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Essential fintech reading: Feb 12 - 19

When it comes to mobile banking ratings, lower could be better

Elry Armanza, Impact Director at Filene Research, shows that app ratings are mostly a result of consumer expectations rather than app functionality. As proof he shows that big banks get subpar reviews even though their apps typically have more functionality than apps offered by credit unions:

Armanza says that credit unions shouldn't necessarily take comfort in their high scores because it may just be a sign that consumers don't expect much from them. In fact, he goes so far as to say that credit unions may even have reason to be happy if they start seeing negative reviews: "If you see a decline on your app’s rating with members pointing to new functionality that the app is missing, you might indeed be attracting a new segment of members. And that lower rating might be a positive indicator that your program is going in the right direction."

Bank stocks are down, but mobile banking may bring a boost

Gregg Greenberg interviews Jay Sidhu, CEO of Customers Bancorp, about the recent drop in bank stocks. Sidhu believes that the drop is mostly due to macro concerns about the possibility of a new recession. However, Sidhu remains hopeful, due to the rise of mobile banking and the interchange revenue it will bring. "People are not using cash now," Sidhu says. "They are swiping their cards for a coffee at McDonald's or an Uber," said Sidhu. "We can make 1.3% or 1.4% interchange income on that. ... Why should you make money by charging ridiculous overdraft fees?"


HSBC to be first global victim of digital, Deutsche Bank will follow: Moven founder Brett King

The Economic Times interviewed Brett King about the state of banking, according to King, it doesn't look good. King says, "There are maybe a dozen banks around the world that can cope with this and embrace it culturally as a bank. But there are not heaps. The rest are really struggling with this."


A world without usernames, passwords? It's coming, says USAA exec

Penny Crosman interviewed Gary McAlum, senior vice president and chief security officer for USAA, to learn about innovation in bank security. For USAA, innovation has centered on biometrics, though biometrics is increasing more than just facial and voice recognition. "We've looked at startups that are looking at heart biorhythms as a unique indicator of a person's identity," McAlum says. "How do you bring that variable into the equation and operationalize it as an authenticator? There are other forms of biometrics and other authenticators out there." Hopefully, these new forms will bring the right mix of security and simplicity.


Venmo crosses $1B monthly transfers for the first time

Venmo, PayPal's hip payments platform with a social component, is getting busy. TWC's Napier Lopez says that while the raw numbers are impressive, what the rate of growth is even more so. The $1B number is "2.5 times larger than January of 2015, and 10 times larger than the year before that."


Source: bit.ly/1Ww9gqR