While most financial services firms have devoted considerable time and effort to connecting with their customers via social media, American Express continues to be a step ahead of the competition in this space. Over the past year, AmEx has forged partnerships with Facebook and Foursquare to deliver its broad customer base a variety of new deals and rewards. Now, the firm has joined forces with another social media giant, Twitter.
The mobile payment landscape currently resembles the Wild West with giant corporations, social media outlets and ambitious upstarts all vying to become the payment method of choice. PayPal is the newest entrant in the mobile payment market, throwing its hat into the ring with the release of the PayPal Here app and its own triangular mobile card reader.
Across the country, the tipoff of the 2012 NCAA College Basketball Tournament has caused a massive drop off in work productivity. Allstate’s latest March Madness-themed Twitter promotion certainly isn’t helping the employers’ cause. On the official Allstate Insurance Twitter profile, the staff generally keeps busy responding to mentions and complaints from other Twitter users. This sort of activity usually constitutes about 5-10 tweets per day. For the last couple days, though, they have been scouring the social network not only for tweets about their own brand, but also for users tweeting about March Madness.
Last week, Oppenheimer Funds introduced the Global Tracker app for the iPad and Android. Like a number of other fund firms, Oppenheimer does not support mobile account access but is making an effort to provide valuable mobile fund research and investment commentary to clients and non-clients alike.
The iPad still dominates the tablet marketplace, but other similar devices are slowly gaining popularity. By some projections, the iPad’s market share is headed below 60% in coming years. As in the smartphone market, Apple’s major rival is Google’s Android operating system, which powers an array of devices including Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
This article first appeared in the ABA Banking Journal. American Express recently released a new video series titled Social Media Show + Tell, which helps small business owners enhance their social media skills. Interestingly, the videos are available exclusively within AmEx’s Business Knowledge Share LinkedIn group. The firm has effectively used social media outlets to connect with small business owners in the past through the OPEN Forum website and OPEN Facebook page. Now, AmEx is starting to utilize LinkedIn’s professional social network space and is using the new videos to attract the attention of small business owners.
Corporate Insight is proud to introduce our new "Best Of" Series, a collection of e-books that highlight our most thought-provoking research across the financial services industry. Our first e-book focuses on social media and mobile finance and includes: Articles, excerpts and reviews from the past eight months focusing on key social media and mobile finance topics. Links to free report excerpts and other research downloads from CI.
At this point, most mobile apps offer simplified versions of online capabilities, but mobile technology has the potential for much more. With a bit of creativity, financial services firms can identify needs that currently go unmet and develop new tools for their customers. One such example is TD Ameritrade’s new Snapstock tool. How Snapstock Works Snapstock is a bar code scanning tool – to our knowledge, the first of its kind in the brokerage industry – available through the firm’s TD Ameritrade Mobile app for iPhone and Android. While out shopping, clients can scan a product’s bar code with their phone’s camera to view a quote for the company or add the company’s symbol to a watch list.
Dan Gualtieri is the Web Production Specialist at Corporate Insight and part of the Mobile Monitor team. Apple’s iPhone is the most popular smartphone on the market today and there is no shortage of owners who have chosen to bypass the smartphone’s standard software by “jailbreaking” their device. Jailbreaking an iPhone gives users access to an entirely separate app store, allowing them to download apps that are not sanctioned by Apple. While having access to a larger selection of apps is nice, is it safe to perform mobile banking and other information-sensitive activities on a jailbroken iPhone?
Financial firms unveiled a number of new tools, as well as mobile apps, social media promotions and websites this January. On a smaller scale, firms also announced impending changes and implemented security procedures to login processes.
