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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.

August 22, 2022


Hardware News

 

Adoption of smartNICs Faces Challenges

The Ethernet controller and adapter market will grow from $3.2 billion in 2021 to $5 billion in 2026, with smartNICs contributing significantly to the growth, according to Dell’Oro Group. The standard issue 25Gbit NIC port is often more than enough for organizations doing basic networking tasks such as database and Web serving, but Dell’Oro Group sees an opportunity at the higher end for smartNICs, which better manage network traffic and take the networking load off CPUs. A smartNIC will be three to 10 times the cost of a regular NIC., for example, a standard 25Gbit NIC is usually $60 or $70 a port, whereas smartNICs range from $300 to $500.

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Dell’s Newest Webcam Offers 2K Resolution and a Built-in Mic

The new Dell Pro Webcam (model WB5023) follows a similar playbook to last year’s Dell UltraSharp 4K Webcam, with a compact, barrel-shaped design and automatic cropping software. Though instead of 4K resolution, the Pro Webcam records and streams up to QHD 2560 x 1440 resolution. This more modest resolution helps it hit a lower price, but Dell includes a noise-reducing microphone.

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Software Updates

 

Benefits and Drawbacks of Serverless Databases

A serverless database is a database that lets you store, manage, and analyze data without having to manage the underlying host infrastructure. In other words, when you use a serverless database, you just load your data and run queries on it as you wish. To be clear, serverless databases have underlying infrastructure. But that infrastructure is managed by someone else — namely, the vendor of the serverless database platform — rather than users. So, from the user's perspective, the server essentially doesn't exist. Unlike serverless computing, a serverless database can't host your app. It can just host your data and support analytics operations.

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AuditBoard Offers Third-Party Risk Management Solution

AuditBoard released its Third-Party Risk Management solution. This new extension of AuditBoard’s connected risk platform helps manage the downstream risks posed by a network of third parties, including cloud vendors. The platform supports customizable assessments, automated risk scoring, issue management, ongoing monitoring, and centralized reporting and tracking.

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ATMs/Kiosks

 

Average ATM Withdrawals Are Bigger, but Transactions Still Lag Pre-Pandemic Levels

ATM traffic worldwide is on the rebound after two years of pandemic, but it will take years for cash withdrawal transactions to return to 2019 levels, according to “Global ATM Markets and Forecasts to 2027.” ATM activity declined in most markets globally as Covid lockdowns and other pandemic-related factors impacted consumer behavior. But ATM activity also declined because of consumers’ shift to digital payment options, which left them in less need of frequent trips to the ATM for cash, RBR’s report says. Still, while withdrawals are down since 2019, the average withdrawal is getting larger.

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Will ITMs Replace ATMs as the Main Self-Service Branch Technology?

Self-service banking technology usage skyrocketed during the pandemic as a great way to avoid the risks of in-person banking. Here are some terms that describe these new self-service banking technologies: ITMs, video tellers, IBKs, PTMs, VTMs, and self-service kiosks Plus of course this includes ATMs. Despite all the different names, however, this article states that there are really only two buckets these self-service banking tools can be dumped into: ATMs and ITMs (interactive teller machines), and it goes on to explore the pros and cons of each.

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Wireless World

 

Visa-Mastercard 'Duopoly' vs Venmo and Zelle

Interchange fees—also called swipe fees or transaction fees—average 2.22% of each transaction, according to the National Retail Federation. In response to these fees, some small businesses are adding P2P payment platforms. However, interchange fees have become so heavily woven into payment infrastructure that even the sharp rise of P2P platforms has yet to register as more than a blip to the large, incumbent players in the industry.

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Omnispace Aims to Connect 5G Mobile Phones to Satellite Network

Omnispace wants to be the first company to deliver a global 5G non-terrestrial network with connectivity directly to mobile devices from its low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites. The company believes the future of communications is hybrid — where satellites extend and augment terrestrial mobile networks. Meanwhile, another company, AST SpaceMobile, is already doing something similar, building a space-based cellular network designed to be accessible directly by standard mobile phones.

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Security Section

 

DTEX Systems Unveils New Workforce Cyber Intelligence Product

DTEX Systems announced the general availability of PULSE Workforce Cyber Intelligence. They say that their platform helps enable organizations learn from their workforce by anonymizing an employee’s physical interactions with organizational assets (data, machines, applications, and people), aggregating these interactions across the entire business, and then performing analysis to understand engagement levels without compromising privacy. The most common use cases for DTEX PULSE include: 1) Remote Workforce Analytics; 2) Software License Optimization; and 3) Bring Your Own Application Awareness.

