Posts Tagged ‘mobile banking’

Ooops, Mt. Lehman CU did it again

March 17, 2010

Mt. Lehman CU continues its amazing path of innovation in the credit union movement. Mt. Lehman was the first credit union to offer text message alerts five years ago, and now they have created their own iPhone app for banking, called MobileWeb. Props to Gene Blishen and the team of foward-thinking CU professionals at Mt. Lehman! You’ve done it again!

One of the key takeaways here is that Mt. Lehman CU is innovative BECAUSE of their small size (less than 3,000 members and less than 12 employees), not in spite of their small size. That, and the fact that they have excellent brains. Oh yeah, and they live in one of the more beautiful parts of the world, British Columbia, home of the recent 2010 Winter Olympics!

BTW, I’ll be using Mt. Lehman’s latest innovation in an example of how to spread the word using social media techniques in the workshop webinar I’m delivering tomorrow: Bring Your Binoculars

Recent Watershed Developments: Finovate NYC

October 6, 2009

I had the pleasure of attending this year’s Finovate NYC last week.

I met long-time EverythingCU member Sonya MacDonald in person for the first time. She was in attendance because her CU, Randolph Brooks FCU in San Antonio, is piloting a program from mobile banking provider mShift, which will allow mobile banking from any cell phone, not just an iPhone. But really caught my attention were two other items that she shared with me. Sonya told me that her credit union has done $35 million in remote deposit capture since January, which is when they launched the program with mShift and EasCorp providing the back end. Wow. $35 million is some serious transaction volume.

Sonya also asked me if I knew where Charlie Kroll, president of Andera was sitting. I told her he was right across from her, and Sonya told me that her CU is currently doing 700 new accounts per month via Andera’s online account opening out of a total of about 4500 to 5000 new accounts per month total. That is a healthy 14-15% of total new accounts being opened online.

There was one thing that caught my eye on the negative side. And that will be the subject for tomorrow’s blog post.

The other recent watershed developments: Augmented RealityTwitter banking

Recent Watershed Developments: Twitter Banking

October 5, 2009

I haven’t written before about what twitter banking would look like because of the poor adoption rate of SMS/text banking. But it’s a logical evolution. Vantage CU in St. Louis, MO, is the first to launch twitter banking, and they’ve called it TweetMyMoney. EverythingCU member Eric Acree, EVP, has led this charge for Vantage, while Technovation guru Cam Minges was largely responsible for implementation and deployment. Good for them. Innovation AND differentiation at it’s finest. Huge props.

For more coverage:
Jeffry Pilcher wrote it up at The Financial Brand
Tim McAlpine wrote about it at Currency Marketing

The other recent watershed development: Augmented RealityFinovate NYC 2009

Is the iPhone going to revolutionize banking?

July 14, 2008

Ron Shevlin wrote a post this morning about why the iPhone isn’t going to revolutionize banking. His point is that there may be some evolution, but not revolution. My counterpoint is that when talking about degrees by which these things happen, it can be difficult to draw a line between these two. And waiting for that line to become bright is a risk that some might not want to take.

Ron thinks that there are too many people rushing in to these revolutionary technologies. I actually think it’s the opposite: there are far more people in the financial world who are taking a wait and see attitude than those who are claiming there is a revolution and jumping in feet first. It’s just that the feet-first types are the vocal ones who make the noise and get the attention. Because, really, who wants to admit they are going to take a wait-and-see approach? I give props to Charles Bruen for taking a hard-line wait-and-see stance on mobile banking.

But let me back up to Ron’s bigger issue; what is revolutionary and what is evolutionary? While it is indeed hard to determine what is truly “disruptive” and “revolutionary” (yes, these words are used too often) at the time they are occurring, nevertheless, some of these things DO take root and create significant change. As one example, in 2005, Facebook had but one million users. Hardly a disruptive revolution, right? But it had momentum and was growing fast, and now has 80 million users. That would make Facebook the fifteenth largest country in the world if it were a country. Three years ago, most people had barely heard of it. Today it’s a part of the culture. When exactly did it go from a blip on the radar screen to mainstream?

