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Alumni updates

  • Citi introduces new mobile passcode solution for its Treasury and Trade clients. See Citi at FinDEVr New York next week.
  • Putnam-Greene Financial Corporation to deploy core banking technology from Fiserv. Join Fiserv in New York next week for FinDEVr New York.
  • Capital One Financial Corporation appoints Amy Lenander as UK CEO.
  • Barclaycard adds free Uber ride as reward for loyal cardholders. See Barclaycard next week at FinDEVr New York.
  • OutsideIQ partners with SAP Ariba to help corporations quickly screen vendors for risk and regulatory compliance.
  • FinDEVr alum Capital One joins the chatbot revolution with its new SMS virtual assistant, Eno.
  • Currencycloud Collects $25 Million in New Funding.
  • BBVA Compass unveils BBVA Momentum, a seven-month accelerator for socially-minded entrepreneurs.
  • Kabbage nabs $500M for small business loans.
  • Fidor partners with Van Lanschot to create the first PSD2-inspired Payment Avenue.
  • MX to power digital money management tools for Travis CU.

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Mobile: Citibank Remains Committed to No Login with Newest “Lite” iPhone App

citibank_lite_app_frontFlipping through the top-100 iPhone apps in the Finance category, I noticed Citibank’s new Lite version at #90. It has been ranked as high as #31 in the past month (see chart below). In comparison, the core Citi Mobile app is ranked #14.

The app was released March 29 to support the Apple Watch app. But it’s more than just a watch app. It can be used by anyone who wants a simple, always-logged-in way to track banking and credit card transactions (see inset).

The app includes current balance and last 15 transactions (5 on Apple Watch) for checking, savings and credit cards. Users log in once, then the app stays logged in indefinitely. There is no transactional functions in the app, so the security risk is almost non-existent. This may appeal to certain security conscious customers still wary of mobile transactions. Customers can logoff at any time to protect their privacy.

The bank provides the same benefit with the Snapshot feature in its full-featured mobile app. So, Citi Mobile Lite may be a temporary workaround until the bank integrates Apple Watch support into its main app. But the bank may find there is a strong core audience for a non-transactional app and keep it around for many years.

The Lite app is not currently listed in the bank’s mobile banking section. The only way to find out about it is through the bank’s site search or through Apple’s App Store. Here’s the landing page found via a search for “Apple Watch” (see screenshot below).

Citibank now offers a suite seven separate apps to U.S. customers: Citi Mobile, Citi Mobile Lite, Cit Private Bank in View, Citi News, Citi Velocity, CitiFX Pulse, Citi on Campus. Additionally, there are local Citi Mobile versions across at least 18 other countries.

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Citi Mobile Lite ranking in Finance category of Apple App Store (U.S.)

citi_lite_app_ranking

Source: AppShopper, 27 May 2015

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Citibank desktop landing page

citi_applewatch_lander

 

Apple Touches Off First Wave of Mobile Banking Biometrics

image We’ve known this day was coming ever since Apple acquired AuthenTec two years ago for $350 million. That was real money back in the pre-Beats/Nest/Oculus days.

Monday, Apple made it official at its annual developers’ conference: The fingerprint authentication system built into the iPhone 5S (Touch ID) will open to outside developers in the next iOS update (v8.0 expected in mid-September). That means that app publishers, including banks, credit unions & wallet providers, will be able to use it to provide initial authorization into a secure app. 

image The new feature was demonstrated on stage by logging in to Mint (see inset, screen cap tweeted by Bradley Leimer Monday). In the demo, Mint users are prompted to use the touchpad to open the app (the small type says, “Please authenticate in order to proceed”). Users are also given a password option.

Most likely, banks will use Touch ID, as well as other handset-resident biometric systems (note 1) to deliver “read-only” access to data. It’s an approach that’s been catching on around the world even before Apple’s biometric wizardry. Citibank is the most recent to provide a no-login glimpse in its mobile app (called SnapShot), rolling it out nationwide two weeks ago (press release). It’s also used at Westpac (NZ), Commonwealth (AU), Bank of the West, City Bank of Texas and many more (note 2).

For anything transactional, such as a wire transfer, banks will likely require additional authentication (see our Nine Circles of Security).

And of course, these security changes will generally need to be optional for customers until they become commonly accepted practices. Most users are still extremely wary of security on mobile phones, even though it is a marked improvement over the desktop (note 3).

While it’s too early to know if any financial institutions will have it enabled by September, one fintech payment provider, CardFlight, wasted no time, announcing support for Touch ID just a few hours after the Apple keynote (note 4).

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Notes:
1. Celent’s Jacob Jegher showed me his facial recognition login on his Android phone (Samsung?) at last month’s FinovateSpring. Very cool, though he doesn’t have it enabled since it slows up the login process just slightly.
2. Malauzai Software powers more than 90 credit unions and banks alone (post).
3. See our latest report on Mobile Security (March 2014, subscription) for more info.
4. Cardflight will be showing off its latest tools at our first developer event, FinDEVr, 30 Sep 2014, in San Francisco.