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2009 Maj | Habza.pl

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Writing is hard

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Pisanie jest trudne, bardzo trudne….
Nie jest to najlepszy odcinek Frasiera, ale ma swoje dobre momenty, trafnie ukazujące czym się aktualnie zajmuję, heh.

Damn, damn hard for us all.
Not their best performance, but still ok. This situation quite resemble my current struggle.

Frasier S01E22
Author, Author
Opis odcinka/Episode summary

Articles worth reading: 5

YouTube HD Camera Trick Challenge – Samsung

“This clip was shot on an I8910 HD phone, a new camera phone just released by Samsung with an 8 megapixel camera that can actually record and output video in HD format. It was shot in one take, with no post production or special effects of any kind. Everything you see here was done “in-camera”. Our challenge to you is to figure out how we did it. Hint: it’s worth watching in HD…”

I do like such concept, provide a challenge, a competition for your target audience. It was filmed in a really cleaver way.

Turning our streets into neighborhoods – MasterCard

“The Big Lunch, on Sunday 19 July 2009, is a national event designed to break down the walls of anonymity between British people.”
“For one afternoon, every single person will be encouraged to decorate their street, prepare a meal, go outside and interact with their neighbours.”

From the Priceless series. Companies should follow such path, to help not on a nationwide level or for some distant ideas (global warming, give me a break), but show actions HERE and NOW. I’ve been always amazed why do the companies with let’s say large branch network don’t encourage their employees for local activities…

There are no “corporate customers”..

“There are no “private customers” either.. Only human customers in different roles. And they surely deserve to be served with similar tools, logic and language irrespective of the role. Anything else is bad service and slowing up adoption of more productive practises in both roles.”

Using Social Technologies to Run Better Events

The Twitter Book – A Sneak Preview – what the flock Twitter is

Banks – how about focusing on new value?

“But what should banks do now to start to rebuild their scattered images? Back to profitability and basics is for sure one route – simple robust real services – less marketeer driven gimmicks and “products” nobody really understand. But more than that, there is a big area where banks are now needed more than ever before. This is the what we call extended payments services. All the way from potentially doubling the payment volumes by moving into networked sourcing, routing and presenting e-invoices, e-orders, e-confirmations, e-salaries, e-pensions etc to e-id, e-signatures and real time payments – services needed in the networked and increasingly real-time economy.”

An anthropological introduction to YouTube


Everything can be an advertising vehicle.

Articles worth reading: 4

Bank of America outs Twitter imposter

“The anonymous BofA imposter set up his Twitter account yesterday and claimed to be a bona fide staffer at the West Coast bank.

Pros and cons of the ‘new media’. What can you do? Close on them? Then you’ll obsolete.

Will the Troubled Banking Sector Start Pulling Back on Free Consumer Services?

“Free online/mobile banking access: Online and mobile access is an inexpensive service to provide and is likely to remain free for most customers. However, we expect banks and credit unions to begin offering upscale “gold” versions that will carry annual/monthly fees for more benefits.”

This one is easiest to implement and justify I think. Naturally all depends on the market we are acting, so there is no universal solution.

Westpac checks out of Second Life

“Australia’s Westpac has pulled its presence in Second Life and ditched a number of high profile Web 2.0 pilots in response to poor user uptake and changing business conditions.”

No surprise there, as such investments are always first to cut, and it is also not the first example of a financial institution failing in Second Life. As I’ve mentioned earlier on this website – more traditional social networking websites should be targeted in short and mid term. Ultimately Second Life-like communities will prevail. Today also a success could be possible, let’s say some South Korean bank with attractive offer for youth would become the official ‘bank’ for World of Warcraft.

CitiFX Pro goes online and mobile

“CitiFX Pro clients are now able to access their accounts and trade real-time via three state-of-the-art platforms: CitiFX Pro Trader, the current desktop version, CitiFX Pro Web and CitiFX Pro Mobile. Clients with Internet browser access can view streaming prices and charts for over 130 currency pairs and execute trades via CitiFX Pro Web, which can be launched without software installation.”