I believe the same is true for mobile banking, P2P lending, and PFMs. Yes, these revolutions are not happening violently because banking isn’t sexy. But if there were any way I could get off the sidelines and do something with these technologies, I would be in the game. I give huge props to Gene Blishen for being light years ahead of the curve on what mobile banking can be and do.

Dan Dickinson, in a response to Ron’s post, asks if there is anyone on twitter who does NOT use an iPhone, and states that he will never buy anything made by Apple. As far as the game-changing nature of the iPhone and mobile connectedness, this misses the point.

The point is this: for those of us who were tethered to a desk in order to use our PCs and access the net, laptops were a revolution. Now you could go anywhere with a laptop, be connected/do your work, but you could only connect to the entire internet when you found wifi, which was rare or expensive and often both. With an iPhone (and to some degree any smart phone) you can connect to the net ANYWHERE you have a cell phone connection, which these days seems like just about anywhere. That’s powerful, game changing stuff, and also not as clunky and bulky as a laptop.

But again, here’s the real reason why people LOVE their iPhones, and why it’s indeed a paradigm-shifting, disruptive, revolution (he he!): Because it’s so FREAKING PERSONAL. iPhone owners feel that it’s “my” internet on their iPhones, it’s MY connection to MY friends and MY music and MY phone and MY pictures and MY contacts and MY address book and MY calendar and MY videos and MY games and MY apps! I can customize it with pictures of MY friends and MY kids on MY home screen, and take a photo ANYWHERE I am and instantly email it to my friends. Try wrestling away any device (no matter whether its an iPhone or something else) that has so much personalization and connection… it can’t be done. And to the extent that BlackBerries and Treos do this too, well, yes, that’s why their users love them just as much as us Appleheads love our iPhones.

Mainstream yet? Mobile banking and mobile payments

June 30, 2008

Mobile banking and mobile payments are continuing on their path to becoming mainstream. The latest news: Bank of America buys stake in mFoundry (hat tip: @PaymentNews), and a blogger claims that Twitter will be worth $1.5 billion in six months (hat tip: @HankWilliams).

We don’t need no stinking mobile banking!

November 23, 2007

So glad to see that everyone can breathe a sigh of relief and ignore SMS/mobile banking. Apparently Forrester research has determined that there is no significant demand for it. (Ron Shevlin, Mobile Banking Boom or Fizzle?; Lisa Hochgraf, Raining on the Mobile Banking Parade; Doug True, Mobile Banking | a Papa John option?)

Phew! I am so relieved to learn that all we have to do in regards to mobile banking is sit on our hands and watch what everyone else does. Nope, no need to be ahead of the curve on this one. Let someone else take the arrows on this, as the president of a 55,000 member credit union told me several months ago not long after I wrote what I really wanted as a banking consumer.

Gosh, and I was worried about the PFM folks like Geezeo, Wesabe, and Mint who have ALREADY built banking/text messaging features into their platforms, and what that means for credit unions. Okay, good to know that we can ignore these PFM’s explosive growth, and that we’re not missing out on an opportunity to engage those younger members we are always wondering why we aren’t connecting with.

Truly, the problem here is one of a generational gap. (Darn it Ron, you’re right, it IS all about generations! 😉 ) The problem is simply this: The current generation of credit union management is not good at text messaging. They either have never done it, or haven’t done it very often, and are thus unskilled in rapid text messaging. Therefore they think that text messaging is a cumbersome communication method (it is, but there are certain things its brilliant for). They have never explored the options available in their cell phones, and don’t understand things like Quick Messages for frequently sent texts. This older generation doesn’t realize how the younger generation is using their cell phones as a central communication device.

So here’s the funny thing about credit unions contemplating offering SMS-banking: There’s nothing to predict or contemplate. PFM services like Geezeo, Mint and Wesabe are ALREADY making it possible on top of YOUR financial institution’s online banking. Don’t believe it? Just sign up on Geezeo right now and see for yourself. Signing up and using Geezeo is quick, free, and easy.

Doug and Lisa — I heart you both beaucoup, and think you are both doing fantastic things for the CU movement. But seriously, calling SMS-banking a niche with little demand is like calling online banking a niche with little demand five or six years ago. Just like personal computers were a niche with little demand in 1983. And that new-fangled television thingy was a niche with little demand in 1959. And automobiles were a niche with little demand in 1908….