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Choosing a Mobile Banking Solution from a Technology Vendor in 2018

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Choosing a Mobile Banking Solution from a Technology Vendor in 2018

With more mobile phones on the planet today than there are people, mobile banking has become a hot topic. Many banks and financial institutions began by seeing it as a possibility to cut costs by enabling customer self-service. For others, it was initially ‘me-too’ functionality, to avoid being overtaken by rivals. However, banks now also see how important mobile banking can be to the overall customer experience, and therefore to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

New players like FinTech companies are also adding to the competition that traditional financial institutions must face. Mobile banking can help them to fight back. In its latest (2017) Global Mobile Banking Benchmark report, Forrester Research stated the need for digital banking strategy executives to ‘deliver useful and usable mobile banking services that not only exceed customers’ current expectations but also anticipate their future needs and improve their financial well-being’. While digital marketing teams will have a crucial role to play in making this happen, the mobile banking technology will also be a key factor.

Banks have an initial choice to make about their mobile banking technology – in-house or outsourced. They can also use vendor platforms and components as building blocks, which they then customize with their own specific features and brand. Larger organizations may do more by themselves. Smaller organizations with fewer resources may look more towards white-label solutions. Some vendors offer one part of the solution (mobile app design or back-end system, for example). Others offer a complete mobile solution, front-end and back-end, for integration with a bank’s other financial systems.

What Do Customers Want from Mobile Banking?

Any mobile banking solution must start with customers’ needs, wants, and expectations. Mobile banking apps that do not satisfy customers will likely be abandoned and deleted. Back-end systems will sit idle, a loss of time and money for the bank concerned.

Customer needs and wants will vary. Millennials in Asia may want cool functionality and a designer app interface that aligns with their native digital lifestyle. Rural communities in America or Africa may be more interested in quick and efficient account services that save them the time and effort of driving to their nearest bank, perhaps many miles away. For the unbanked, mobile banking may be the only feasible way of offering them the advantages of secure banking services.

For an excellent and enduring customer experience, a mobile banking solution should also be flexible. Customer tastes and requirements can change rapidly, and the solution must be able to adapt. Nonetheless, some features are more frequently offered or requested than others. A 2017 survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston of 505 banks in the US and the mobile banking functionality currently offered showed the following percentages of banks providing each type of functionality:

  • Check balances (DDA, Savings) 92%
  • View statements and/or transaction history (DDA, Savings) 89%
  • View credit card balances, statements and/or transaction history 12%
  • Bill payment 86%
  • Bill presentment 30%
  • Transfer funds between same owner’s accounts within owner’s bank 91%
  • Transfer funds between same owner’s accounts at different banks 35%
  • Mobile person-to-person payment (P2P) 44%
  • Mobile remote deposit capture (RDC) 72%
  • ATM/branch locator 81%
  • Personal financial management (PFM) 12%
  • Access to brokerage services 2%
  • Cross-border payments 1%

The same survey included statistics for 177 credit unions. The percentages were very similar, apart from the item ‘View credit card balances, statements and/or transaction history’, offered by 53% of the credit unions, compared to just 12% of banks.

Banks and other financial institutions should analyze their own existing and targeted customer populations to understand how best to serve them with mobile banking functionality and interfaces. A mobile banking solution vendor may also be able to contribute insights and experience to help the bank optimize its mobile banking decisions.

Design of a Banking App for Mobile Devices

The user interfaces in mobile banking apps should as be user-friendly and intuitive as the mobile phone technology allows. Banking apps can take inspiration from mobile app best-sellers in other domains, whether for social media, news, games or other uses. A minimum number of taps or swipes to reach a desired function or information must always be the goal. Many non-banking apps manage to do this within one or two taps from a clear, uncluttered, attractive interface. This is a standard of usability that mobile banking apps should achieve too.

Inside the app, the priorities are performance, robustness, and rapidity of development and release. Suitable development frameworks offer significant help in meeting these objectives. They also make the app software architecture modular and intuitive, allowing for a maximum of code reuse. This, in turn, speeds up a time to market and reduces costs.

How Should the Back-End Systems be Implemented?

Flexibility in mobile banking back-end systems is also important. As front-end functionality changes to meet new customer needs, the back-end systems must keep pace. They must also be scalable to handle increasing numbers of connections and transactions, as the popularity of the mobile app rises. Outages and long waiting times must be avoided. Customers expect ‘always-on’ availability for online services, and minimum or zero wait times for their requests to be handled.

