. And the technology is here today, from the likes of Mitek, Jumio and others.

Now, it takes hard work to execute via mobile channels. This report will help you get started.

About the report

Mobile Account Opening (link)
Port online account opening to smartphones to reach the sizable mobile-only segment

Author: Jeanne Capachin, Principal & Founder, CAPACHIN Research  
Jim Bruene, Editor & Founder, Online Banking Report

Published 9 May 2014

Length: 28 pages

Cost: No extra charge for OBR subscribers, USD $395 for others (here)

Report excerpt (p. 12 of 28)


New OBR Published: Mobile Banking Security


What do financial institutions need to keep in mind when it comes to mobile security?

Our latest report Mobile Banking Security examines how banks and other financial institutions can balance safety and convenience in pursuit of a seamless and secure mobile experience for their consumers and clients.

We list fifteen different themes that will dominate the conversation on mobile banking security in 2014. From authentication to premium products for niche markets, we look at the innovations and the actual deployments that are providing safer networks for e-commerce and financial transactions for the increasingly “mobile-only” user.

Will the “wild west” that is the Android app ecosystem ever be won? How does the rise of the mobile channel make biometric security almost inevitable? Will promising security startups continue to be the target of larger tech acquirers in 2014 as they were in 2013?
These are a handful of the questions we provide answers to in our latest report on mobile banking security from OBR.

About the report

Mobile Banking Security (link)
The new channel is a boon for improving security, both real and perceived
Author: David Penn
Editor: Jim Bruene, Editor and Founder
Published 14 March 2014
Length: 28 pages
Cost: No extra charge for OBR subscribers, USD $395 for others (here)

Report excerpt:
#6 See Me, Hear Me: Senses in the Service of Mobile Security

New OBR Published: Money 3.0


The report, Money 3.0: Payments Go Mobile examines the evolution of money beyond cash, check and credit cards. We also take a look at the biggest story in payments over the past six months, the rise of bitcoin. If you believe the proponents, we’ve been witnessing the founding of the “internet for money.” 
That may be true, but like Napster when it created the “internet for music” there will be substantial push-back from existing players. And this time, legacy providers will have the full support of the government to keep the newcomers in check. 
But as the music industry changed post-Napster, we expect the rise of bitcoin, and digital financial transfers in general (especially mobile), to have lasting impact on the financial services industry. The rapid rise of mobile payments at PayPal, the original alt-payments disrupter, illustrates the speed of change in the space.
This report looks at the latest developments and recommends potential courses of action for financial institutions of all sizes.

About the report

Money 3.0: Payments Go Mobile

Apple, Bitcoin, & mobile apps are changing the game. What’s a bank to do?

Author: Julie Schicktanz, Research Analyst
Editor: Jim Bruene, Editor & Founder
Published: 4 February 2014
Length: 36 pages
Cost: No extra charge to OBR subscribers, US$395 for others here

Report excerpt:

A look at Fidor Bank’s recent involvement in bitcoin:

New OBR Published: Digital Banking Forecast Through 2023

image Alright digital banking fans (note 1), it’s that time of year again for our annual look-back at the previous year, along with a fearless forecast for the rest of the decade and beyond.  

The report, Digital Banking Forecast: 2014 to 2023, includes our take on future U.S. household penetration levels of online banking, mobile banking and billpay. While online banking has been relatively flat, with low-single-digit growth, mobile has exploded, expanding ten-fold in the past 5 years and now reaching about one-third of U.S. households. We are four or five years away from the tipping point where more households bank via smartphone than by desktop.

It also includes a revised 10-year forecast for U.S. peer-to-peer lending. After growing almost eight-fold in the past two years, we expect continued strong growth of 30% compounded annual through 2023. And with the expected blockbuster IPO of Lending Club (note 2), the area will receive a LOT of attention in the press this year.

Finally, we update our list of top-10 project priorities for 2014.


