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Your source for the latest technology information of interest to community banks across America.

Subscribe to our weekly e-mail newsletter and/or our monthly newsletter and stay on top of the latest technology trends in Hardware, Software, ATMs, Biometrics, Wireless, Online Banking, Marketing, Security, Internet Access and Call Centers.

March 1, 2021


Hardware News

 

Why Organizations Need Rugged Devices with Integrated Endpoint Management Systems

The author contends that planned obsolescence in consumer grade devices, frequent software updates, and batteries that are difficult or impossible to swap-out make consumer devices a risky investment for organizations who count on their endpoint devices to work hard for years before needing to be replaced. In their place he recommends rugged devices that integrate seamlessly into UEM and MDM platforms, can be trained to only engage with secure networks, and can be geofenced to turn themselves into expensive paperweights if taken off-property.

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Pure Storage Expands Its Flash-Storage Systems

Pure has three storage lines, the FlashArray//X, the FlashBlade, and the FlashArray//C lines, all managed by its Purity software line. FlashBlade looks to be getting the most attention, starting with new native server message block (SMB) support. This provides simplicity and multi-dimensional performance for very high throughput and IOPS with low latency to support multiple workloads simultaneously, files of any size, and sequential or random I/O access.

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Software Updates

 

Microsoft to Cut Perpetual Office Support by 50%, Raise Price by 10%

Microsoft plans to upgrade the "perpetual" Office for organizations in the second half of the year, when it will also slash support to 5 years and raise prices by 10%. The company's multiple shots at the traditional form of licensing — dubbed "perpetual" because the license provides rights to run the software as long as one wants — are more evidence, that Microsoft is eager to push commercial customers into service-esque subscriptions.

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Microsoft Debuts Financial Services Cloud

Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services public preview starts on March 31, 2021, with new capabilities for retail banking and additional new services fit for the broader industry to come. The solution integrates existing and new capabilities in Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Power Platform.

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ATMs/Kiosks

 

How FIs Can Benefit from IADs

The author states that managing a fleet of ATMs is very expensive, and few FIs are running their ATM businesses profitably. He contends that thanks to economies of scale, IADs are able to operate ATMs at a lower price point than FIs. Plus he thinks that branding agreements with IADs can offer a win-win scenario that allows FIs to service ATM users across a number of convenient locations, without the resources needed to operate their own growing fleet of ATMs.

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Wireless World

 

Pandemic or No, Boomers Are Still the Slowest to Adopt Mobile Banking and Contactless

Some 93% of consumers under 55 surveyed by Oxygen say they use a mobile-banking app, and two-thirds have increased their use of mobile banking during the pandemic. The corresponding proportions for Baby Boomers are 64% and 37%. Meanwhile, less than half of Boomers, 47%, use contactless payments, and 64% of those say they increased their use of the technology during the pandemic; however, 60% under the age of 55 use contactless payments and, of these, 81% say they have increased their use of contactless payments during the pandemic.

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Digital Wallets Eclipse Cash Globally at Point of Sale for First Time During Pandemic

Globally, use of mobile wallets exceeded cash for the first time for in-store payments, according to a FIS survey. Cash usage dropped 10 percentage points in 2020 to account for just one-fifth of all face-to-face payments worldwide. The report projects that by 2024, cash will account for less than 10 percent of in-store payments in the U.S. and just 13 percent of payments worldwide. Over that same time period, the report projects digital wallet payments to account for more than a third (33 percent) of all in-store payments (16 percent in the U.S.).

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Digital Banking Survey: Most and Least Valuable Mobile Features

Roughly three in four Americans (76%) have used their primary FI’s mobile app within the last year for everyday banking tasks like depositing checks or viewing statements and account balances, according to the Ipsos-Forbes Advisor U.S. Weekly Consumer Confidence Survey. Perhaps unsurprisingly, essential mobile banking features are the most valuable: mobile check deposit, ability to view statements and account balances, transfer funds and bill pay. The least valued in the survey were: peer-to-peer payment (11% of respondents), finding nearby ATMs (8%), cardless ATM withdrawal (6%) and budgeting and tracking tools (5%). However, the report noted that this doesn’t imply that these features aren’t being used or that they aren’t useful.

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Security Section

 

3 Strategies for Prioritizing Security as Cloud Adoption Increases

The author insists that one of the best ways to prioritize security and enable success in cloud migration is to establish a center of excellence (COE). Once you’ve assembled a COE, the group should meet regularly to work through the following steps: 1) Construct a cohesive cloud strategy; 2) Pursue capabilities outlined in the strategy; and 3) Ensure the COE meets at a regular cadence.

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8 Ways Ransomware Operators Target Your Network

In this article, security researchers explore 8 wyas that scammers are expanding their arsenals with new, more subtle, and more effective ransomware attack techniques.

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Technology and Marketing

 

The 7 Must-Have Features Americans Look for When Opening a New Account

The Ascent recently ran a survey to find out what consumers want from FIs and here are the results (in order of importance): 1. Low fees; 2. Mobile and online access; 3. Quality of customer service; 4 (tie). Easy ATM access and convenient branch locations; 6. A good brand reputation; and 7. Competitive interest rates.

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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design

 

Visa Reveals Bitcoin and Crypto Banking Roadmap

After partnering with 35 various bitcoin and cryptocurrency platforms in recent years, Visa announced it plans to help FIs roll out bitcoin and cryptocurrency buying and trading services with a Visa crypto software program, set to launch later this year. Their strategy is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally.

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Zelle Gets Access to TCH’s Real Time Payments Network

Early Warning Services announced that payments on its fast-growing Zelle P2P payments system can now be cleared and settled on the Real Time Payments network, owned by The Clearing House Payments Company. With the integration, senders’ FIs will see faster availability of funds on Zelle transactions and Early Warning will be able to access features of RTP such as request for payment and bill pay. For its part, TCH will benefit from Zelle’s ability to route transactions via simple yet secure tokens like a phone number or email address.

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Internet Access

 

Palo Alto Networks Pushes SASE Security to Non-Web Apps

Palo Alto Networks has updated its Prisma Access secure access service edge (SASE) platform that targets remote worker security with several new capabilities including better protection for non-web apps and auto remediation for network problems. According to the vendor’s analysis this year of more than 500 enterprise customers using Prisma Access, 53% of all remote workforce threats are for non-web apps. A Palo Alto spokesperson added, “so solutions that only provide a proxy-based approach therefore miss the majority of the enterprise remote workforce threats.”

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Forrester Report Highlights Zero Trust Edge Model

In a new report, analysts from Forrester touted the Zero Trust Edge model as a way for organizations to unify networking and security infrastructure while also securing and enabling remote workers. "The Zero Trust Edge model is a safer on-ramp to the internet for organizations' physical locations and remote workers. A ZTE network is a virtual network that spans the internet and is directly accessible from every major city in the world. It uses Zero Trust Network Access to authenticate and authorize users as they connect to it and through it," a Forrester analyst wrote.

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Call Centers

 

How AI Can Enhance Contact Center Interactions

By as early as next year, AI-enabled conversational agents are expected to handle nearly 20 percent of all customer service requests. With vast stores of information arranged logically and intuitively through clever algorithms and a combination of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), the author states that AI-enabled contact centers are fast learning the nuances of handling tricky human experiences and getting highly adept at first call resolutions. He concludes that there are really two distinct types of AI currently in use in contact centers. The first kind focuses on processing large amounts of data and coming up with actionable insights before or during consumer interactions to empower agents. The second type is more popularly known as conversational AI, and focuses on analyzing the content of conversations in interactions.

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