Brits still failing to protect themselves online – survey

“The average Brit is subscribed to seven internet services, such as internet banking or online shopping sites, and almost a third (30 per cent) of people subscribe to 10 or more. However, almost a fifth of people (18 per cent) use the same password for all their accounts and, of those with 10 or more, 18 per cent use the same password for all of them.”
“Worryingly, the survey also reveals just 12 per cent of people use the recommended secure mix of numbers, capitals and lower case letters when creating their passwords, falling to nine per cent for those in their 60′s and eight per cent for those over 70.”

E-banking draws half of online US population

“49% conducts most, if not all, of their banking via the Internet, up nearly 23% from early 2007.”
“While the research shows 62% of people aged 21 to 34 conduct the majority of their banking via the Internet, around 40% of those aged 45 to 69 are also now mainly managing their finances online.”

Dutch banks bid for customers on online auction site

“To use the Spaarbod site, customers enter the amount of money they want to deposit, for how long and on what terms. The site calculates the best rates and offers the user the chance to sign up.”

Nothing special for now.

“However, they can also choose to have their data sent on to participating banks, which can bid for the business. Within a day the user receives an e-mail listing the five highest bidders and can pick the best offer.

Excellent solution for the Clients who are only seeking the best rate, and are disregarding other factors. Quite dangerous for the financial institutions. When the only thing that matters is a small number and a percentage sign, all marketers efforts are a bit pointless there. There is no place for a shiny brand, exclusive branches, cool ATMs etc. Just the rate.

SmartyPig integrates with money management sites

“SmartyPig is a secure new service that leverages the age-old idea of saving up for purchases before buying, while adding Web 2.0 and social networking technology to reach tech-savvy banking customers. The ability to track SmartyPig goals in online money management sites was a top request from SmartyPig users, who keep an ongoing dialogue with the company through customer service site GetSatisfaction, Twitter, a large fan group on Facebook, and through its popular blog.”

Wesabe launches money management platform for banks

“Aggregation tools enable customers to see all their accounts – checking, savings, credit card and investment – in one place.”
“Furthermore, community features let consumers share advice, support and tips as well as view side-by-side comparison of merchants, showing aggregate spending and satisfaction data, as well as user-generated tips.”

Entropia Universe gets real world banking licence

“The company behind Entropia Universe – an online role-playing game that has a cash economy – has been granted a real world banking licence by Swedish regulators, enabling it to set up a virtual central bank.”
“Mind Bank will also offer selected bank services to customers on the conventional market.”

How many Ts is that?

“It seems obvious to allow time for your employees to connect with their peers across these networks to collaboratively problem solve – though you have to give them the trust to help you innovate and share the reward for it to work.”
“Can banks figure out how to modernise their client services – can they find a way to engage in more transparent dialogue rather than branch-focused workshops with a few customers and expensive budgets that push the brand in other ways?”
“It would be very easy to take a leaf out of the IT service desk approach and evolve the current online banking tools by running a proper Q&A, forum and knowledge base for staff and customers to use and evolve together though there’s not much to banking, is there?”

Banks are just too afraid to be open on the communication with Clients via ‘public’ channels. Let’s name an internet forum. Obviously it’d have to be moderated, so what would happen if a bunch of noisy and unhappy Clients would come? Cut them all off? Community would have been outraged. These are the worries of large universal banks, a fear that a small fraction of Clients (often without particular reason…) will create a mess. In my opinion tools are there to use them, only wisely. Only through communication with those who are leaving money in your establishment you will know how to get your service better.

Fifth Third Bank adds lending information section to site

“The site includes information from the U.S. Department of the Treasury about Fifth Third Bank’s monthly lending data in comparison with other financial institutions participating in the Capital Purchase Program. The site also includes information about Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation coverage and details about how Fifth Third Mortgage Company’s customers can get assistance.”

Wells Fargo taps Twitter

“Wells Fargo is the latest bank to launch a Twitter feed, where customers can ask questions and seek advice.”

Online banking bill payers are more profitable and loyal – study

“Bank customers who pay bills online are over 15% more profitable and 76% more loyal than those that don’t, according to a study sponsored by Fiserv.”
“In addition customers who paid bills online were 76% less likely to churn or leave the bank, with the figure rising to 95% for people paying five or more a month.”

Arizona State CU launches social media site for recession-hit members

“The HelpingAZ.com site is designed to assist Arizona state and university employees and others who have been impacted by the economy, layoffs and furloughs.”