Top developments of 2013

The report includes a summary of the top-10 developments during the year (in alphabetic order):

  • Bitcoin proves there is demand for a global virtual liquid asset
  • Coin’s programmable credit card is a viral hit
  • Crowdfund investing, both debt and equity, gains serious traction globally
  • Mobile-first banks such as GoBank, Moven and Numbrs arrive on the scene
  • Mobile login gets simplified at Bank of the West, Capital One, GoBank and others
  • P2P lending moves beyond a niche as Lending Club originates $2 billion
  • Photo billpay launches at US Bank and First Financial
  • Regions Bank adds time-based fees to remote mobile deposit
  • Square and Google enable true email-based peer-to-peer payments
  • Yodlee shows the power of mobile in financial collaboration with Tandem


New entrants into the OBR Hall of Fame

Each year we rank the top online/mobile innovations of all time (North America). A total of 50 achievements are listed from 51 companies:

  • 18 banks
  • 5 credit unions
  • 11 non-bank financial services companies
  • 17 fintech companies

Two new entrants were added this year:

  • Capital One’s non-alphanumeric mobile login, SureSwipe
  • Yodlee’s mobile financial collaboration tool, Tandem 


About the report

Digital Banking (Online/Mobile) Forecast (link)
The next 10 years: 2014 through 2023

Author: Jim Bruene, Editor & Founder

Published: 9 Jan 2014

Length: 36 pages, 29 tables, 13,500 words

Cost: No extra charge to OBR subscribers, US$495 for others here


Report excerpts:

Left: GoBank and Moven set the mobile bar high
Right: 10-year P2P lending forecast

image        image


1. Can we agree that “digital banking” equals online and/or mobile banking?
2. Lending Club could be the biggest fintech startup IPO of all time.

New Online Banking Report Published: Digital Small Business Banking


There is no other issue that ignites our passion like the lack of attention paid to small- and micro-businesses by many mainstream banks. With more than 20-million small businesses, 1 in 5 U.S. households owns a small business. And that doesn’t even count all the independent sales reps and part-time contractors that need help managing their more complicated finances.

There are many reasons why the smallest businesses continue to fly under the radar: smaller balances, more complex needs, widely varying expertise, challenging underwriting issues and so on. Traditionally, this segment has been difficult to serve cost-effectively.

But with technology readily available to monitor daily financial performance, respond to service requests via email, outsource credit via crowdfunding and alt-lending (see note 1), and customize online banking services, the “it’s too expensive” excuse is less and less believable.

That said, it’s not easy determining how best to serve the varying needs of the elusive microbusiness segment. In this report, our sixth deep-dive (see note 2) into serving small biz online (and now mobile too), we outline what to look for and how best to get started.


About the report

Digital Small- and Micro-Business Banking (link)
How to use mobile and online services to capture more share in this huge market

Author: Ray Graber, Graber Associates

Editor: Jim Bruene, Editor & Founder

Published: 12 Dec 2013

Length: 32 pages, 7,500 words, 6 tables

Cost: No extra charge to OBR subscribers, US$395 for others (here)

Companies mentioned: Alabama Credit Union, American Airlines CU, American Express, Aptys, Bank of America, Bank of Montreal, Bank of New Zealand, Barclays (UK), BBVA Compass, BCSG, California Bank, CAN Capital, Columbia Bank, Deluxe, FirstData, Frost Bank, iBank, Illinois National Bank, Luminous, MB Financial, Mitek, Mineral Tree, P2B Investor, PNC Bank, SaaS Markets, Square, Swift Capital, The Receivables Exchange, Vancity, Vantiv, VerifyValid, Webster Bank, Yodlee


1. Crowdfunding/P2P lending may well be an area that finally begins to impact traditional banking revenues. But that’s still a ways away. See our May 2013 report for more info (subscription).
2. Buyers of this report will also receive a free copy of our previous Small Business Report (OBR 172/173) published in 2009. It contains additional material still valid for today’s strategists and small-biz product managers.

New Online Banking Report Published: Finovate Report Q3 2013

image We’ve just published our latest report, Finovate Quarterly: Q3 2013. It focuses on the latest fintech developments, especially those at FinovateFall, with full profiles of our eight Best of Show winners.

The report highlights the important funding, milestones, metrics and product launches during the past three months. In addition, there is a section on new banking business models for the next 10 years and beyond.

The Finovate Quarterly is complimentary for our Online Banking Report subscribers and is automatically delivered to them via mail. Anyone else can purchase here.


About the report

Finovate Quarterly  (link)
Highlights of Q3 2013, including a look at the best new products from FinovateFall

Author: Julie Schicktanz & David Penn, Finovate Group Research Analysts
Editor: Jim Bruene, Finovate Group Founder

Published: 14 October 2013

Length: 76 pages; 16,000 words

Cost: No extra charge to OBR subscribers, US$195 for others here
The printed version will be mailed to subscribers this week.


