Mobile Payments Today: September’s top 5 reads

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How banks will move forward with AI in the coming years was top-of-mind with bank executives last month at our annual Bank Customer Experience Summit in Chicago.

Banks hope AI can help transform the digital experience for their customers and efforts such as Bank of America’s Erica virtual assistant is an example of what financial institutions can accomplish in this area.

So, it’s no surprise that an article about an AI session at BCX was one of the top stories on Mobile Payments Today last month. It came in second right behind an article about the link between blockchain and mobile payments.

Rounding out the top five were blog posts about biometric security; how providers can improve the payments experience; and five ways banks can create a digital mindset.

5. “Biometrics security isn’t one-size-fits-all“: Andrew Jamieson, the director of security & technology for the identity management & security unit at UL, writes that many technologies that would be enabled by biometrics are still vulnerable to spoofs and hacking.

We “give away” our biometric data all the time, in photos, as DNA, to other systems. It’s basically public data.
Anyone could be taking a picture of your ear or eye right now, or looking it up on social media, so biometric markers can be vulnerable to exposure if not managed properly.

Biometrics have rapidly expanded into consumer applications like the financial market for customer authentication to payment services and withdrawing cash from ATMs in high-fraud markets. More so, by 2020 nearly all smart devices including mobile phones, tablets and wearables will have some form of biometric security enablement.
While the above seems to justify the adoption of biometrics in the banking industry, it is essential to understand the impediments to broader adoption. Many technologies that would be enabled by biometrics are still vulnerable to spoofs and hacking.

Read the rest of the blog post.

4. “How providers can enhance the payments experience“: Regardless of the latest and greatest technology, a successful payments strategy revolves around the consumer experience, and building a strategy requires an understanding of how consumers are engaging with payments on a day-to-day basis.

When it comes to making payments, consumers care about the experience. They use person-to-person payments because it’s fast and convenient. They’d be more likely to sign up for auto-pay if they could do it online. They like mobile banking and they are interested in a variety of improvements that provide faster access to information and even more control over cards and accounts.

Understanding the importance of experience is key for any financial organization that wants to deepen customer relationships and assume a leadership position in the payments space.

Consumers expect financial institutions to understand the way they live and work today. They expect financial institutions to know them, anticipate their needs and to look out for their interests.

Customers want choices, access to multiple channels, and security. All of this, and they want their financial institution to sort out the complexity and make payments simple for them.

Read the rest of the blog post.

3. “5 ways banks can create a digital mindset“: Every consumer is a digital consumer, and to be in banking means you have to be in digital banking. Frankly, digital is no longer an expense; it’s a necessary investment that can deliver real returns for the financial institution.

A CEO recently told me he wants to transform his community financial institution into a digital bank but keeps hitting an all-too-common internal roadblock: “But this is how we’ve always done it.”

The CEO instituted a lot of changes during his first 18 months in the position, but establishing a digital strategy poses a more formidable challenge. I understand what he wants to do and why he’s facing resistance. When he says “digital bank,” he doesn’t mean doing away with branches or dramatically reducing staff. He’s talking about a shift in how his staff thinks about the way they deliver products and services.

In short, he wants to build a digital mindset.

“Digital mindset” is a fine phrase to toss around, but it doesn’t mean much if you can’t back it up with a clear definition people in your organization can grasp and act on. To me, it means you can no longer look at digital as a distinct channel serving a specific segment of your customer base. Every consumer is a digital consumer, and to be in banking means you have to be in digital banking. Frankly, digital is no longer an expense; it’s a necessary investment that can deliver real returns for the financial institution.

Read the rest of the blog post.

2. “AI: What’s in it for banks and their customers“:Bank executives gathered in Chicago two weeks ago for the Bank Customer Experience Summit to discuss AI’s role in current and future customer initiatives.

The banking industry lately has pointed to Bank of America’s virtual financial assistant Erica as a prime example of how financial institutions can introduce AI concepts to everyday consumers through digital banking experiences.

The concept of virtual assistants has become more commonplace thanks to the proliferation of Amazon Echo devices in households across the U.S. and banks stand to benefit from this growing trend.

BofA introduced Erica at a time when their customers were likely already familiar with an AI-driven virtual assistant, which probably bolstered interaction in the first few months of its availability. The bank earlier this month revealed more than 3 million mobile banking users interact with Erica, up a lofty 200 percent (or 2 million users) since the end of June.

But going forward, bank AI deployments won’t be confined to just virtual assistants. Bank executives believe the data gained from difference AI efforts will be crucial to how banks go about improving the customer experience.

Read the rest of the article.

1. “Blockchain 101: Mobile payments“: Let’s take a look at the what blockchain is, and how it can help transform the mobile payments industry.

No matter what industry you are in, you might have heard the word blockchain spoken in awe, or you might hear about how bitcoin is either the best investment in the world or a tool for criminals. The blockchain itself, however, is often misunderstood.

The blockchain in reality, can benefit almost any industry from restaurants to mobile wallet providers

Let’s take a look at the what blockchain is, and how it can help transform the mobile payments industry.

Read the rest of the article.

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