US m-banking take-up hindered by security and cost concerns – survey

“The poll of over 500 people shows 85% of respondents believe mobile banking is important but they do not want to pay for it. Of those who have not used m-banking, 48% cite security and privacy as the primary reason.”
“The survey also highlights a lack of awareness on mobile banking, with 68% claiming their financial institution does not offer the service.”

Third of European Internet users bank online – comScore

“Of 17 European countries individually analysed, Internet banking usage was highest in the Netherlands, with 52.9% of the total online population using it.”
“France saw the second highest penetration levels, with 49.9% of the total online population, followed by Sweden on 48.4% and the UK, 46.1%.”

Hacking, OTPs and next generation of Authentication Methods

“The following authentication scenarios discussed here apply to a simple connection between a client and his online banking website. After reviewing the most dangerous hacking techniques, we will see what solutions can be implemented.”

Global recession fuels ID fraud fears – Unisys

“According to the poll, 84% of Spanish consumers believe the financial crisis will increase their risk of ID theft and fraud schemes, with 74% of people in the US and 72% in the UK sharing this concern.”
“The survey saw a 10 point increase in Internet security fears worldwide, which included near equal rises in concerns about online banking and shopping as well as computer viruses and spam.”

Wells Fargo calls on customers to switch to online statements for Earth Day

“Pay It Green, an industry alliance organized to promote online banking, including online-only statements, estimates that an average household with online services could save seven pounds of paper, 60 gallons of waste water and five gallons of gas each year. (payitgreen.org/get-the-facts.html)”

Recession-hit Americans turn to Web banking – comScore

“ComScore says nearly 60% of the total US Internet population now visits any one of the top 20 financial institutions’ sites in any give quarter.”
“However, brokerage firms saw their highly satisfied customers decline from 70% of respondents in 2008 to 58% in 2009.”
“Around 37% showed a strong interest in online personal financial management tools, with half of those interested indicating they were willing to pay a modest monthly fee for the services.”
“An instant messaging service would appeal to 30%, widgets to 27% and blogs to 20%.”

It’s a Bird It’s a Plane…It’s Earth Day

“Just one day past Earth Day, e3bank announced their intention to be the first to create a commercially successful, full-service financial institution built from the ground up around principles of sustainability. Which means a bank with no branches but a whole lot of technology.”

Twitter and other banking fads

“According to figures from the Nielsen Wire blog, more than 60% of US Twitter users fail to return the following month. This is actually an improvement on previous 12 months pre-hype stats, when Twitter’s retention rate languished below 30%. Compare this with the 70% retention rates of Facebook and MySpace.”

For banks, Twitter is a stunt

“Now, I’d assume that each of these institutions has someone whose role is, at least partially, dedicated to servicing that Twitter account. With less than 400 customers to serve, I suppose it is possible, even, that they can create some content which is interesting enough to keep their followers signed up. But what if they had thousands of followers, or tens of thousands? Creating relevance for so many is not likely to be something one person can do.”
“But all of this is irrelevant, really, because the Twitterati aren’t interested in content at all. Their primary interest is counting the number of followers they’ve acquired. It is a badge of honour: you are someone in social media if you have thousands of followers, and noone otherwise. Twitter is a way of keeping score, a means of being part of the “in crowd”.”

Twitterati vs the banks

“Yes, banks and others need to monitor Twitter. But if that ever became a primary communication channel, something is seriously wrong. I do think that the banks running a help line on Twitter are probably doing a good thing. I monitor a few of these, and I don’t see them getting that much traffic, and what they are doing is redirecting the enquiries, for the most part.”
“Social media have a democratizing effect: it means small voices can more easily be heard. They help balance out the power imbalance of one customer versus a big institution.”
“Relatively few banks offer customers feed services for things like rates. This would appear to be a good application for Twitter. What about campaigns and promotions, announcements of new locations, all that sort of stuff.”

New media uptake threatens retail banking business model – Gartner

“Gartner defines social banking as an emerging approach to retail banking that makes depositing, lending and the connections between depositors, borrowers and financial institutions transparent.”
“Without planning for the emergence of this new financial services environment, retail banks will not only be disintermediated, but also miss a significant opportunity to transform their operations and customer focus, she says.”