A microservices architecture is often well-adapted to this requirement. Self-contained functions or functional components, each running as a microservice, communicate with others to serve the front-end. New features can be implemented in one or just a few of the microservice modules, for faster, more reliable releases. A well-designed back-end architecture will also allow a bank to run the software on web servers and databases of its choice. This will give even smoother integration into existing IT infrastructure.

As added advantages, microservice-architecture solutions can be faster to install, integrate, and launch. When front-end and back-end components are available as an integrated solution, updates and extensions to the microservices can be better synchronized with releases to customers of new mobile banking apps.

Security and Compliance

Security is a critical consideration. It must be built into a mobile banking solution from the outset. However, while giving maximum protection, it must not unduly limit functionality, performance, or usability. 2-factor authentication is a suitable level of security for customer actions such as registration, authorization, and confirmation of transactions. 2-factor identification should then also be available for all interactions and events in the application. Back-end systems must be hardened before the operation, removing vulnerabilities and tightening platform security beyond default configurations of IT database operating system, server, and storage unit vendors.

Compliance with regulations is essential. New or recently introduced laws and directives affecting mobile banking include GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation for the European Union) and the EU-wide second payment services directive (PSD2).

Market Overview of Mobile Banking Solutions

We consider examples of mobile banking software and solutions available for licensing and use by banks, credit unions, and similar financial establishments. For this reason, we leave out of our list any solutions specifically designed for just one bank or financial institution.

  • Digital Insight. Mobile banking is one of the applications offered by NCR’s Digital Insight. Others include retail Internet banking, electronic bill payment and presentment, personal financial management, funds transfer, and financial institution website development and hosting. NCR announced in 2017 that its Digital Insight software powered mobile banking for ‘nearly half of United States’ top-performing financial institutions. Digital Insight offers Android and iOS mobile banking apps, with biometric access.
  • FIS™ (Fidelity Information Services). Mobile banking is part of the FIS payment processing and banking software solutions for retail and investment banking. The FIS customer base includes Bank of America, Key Bank, PNC Bank, People’s United Bank and BMO Harris. Features include mobile commerce, business mobile banking, P2P/on-demand payments, and financial calculators for customers, with analytics for financial institutions.
  • Malauzai. Mobile and online banking solutions for community banks and credit unions. Solutions utilize the SAMI (SmartApp Management Infrastructure) platform for real-time updates and REBA (Real-time End-user Behaviour Analytics) for customer insight and decision making. Other products include SmartwebApps, SmartwearApps, and MOX™ mobile business wallet. Customer references include Bank of Hope, Capital Bank, and First Financial Bank.
  • Metryus. Provides mobile front-end and back-end banking technologies for a full mobile banking solution. Metryus uses the React Native framework for its CAVU mobile app development for both iOS and Android operating systems. Security includes 2-factor authentication and biometric access control. The server component uses a microservices architecture. Clients range from FinTech start-ups to large banks, like the International Bank of Azerbaijan.
  • Q2. Solutions include mobile banking, web development, security assessments, and marketing for banks. Customer references include A+ Federal Credit Union, Broadway Bank, Inwood National Bank, and First Financial Bank. Features of Q2 mobile banking for customers include a consistent design and user experience regardless of device, fingerprint login for Android and iOS, user-customizable alerts, and contextual personal finance management (PFM) for improved customer engagement.
  • SAB. Makes mobile banking services available via mobile phones and SMS messaging, including withdrawals from authorized outlets if there are no ATMs close by. SAB shareholders include IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. SAB’s mission is to improve financial system infrastructures in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. References include Banque Palatine, Banque de l’Industrie et du Travail (Lebanon), and Compagnie Monégasque de Banque (Monaco).

Mobile Banking in the Future

The general principles of good mobile banking solutions will continue. Efficiency (making a task easier), effectiveness (saving time or money), and contextuality (using personalized insight) will all be priorities. Financial institutions are already turning to mobile apps with unique abilities to enhance customer experience and improve banking revenues. Ease of use and digital value will continue to rise. To meet expectations, outsourcing mobile banking technology requirements to a suitable third-party technology provider will continue to be the right solution for many banks and financial institutions.