Next week, we will release the first annual Mobile Leaders report assessing the top mobile platforms offered by banks, credit card issuers, brokerages and asset management firms. The report features in-depth platform reviews and a comprehensive best practices summary. The following are a few of the key findings from the report:
This week, we launched our Mobile Monitor service with the first bi-weekly Mobile Monitor Update of 2012. A full review of E*TRADE’s remote deposit capture tool can be found in the Update. One of the most interesting storylines we’ve been tracking in mobile finance is the spread of remote deposit capture (RDC). USAA first launched its Deposit@Mobile service in 2009, allowing its far-flung military client base to make check deposits without an ATM. Chase introduced its QuickDeposit RDC tool a year later, followed by U.S. Bank and PNC in 2011. Shortly after, Fidelity and Charles Schwab became the first brokerage firms to offer the feature.
This excerpt is taken from the first Mobile Monitor Update of 2012 which was released on Tuesday. For more information on our Mobile Monitor service and to download a free Mobile Finance Update reviewing all updates and enhancements that occurred in the second half of 2011, click here. Charles Schwab launched a new version of its iPhone app in December. Its enhancements include optimization for use on the iPad. When accessed from an iPad, the app provides intuitive views of account and market information, along with competitive trading tools. However, it lacks features such as advanced charting and remote deposit capture.
This article originally appeared in ABA Banking Journal. American Express is partnering with Foursquare to bring their customers deals as part of a location-based social media effort. While the partnership first debuted nationally in June 2011, American Express is now making a further push to coincide with its campaign for small businesses. The program, called Shop Small, began on December 5, 2011 and will continue for a limited time according to the firm.
Over the last three months, Chase partnered with Google to offer small business owners a series of “Grow Your Business Online” seminars and webinars. These free discussions featured advice from Google product experts on how business owners can increase their presence online. The discussions were advertised on the Ink from Chase sitelet and marketed to customers through personal emails. The webinars focused on topics such as creating online communities, increasing company exposure online and more. As the webinars were free to the public, I decided to register for the “Create a Mobile Ready Site and Use Mobile Advertising” webinar, which was held on November 30, 2011.
The Business Development Institute held a conference last week entitled Financial Services Social Communications: Case Studies and Roundtables which I was fortunate enough to attend. The conference began with the typical introductions and thank-yous. As this was my first “tech” conference (in the most generic sense) I was surprised to see that everyone around me was on an iPad, laptop, smartphone, etc. Many were busy tweeting away at #bdi1, commenting on the presenters’ insights. A large screen displayed every tweet at #bdi1, so that everyone could see the conversation as it was happening. As a side note, I checked to see if the display was moderated; and since my “Hi mom #bdi1” tweet never made it on the big board, I can only assume it was.
As we reported in September, brokerage customers that access their accounts from a mobile device also tend to place a higher volume of trades per year. According to our recent survey report, high volume traders are typically older and have more liquid household assets. However, mobile users contradict this trend, being younger, higher salaried and more in tune with their brokerage firms on social media.
Every Tuesday, Corporate Insight will release recommendations to help financial services firms improve a key aspect of the online user experience. Recommendations come from our Monitor Services, which cover the banking, brokerage, credit card, asset management and insurance industries. Keeping an account secure used to mean shredding papers or storing sensitive documents in a safe place. Today, new security measures must be taken as more clients take advantage of the convenience of paperless statements and mobile account apps. This week, our Mobile Monitor team passes along a few fundamental mobile security tips for clients:
Corporate Insight has been tracking the use of social media by financial services firms since the summer of 2008. At the time, a few firms were using social media to communicate with their clients but most of the industry was still waiting on the sidelines. The few pioneer companies that were experimenting with social media typically consisted of banks, credit card issuers and self-directed brokerages. Most of these firms focused their efforts on Facebook, the most popular online community of the time. By the time we published our initial social media report – Social Media: Trends and Tactics in the Financial Services Industry – 32% of the firms we track had a Facebook page.
There are a few techniques financial services firms can use to jazz up their statements, one of which involves making them interactive by adding a QR code. According to Wikipedia, a QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR readers, smartphones, and, to a less common extent, computers with webcams. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.