Importance of Customer Services during a Crisis

“For a company, Advertisement is your word and Customer Services is your action.
Advertisement is important to let the people know out there that you are still alive and doing ok. Don’t assume that they think you are, tell them. Customer Services are important to do what you say you’re doing. Telling your customers and your potential new customers that you are ok is one thing.”
“Showing them is another one. Show to your customers that they are important to you. Bring them the best quality of service ever, especially during crisis time: Invest in your customers.”

Articles worth reading: 3

Banks must wake up to payments challenge – BCG

“Banks around the world must take forceful steps to protect their payments businesses or risk a further dent in their profits as the financial crisis continues, according to a new report by the Boston Consulting Group.”
“…global payments revenues hit $805.1 billion in 2008, up from $654.3 billion in 2006, and are forecast to reach $1.4 trillion by 2016 – their momentum is slowing. The darkest cloud over the industry is the steady decline in average revenues per transaction. For banks, BCG estimates that these revenues will fall from $0.94 to $0.88 for domestic payments and from $9.33 to $7.50 for cross-border payments from 2008 through 2016.”

Cornèrcard to add ID and access control applications to contactless credit cards

“Cornèrcard says it will use Transponder technology from Swiss chip card technology outfit Legic to convert the card to a multi-application credential-enabling access control device. This will extend the use of the credit cards beyond pure payments to incorporate access to leisure or club facilities, as an e-ticket for public transport or identification badge for car sharing.”

Citi partners MySpace on reward card

“Citi Forward by MySpace cardholders can earn “ThankYou Points” for completing socially responsible acts, such as donating to food drives, going paperless, switching to energy efficient light bulbs and volunteering.”
“The points can be used for rewards and experiences from MySpace, such as music downloads, VIP concert tickets, private concerts and trips to movie premiere screenings.”

KeyBank launches World Debit MasterCard

“World Debit MasterCard cardholders are eligible for discounts on a variety of products and services, and have access to enhanced customer service and security features. The KeyBank World Debit MasterCard will also feature MasterCard PayPass contactless payment functionality. This offers cardholders increased speed and convenience at the point of sale by allowing them to “Tap & Go”"

The Convenience of Cheques: Long May They Live
Interesting remarks on the cheques convenience. I’ll never get them right, why do people bother with them, but it is only because in Poland we’ve skipped this chapter of financial services. As almost everything after the communism fall had to be built from scratch, CEE banking systems are rather modern, and from start were created to use top solutions of their time. So we’re using payment cards, or e-banking in a greater manner. What I do miss, and frankly do not understand is the fact of small popularity of the gift cards. Oh, well maybe no one tried really hard to sell them.

Barclaycard and Orange team on contactless m-payments

“Barclaycard and Orange will work together on rolling out the technology, which they call “the biggest revolution in payments since plastic cards were introduced over 40 years ago”.”

Stimulus To The Heart – Boss writes to employees

“If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your 4WD and your child’s future. Frankly, it isn’t my problem anymore.”

Funny, but sad.

Visa pre-paid card load network introduced at MoneyGram locations

“MoneyGram enables consumers with any Visa ReadyLink-enabled prepaid card to add funds – in real-time – anywhere MoneyGram Money Transfer and ExpressPayment are offered. MoneyGram joins more than 8,000 participating Visa ReadyLink locations, further extending the convenience and security of reload services to Visa prepaid cardholders in more convenient, everyday shopping locations.”

Social network hi5 teams with Paymo to accept mobile payments

“Social network hi5 has struck a deal with mobile payments outfit Paymo that will enable members to use their handsets to buy the site’s virtual currency, which can then be used to pay for gifts and content.”

Bank of America ‘online mall’ targets crunched online shoppers

“Bank of America online banking customers with a credit or debit card can register for free through the Add It Up site, entitling them to earn up to 20% cash back on buys at over 270 e-tailers, including iTunes, Walmart, BestBuy and Barnes & Noble.”

Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance introduces pre-paid programme with CredEcard

“Matt Lanford, Head of Prepaid Europe at MasterCard, commented: “More companies are turning to prepaid cards as a safe and convenient alternative to inefficient and costly paper-based payments. Independent research from PSE Consulting suggests that this trend will continue in Europe, with payroll cards estimated to turn over €10.7 billion by 2015.”"