Technology

First of a kind Virtual Coffee Machine app with social meeting moments to support workforce wellbeing in a remote workplace

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First of a kind Virtual Coffee Machine app with social meeting moments to support workforce wellbeing in a remote workplace 1

Powell Software’s first in a series of wellbeing technology innovations help remote employees socially connect with colleagues and keep the workplace culture alive

As the third UK lockdown continues and many countries worldwide face severe restrictions, Powell Software, a global organisation creating digital solutions and tools for the digital workplace, has launched the first of its kind Virtual Coffee Machine, an application within Microsoft Teams to ensure employees stay better connected, positively engaged and take regular breaks while working from home.

With employee wellbeing at the top of the global workforce agenda for 2021, Powell’s Virtual Coffee Machine app positively connects employees through virtual chats to maintain a culture of togetherness, even when apart.

Replacing the absence of the in-person coffee catch up, HR can swiftly set up a Virtual Coffee Machine break within any Teams channel, encouraging employees to take regular short breaks while inspiring networking and socialising between colleagues.

Matthieu Silbermann, Chief Product Officer at Powell Software said: “The effects of the Pandemic have reshaped the Digital Workplace and research has found that three quarters of employers intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently. However, with one in five remote employees naming loneliness as their top complaint regarding work from home, reinforcing togetherness needs to be a top priority.”

Take a virtual coffee

HR can set up a Virtual Coffee Machine meeting within any Teams channel defining time, frequency and date, and number of people. The app then uses an algorithm that collects data from employees registered in Powell Teams, automatically comparing outlook calendars and generating meeting invites based on the criteria of the meeting. For example, if the Virtual Coffee Machine meeting criteria was set at a maximum of five people and ten people are available to join then two meeting invitations would be sent.

Virtual Coffee Machine consciously avoids one to one or full team meetings, focusing on creating intimate, short social breaks where employees can take time out to engage with colleagues in a positive digital space.  Colleagues can also ‘travel’ to differently located virtual offices across their organisation to meet colleagues for a coffee break in different virtual buildings.

Employees are unaware of who else will join the group until the event, to encourage different team members to meet, chat and get to know each other. The app automatically books an agenda and also suggests ice breakers like ‘what was the last film you saw or book’?

If a team member does not want to or cannot join a Virtual Coffee Meeting, they simply decline the meeting invitation.

Silbermann continues: “Powell Software is passionate about connecting employees to their organisation and to each other, ensuring that they have a positive and stimulating experience at work, every day. Remote workers need to be connected, they need to feel part of the company, the culture and feel able to socialise in the hybrid or remote workplace.

“Powell’s new Virtual Coffee Machine app is all about the employee. We all miss the little social moments at the office, whether they be at the coffee machine or the cold water fountain. Coffee Machine allows us to progressively see our workplaces positively come to life again in a virtual way, promoting connectivity, collaboration and employee wellbeing. It’s part of a bigger goal and series of initiatives to bring the virtual building to life.”

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Top 5 Ways To Lose Your Video Files

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Most Video Content Created in the Summer Months, Finds Veritas Research

There are lots of reasons why you can lose video files in your system or device. While some of these problems are avoidable, others are inevitable. Simply put, it is only a matter of time before the latter problems will be experienced. The major challenge is that most people don’t understand why their video files are either missing, damaged or deleted.

Are you amongst those mentioned above? Do you always ask why a video file can get lost, deleted or damaged? Don’t waste time to rack your brain on a such topic/matter. This is because you have come to the right place. This well-researched blog will provide you all the top reasons why you are losing your video files. Before thinking about which video recovery software to start using, it is recommended you know why files are getting lost in your system.

Power outage

This is a common problem that is responsible for loss of data. However, most people are yet to discover it. Have you ever noticed any situation whereby there is sudden power outage in your system? Simply put, your system suddenly shuts down. In such case, applications and other files (photos, videos, audios and doc) will be closed without any prior warning. The implication of this is that your video files are likely to get damaged.

Top 5 Ways To Lose Your Video Files 2

You may want to argue that systems come with batteries. Therefore, there will not be a problem of power shut down. This is not true in any way as power shut down can happen due to some reasons. It could even be that your system is malfunctioning. Even when your video files are not damaged through such incident, there is every chance that your hard drive will be adversely affected.

