This Week in Engagement Banking Steve Dance tries to educate bankers about the importance of social networks to the future of their business and debit cards get bitcoin funding. Also, Dwolla reaches out to banks and Edo uses location data that can spur more consumer purchasing.
Steve Dance for The Financial Services Club Blog
In Finance, Facebook is Just a Phase We’re Going Through
My grumpiness just got 10 times worse at this treasury conference, as I stood up and started talking about how I use Facebook, Twitter, blogging etc. to leverage my business. I could see a veil of abandonment enter the faces of the room as they struggled to get what I was saying, so I asked if any of them use Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Groupon, et al. No. One person piped up and said they use Facebook to keep abreast of what their children are doing, and that was it. I just unfriended the lot of them. But then I thought, hey ho, they’re corporate treasurers. Why should they be interested in social media? So I gave it a chance and launched into my spiel about micropayments, bitcoin, Facebook credits, the challenge to security and privacy, the world of change from Square and mobile payments and more. More…
Bitcoin Funded Debit Cards
Yes, it’s entirely possible to fund your existing debit card, or credit card, with your accumulated bitcoin. And I don’t mean that you are shipped a generic, low-limit prepaid VISA or Mastercard from some anonymous reseller. I mean that you convert bitcoin online to dollars or euros and the funds are available to spend with a card that you are most likely already holding in your wallet. Why is this so significant? It’s important because it leverages a little-known type of transaction that is available on the VisaNet system called ‘Original Credit Transaction’. The other major card payment networks have a similar feature too. These transactions act like a refund or credit transaction when you return an item to a store except that they don’t have to be associated with an original purchase. Essentially, they enable your card to be a two-way payment device. Surprisingly, not many financial institutions have taken advantage of this feature yet but I expect that to change. More…
Dwolla Needs You, Banks
Startup payment network Dwolla is looking to make friends with banks and credit unions to make its dream of real-time transfers a reality. In a blog post today, Dwolla revealed innovations to its FiSync platform that it will allow money to move from one bank account to another, providing an alternative to the automated clearinghouse. Banks can offer Dwolla payments after Dwolla connects to its payment processing system. Even with the innovation, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Ben Milne said pricing and fees at Dwolla will remain the same. Currently, Dwolla charges $0.25 for any transaction over $10. But in order for FiSync to work, the platform needs banks’ support. As such, Milne announced today that he is offering FiSync to financial institutions for free. Bankers can apply for the API here. Veridian Credit Union, Iowa’s largest credit union, will be the first to come online with FiSync on June 4.
Bank Technology News
Edo to Harness Payment Data to Spur Consumer Spending
Can banks turn a single payment into a shopping spree? With mobile offers, Edo Interactive says it’s possible. The Nashville company is announcing Tuesday that it is testing a service called Geocommerce, which analyzes the location data in consumer transaction information. As soon as a consumer makes a purchase, the Geocommerce service provides an offer for a merchant that is within walking distance of where the first payment took place. The goal is to encourage the consumer to make another purchase right away. After buying a book, for example, a consumer could receive an offer at a nearby cafe where she can go to start reading. “Geocommerce offers a new level of targeting,” Steve Kietz, general manager and executive vice president of Strategic Partnerships at edo told American Banker in an interview on Monday. Edo’s location-based Geocommerce offers are designed to spur immediate purchases in part by having a limited shelf life: they typically expire within a few hours, according to Kietz. More…
Smartphone ownership skyrocketing: IDC
Technology industry analysts IDC have released a new report suggesting smartphone ownership in New Zealand households has risen from 13% in 2011 to a massive 44% in 2012. High demand and increased competition in the mobile market are cited by Glen Saunders, senior analyst, Telecommunications for IDC NZ, as the factors driving the trend. “The average customer now gets more value for their dollar than they did at the beginning of 2011,” Saunders says, “with more minutes, text and data available for more customers. “It’s been an extremely exciting year with cheaper smartphones, a broader range of promotional and product offers from all the mobile operators, and of course more and more people are starting to understand what ‘apps’ are.” IDC is forecasting that mobile data usage will grow 16.6% year-on-year until 2016. Mobile operator 2degrees recently launched a service allowing users to share their data between multiple devices, recognizing the growing importance of data to consumers. More…
Want to receive This Week in Engagement Banking via email?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter, which delivers a summary of trends and must reads on online and mobile banking, Bank 2.0 and Engagement Banking, directly to your inbox. Register now!
Image courtesy of the anti-social network.