Deutsche Bank embarks on massive m-payments project; hires ABN Amro’s van Wezel

“The bank says the service will allow its GTB clients to offer millions of consumers an instant and secure payments and money transfer service from any mobile device with any network.”
“Deutsche claims it is the first major commercial bank to offer a cross-border mobile payments service to its banking and corporate customers.”

Franklin Bank and Trust chooses DCS card issuance technology

“Utilizing DCS’ technology, Franklin Bank and Trust allows new customers who open a checking account, as well as existing customers who need a replacement debit card, to simply walk into the branch and receive an unembossed personalized card in a matter of minutes. The Visa debit cards are printed and presented to the customer at the time of their visit and can be immediately used when they leave the branch.”

Dutch supermarket fingerprint payments plan shelved

“Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn has shelved plans to use fingerprint scanning technology as an alternative to card and cash payments at the check-out after a six month trial failed to dispel security concerns.”
“…intended to test customer reaction ahead of a wider roll out of the technology.”

Idea of convenience is obviously good (you will never forgot or lost such ‘card’ right?), but not in a such implementation. Fingerprinting disregarding privacy issues is equalized with the crime world. It is never a good idea to make your Clients feel like common criminals.

SafPay ships virtual card for online payments

“Virtucard eliminates charge-backs and guarantees all funds to the merchant while providing a safer and more private shopping experience for the consumer. Consumers can shop anonymously at Virtucard merchant stores, as if they were using cash, and prevent personally identifiable information from being disclosed. The benefits to the merchant are significant.”

APS partners Poşta Română on pre-paid card

“The launch of the Poşta Română cashplus prepaid MasterCard opens up a new market by bridging the gap between cash and credit cards in a country where a significant number of its 21 million people do not have a bank account or credit card and most payments are made in cash.”

Travelex unveils Corporate Cash Passport pre-paid MasterCard

“The Corporate Cash Passport easily transfers funds from the cards to company funds and back again any time during the 3-year life-span of the card. The card offers greater control by allowing managers to view exactly how much was spent on given days, watch over employee card funds and keep a check on total expenditure. Card accounts can even be set up with a specific hierarchical structure to better match company loading and management processes.”

Visa selects Malaysia for first commercial contactless m-payments service

“Visa has teamed with Malaysia’s Maybank, wireless carrier Maxis and handset manufacturer Nokia to launch its first commercial contactless mobile payments service.”

RushCard adds budget management tool

“RushCard members report that RushCard’s online suite of money management features is helping them save money. In a recent online survey, more than 79 percent of members agreed that money management tools helped them to stick to their budget. Over half of RushCard members reported that the money management tools already available with their RushCards have helped them save more than $300 annually. Thirty percent said they are saving more than $600 a year.”

Tuxedo launches P2P payment service for cardholders

“Tuxedo Money Solutions has launched the first Person to Person (P2P) payment service in the UK on prepaid cards enabling thousands of users to make instant payments to each other for up to £150 at a time.”

Sony launches contactless payments TV remote

“Viewers can pay online for video-on-demand services using Japan’s EDY and eLIO e-money systems by tapping their cards against the remote controls.”

Levering ATMs for Cardless Money Transfer

“To receive the money, the receiver simply goes to one of the bank’s ATM, and keys in his mobile phone number and the PIN code for the transaction. The information is then verified by the bank system, and if correct, initiates a call to the mobile phone. The customer is asked to accept the call and place the phone in proximity of the ATM’s loud speaker. The ATM then sends an encrypted signal to the mobile phone to authenticate the mobile phone.”
“The service may be proposed to non-bank customers, as even customers without a card or bank account may utilize the service. All you need is cash and a mobile phone.”

What Goes Around Comes Around, when used force turns against you

This campaign is a part of Global Coalition for Peace initiative. These posters are showing in a truly beautiful way how force, violence, cruelty and ultimately war are turning against those participating in it. Fierceness is not a solution. A good metaphor is used – relaying on the brutal force is a road to nowhere, and at the end will cause more damage.
What is especially worth highlighting here is the brilliant usage of ‘media’ (or a vehicle?, whatever) – in this case a column, which gives an opportunity of showing the closed circle of violence.

Inspiration: Osocio