Faulty hard drive

If your hard drive is damaged due to one reason or another, there is every chance that your video files will be lost, damaged or deleted. Most of the cases related to data losses can be traced to malfunctioning hard drive. In case you don’t know, hard drives are very fragile. They can easily become faulty because of poor handling. If your hard drive crashes, it is recommended you find out what must have led to such problem. Trying to use a data recovery tool without knowing the root cause of the problem won’t do any good.

There are numerous factors responsible for a faulty hard drive. These could be hot system, frequent crashing, constant freezing, slow processing speed, booting up issues. The longer you ignore these problems; that is how your hard drive will be further damaged. This will in turn lead to loss of video files.

Human error

The truth is that as humans, we are always bound to make mistakes. These could sometimes prove very costly since they can bring about loss of video files. There are cases when important business files have been deleted mistakenly in the past. Human errors are very common. They can bring about formatting of hard drive, data loss and repair of system.

The only way to avoid this problem is to ensure you understand files to be deleted or retained. Most people don’t read messages displayed in dialogue boxes before clicking on “Delete” buttons. This is an easy way to delete important video files without knowing.

Computer viruses

Computer virus is one of the major reasons why people lose video files. Just as the digital world is becoming increasingly popular, viruses and malware are also waxing stronger. One of the most notable causes is when you begin to explore unsecured websites. It can also happen when corrupt files are downloaded and installed in your system.

When your system has been compromised by viruses and malware, there is a very high chance of losing vital files like doc, videos, audios and photos. You will try to open these files but they won’t respond. The best way to overcome this problem is using anti-virus software. This will help to monitor your browsing habit online.

Hard drive formatting

This happens to be another major cause of data loss. Most people format their hard drive without backing up vital files. In the end, these files are lost. Without the help of a paid or free recovery software, you may struggle to get back such data.

It is recommended that you backup important video files before initiating such a process. There are lots of ways to do this. For instance, you can use an external hard drive or even store such files online. This will save you the stress of spending unnecessarily on a data recovery software.

Final words

When it comes to losing your video files, there are lots of reasons which could be responsible for such problem. The tips shared above can help you to a great extent. All you have to do is ensure they are avoided.

 

This is a Sponsored Feature.

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BNP Paribas joins forces with Orange Business Services to deploy SD-WAN for 1,800 retail sites in France

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  • Co-construction approach ensures business continuity during deployment

BNP Paribas has chosen Orange Business Services to deploy an SD-WAN solution in more than 1,800 bank branches across France. Focused on developing and integrating new digital solutions, BNP Paribas continues to provide the highest standards to improve user experience for customers and employees alike.

By integrating Flexible SD-WAN from Orange Business Services, BNP Paribas benefits from a modern and agile technological platform to accelerate its digital transformation. This enables quick and easy deployment of multiple services, such as dynamic routing and path selection, with scalability and flexibility. It also empowers administrators to monitor infrastructure performance and resolve potential network congestion through simple software modifications, thereby optimizing application performance. By deploying SD-WAN, BNP Paribas can take advantage of a fully secure hybrid network that is natively multi-cloud, multi-access and multi-application. The Bank will also benefit from optimized and centralized management and intelligent routing for its new infrastructure.

Close collaboration between business and IT for greater agility

From the start of the project, experts from Orange Business Services and BNP Paribas built the solution design together and prioritized the features to be deployed. More than 3,600 access lines—two per branch, including one Internet access line – are currently being rolled out with a focus on maintaining business continuity for each site during the migration. In addition to the SD-WAN overlay, firewalls for enhanced security are also part of this deployment.

“It was paramount for us to choose a partner who already had proven experience implementing and operating SD-WAN solutions. Orange Business Services stood out as this trusted partner. In addition to their IT expertise, the Orange teams demonstrated a great ability to understand our business challenges, and they knew what needed to be done to support our end-to-end digital transformation. This close collaboration between our teams from the very beginning of the project was one of the keys to its success and to a smooth roll out,” said Bernard Gavgani, Chief Information Officer at BNP Paribas Group.

“We are delighted to support BNP Paribas in their transformation program and deploy the first large-scale SD-WAN project in the retail banking industry for the French market. An indepth understanding of our customers’ business needs is essential to co-develop customized and innovative solutions. Orange Business Services will continue to accompany BNP Paribas’ central and local teams to learn and develop their SD-WAN skills,” said Nadine Foulon-Belkacémi, Executive Vice President, French Major Clients at Orange Business Services.

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