BANKING INDUSTRY 4/11

Snap A Photo Of A Bill Then Click To Pay It

In South Africa, Cardless ATM Withdrawls Via Mobile Phone AMEX Launches Digital Payment Platform To Attack PayPal Amazon Exploring Mobile Payment Service

And more

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BANKING INDUSTRY

4/11

SNAP A PHOTO OF A BILL" THEN CLICK TO PAY IT

Online payments may be easier to make than their offline counterparts in general, but there's still at least some pain involved in entering account numbers and other information. Aiming to push the convenience up another notch, Danish Danske Bank now lets consumers snap a photo of their bill and then simply click to pay.

Danske Bank customers begin by downloading the bank's mobile app, which is available for Android, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Even those who are not customers of the bank can use some of the app's features, which include funds transfer and bill payments.

For the latter, customers can use their phone's built-in camera to avoid having to enter key details such as the account number and payment amount. Instructions for doing so are provided on Danske Bank's site, but essentially all customers need do is photograph the relevant section of their bill and then click to pay it.

Source: Springwise

BANK TAPS CUSTOMERS FOR CO-DEVELOPED IDEAS

Swedish Avanza Bank has developed a system that lets consumers suggest and vote on each other's ideas for potential implementation.

Avanza Bank's Labs is a dedicated part of its site where customers can suggest ideas large and small for improving the bank. Each idea gets listed on the Labs page, where it is available for voting by others who visit. Those discussed most frequently and/or receiving the most votes are then taken into serious consideration by the bank for possible translation into real solutions.

The bank also uses its Labs site to solicit customer suggestions on new products and ideas of its own, such as a forthcoming Android application. Learn more here.

Source: Springwise

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BANKING INDUSTRY 4/11

HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES:

A LOW-INCOME VERSION OF LIFE

27% of Americans have no personal savings or investments, according to a poll from Harris Interactive. This is a notable increase from just 18 months earlier, when 22% of Americans reported having no personal savings.

In an effort to bring more Americans up to snuff in financial literacy, many institutions and agencies have created games. The idea is to make it fun to learn about personal money management. In February 2011, Urban Ministries of Durham, NC, launched Spent, an online game that asks players to try to pay all their monthly bills on just $1,000 of income.

Players must make hard decisions about what to spend their money and time on, from cell phones to car insurance, kids' little league games to job hunting.

Spent is designed to show how difficult personal finance can be for the working poor. A game like Spent helps more Americans understand - and sympathize with - the plight of low-income families.

Fewer and fewer Americans self-identify as middle-class. That's because the true middle class has been squeezed hard by economic realities, and low-income consumers are the fastest-growing class in the U.S.

Source: Iconoculture

Source: E-Wisdom.com

Tacking new fees onto existing checking accounts would get some 64% of customers to consider taking their business elsewhere, according to a survey of 1,006 Americans conducted by Princeton Survey Research.

Source: Banktech.com

In a recent Fidelity Investments survey, 40% of respondents claim that they would have to have at least $7.5 million in the bank in order to feel rich. The survey asked one thousand millionaires if they feel wealthy; more than 42% of them said no.

Source: BVOnMoney.com

IN SOUTH AFRICA" CARDLESS ATM WITHDRAWLS VIA MOBILE PHONE

Forrester Research Inc. estimates that more than 10 million Americans use mobile-banking technology and that the number could rise to 50 million by 2015. About 75% of those using the technology now are members of generations X and Y, according to Forrester.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Customers of Johannesburg-based First National Bank (FNB) can now make withdrawals from an ATM without a bank card, using just their mobile phone.

To withdraw cash using the new capability, which was launched last month, customers simply log onto FNB's Cell Phone Banking service and select the banking option. They then indicate specifics including the particular account from which they want to make a withdrawal.

Once they've completed the transaction online, they receive a text message via SMS that includes a temporary PIN to use at the ATM. For security reasons, the PIN must be used within 30 minutes of receipt and can be used only once. Learn more here.

Source: Springwise

In South Africa, an estimated 13 million people [27% of the population] are currently without bank accounts. Simultaneously, 94% of the adult population possesses a cell phone. In May, Mahala, a free mobile banking platform will be launched.

Source: Springwise

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BANKING INDUSTRY 4/11

AMEX LAUNCHES DIGITAL PAYMENT PLATFORM TO ATTACK PAYPAL

No Cash? Send Money with

Amazon Pavments

American Express, which is better known for its briefcase-toting corporate users, has unveiled a new business that addresses a much wider market while also competing head-on with PayPal and other emerging payment platforms.

The service, called Serve, will let consumers make purchases, make cash withdrawals from ATMs and make person-to-person payments from their computers or their phones.

The card will be funded by a user's bank account or credit or debit card - even from one of the company's major competitors, Visa and MasterCard.

In the beginning, Serve will be fairly traditional and be accepted anywhere that American Express is accepted, but eventually it could give way to a mobile payments solution on the phone, using such technologies as nearfield communication [NFCI. Learn more here.

Source: emoney.allthingsd.com

AMAZON EXPLORING MOBILE PAYMENT SERVICE

Visa is taking on PayPal in the personal payment space, announcing that consumers in the U.S. will be able to receive and send funds to any eligible Visa account.

Amazon.com Inc. is considering the introduction of a service that would let consumers pay for goods in brick-andmortar stores using their mobile phones, according to two people with knowledge of the project.

The company's Amazon Payments unit is exploring whether to start a service based on near-field-communication technology, said the people, who asked not to be named because the project isn't public yet.

Amazon aims to parlay its dominance in Internet retailing into mobile commerce. It's also keeping in step with other technology leaders such as Microsoft Corp., Apple and Google, which have introduced or are said to be planning software, devices or services with NFC.

The value of mobile transactions is expected to surge more than sevenfold by 2014, according to research firm Gartner Inc. Learn more here.

Sources: Bloomberg.com and amazon.com [picture]

LOOKOUT PAYPAL: VISA JUMPS INTO PERSONAL PAYMENTS

Consumers will have the option to send personal payments from a bank to a Visa account by simply entering a recipient's 16-digit Visa account, email address or mobile phone number. The process is comparable to how users would send payments on PayPal. Learn more here.

Source: VentureBeat.com

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