New Online Banking Report Published: 2014 Guide to Remote Banking Products, Marketing & Strategy

imageimageHas anyone started their 2014 plan? We didn’t think so. But with only 141,000 minutes until the new year (see inset), it’s high time to start working on it.

And we are here to help. Our annual reference, OBR’s 2014 Product, Pricing, & Strategy Guide is now available. It’s a thorough resource for financial institution product/marketing managers prioritizing next year’s remote-banking efforts.

The latest version was posted online last a few days ago.


About the report

2014 Product, Pricing & Strategy Guide for Remote Banking (link)
Embracing new business models for a digital world

Author: Jim Bruene, Editor & Founder

Published: 20 Sep 2013

Length: 76 pages (39,000 words)

Cost: No extra charge to OBR subscribers, $595 for others here


Table of Contents

The report contains a list of every idea that has appeared in Online Banking Report or this blog (sample page, below). There are more than 1,000 possible online/mobile tactics listed in the current report, divided into the following categories:

1. Product tacticsclip_image002
A. Checking & transaction cards
B. Deposits & savings
C. Loans & credit
D. Personal finance management
E. Insurance
F. Investing
G. Payments & transfers
H. Mobile services
I. Family (children, teens, tweens)

2. Sales & marketing tactics
A. Increase online sales
B. Selling behind the password
C. Enter new markets & segments
D. Attract new residents (movers)
E. Increase referrals and word-of-mouth
F. Social media and Web 2.0
G. PR: appeal to community

3. Service, security & retention tactics
A. Increase satisfaction levels
B. Enroll more online banking users
C. Encourage/reward self-service
D. Encourage paperless adoption
E. Address security concerns

4. Small business products and services

5. Pricing: Fees and subscriptions

6. Messages & alerts

New Online Banking Report Published: Opportunities with Prepaid & Gift Cards

image Many pundits like to talk about how banks have dropped the ball in digital (online/mobile). We take a different view. Banks, especially in the United States, have lost essentially zero market share to Internet-based incumbents (note 1). It’s a hyper-competitive market and banks have pushed forward to defend their turf from other big traditional brands. Way to go capitalism.

Of course, it’s easy to find things that could have been done better. That keeps us in business. But if you compare the pre- and post-Internet market share in banking to almost any other industry, it’s amazing just how well the big brands have fared, at least against web-based upstarts (note 2). 

But there are certain product areas where traditional financial institutions have lagged. And one of the most obvious is prepaid/gift cards. Banks have understandably clung to the checking/debit card model with its river of fees, penalty and otherwise. But new regulations are severely restricting the revenue flow, so it’s time to look elsewhere. 

There is a multi-hundred billion market for prepaid and gift cards globally, and banks have just scratched the surface. Partly, it’s because Safeway and other large bricks-and-mortar retailers have more foot traffic to sell the plastic. But it’s also because banks just aren’t geared to sell things that don’t require a 30-minute session at the new-accounts desk.

But as prepaid card sales, distribution and account management moves to mobile, banks can put themselves back into the picture in a big way. We encourage you to download our latest report to help you make the case to boost your investment in prepaid. Good luck!


About the report

New Opportunities with Prepaid & Gift Cards (link)
How banks can best tap into this massive market

Author: Ray Graber, Graber Associates

Editor: Jim Bruene, Editor & Founder

Published: 8 Aug 2013

Length: 28 pages, 9,000 words, 15 tables

Cost: No extra charge to OBR subscribers, US$395 for others (here)

Companies mentioned: American Express, BlackHawk Network, Chase Bank, Chemical Bank, GoBank (Green Dot), MasterCard, Navy Federal, Credit Union, netSpend (TSYS), State Credit Union, U.S. Bank, Visa, WalMart


1. ING Direct is the one exception on the deposit side. Before being acquired last year by Capital One, they’d built an impressive franchise through the online channel. However, they were also an offshoot of a very traditional European bank, so you can’t really call ING Direct an upstart.
2. Crowdfunding/P2P lending may well be an area that finally begins to impact traditional banking revenues. But that’s still a ways away. See our May 2013 report for more info (subscription).