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Identity Crimes Reach All-Time High

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) received in 2021 the highest number of contacts in its history about identity crimes and requests for assistance to prevent identity misuse. Identity scams were the primary cause of victims sharing personally identifiable information (PII) with criminals, and Google Voice scams were the most reported identity-related scams at 53 percent.

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Technology and Marketing

 

Data: 57% of Consumers Prefer Bundled Banking

Choice and optionality are wonderful, but in many cases, consumers prefer dealing with one FI for more of their needs in order to simplify account management, according to a a PYMNTS study. PYMNTS research found that consumers with credit cards from their primary FIs “tend to be more interested in keeping all their accounts at one FI” for the convenience and added value that these relationships deliver to consumers facing the paradox of choice. Per the study, “consumers’ interest in bundled banking solutions is often tied to the features they believe are available as part of the bundles: 57% of consumers who have at least one credit card with their primary FIs say bundled solutions are easier and more convenient for them to use than other banking options,” while 55% of consumers with at least one credit card from their primary FIs say bundled solutions make tracking and managing spend easier.

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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design

 

Fed Accounts Are Now Open to Fintechs Under a New Set of Guidelines

For years, payments fintechs have labored under a requirement that, for money movement, deposit-taking, and other related services, they work with a FI. But now the Federal Reserve says that it has determined rules by which it will now review applications from non-FIs for an account with the Fed, known as a master account, that would grant FinTechs direct access to services such as the Fed’s payments rails. “The new guidelines provide a consistent and transparent process to evaluate requests for Federal Reserve accounts and access to payment services in order to support a safe, inclusive, and innovative payment system,” according to a Fed spokesperson.

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Can the Visa-Mastercard Duopoly Be Broken?

The system of interchange—whereby FIs and credit-card issuers charge merchants for collecting payments—is loathed by many retailers. They complain that America is home to the heftiest interchange fees of any major economy—costs are an order of magnitude greater than in Europe and China. In response, there is a proposed bill called the Credit Card Competition Act that claism to spur competition by breaking the links between card networks and FIs. If this legislation does not pass, there is another threat to VIsa and Mastercard: low cost, convenient app-based options from tech giants and FinTechs. This article goes on to discuss both of these options.

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Digital Banking Industry Leaders Forum

Thought Leadership From Around the Industry by BANK tech-trends and Finopotamus:

Benchmarking Your Digital Banking Strategy

Humanizing Digital: Increasing Account Holder Loyalty and Exceeding Goals with Smart, Flexible Solutions

Alogent

 

Digital Transformation: A Banking Imperative

Three Present-Day Goals to Revolutionize Your FI’s Marketing

eSignatures Are Now a Top Priority Across the Nation

Fight Fraud by Better Understanding Your Financial Data

It’s Always About the People: 5 Rules for Digital Banking and Beyond

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Internet Access

 

What Are Virtual Routers and How Can They Lead to Virtual Data Centers?

A virtual router in today’s network lexicon is a software instance of router functionality, generally designed to run on a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) server, so you have to pull those virtual routers out of the ether and host them. While open-source router software is available, many organizations are often concerned abour support and integration costs. Commercial virtual-router software can be less expensive than a real router, but if you get the software from your router vendor to ease integration and pay for a server or white box for hosting, the cost savings may be less than you’d hoped for. This article details what you can and can't do with virtual router technology.

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Cloud Environments Challenge Network Visibility

The author states that organizations need greater network visibility to improve management of cloud environments, get a better handle on east-west traffic in the data center, and identify malicious traffic that’s been encrypted. She talks about establishig network-visibility architecture as an overlay of traffic mirroring, aggregation, and distribution tools that delivers network traffic data to other systems. In action, the key components of a network visibility architecture are TAPs and SPAN ports, which are used to mirror traffic data from the production network, along with aggregation devices, such as a network packet broker appliance.

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Call Centers

 

Building Trust in Financial Services: Can Chatbots Replace Human Interactions?

The author states that in our complex, digital-first world, there are now so many avenues for businesses to engage with their customer base – from chatbots to automated assistants – it can be tricky to know which methods are the most appropriate on a day-to-day basis. He points out that many consumers prefer digital interactions for transactions, but when it comes to difficult or complex subjects, such as challenges around mortgages or debt payments, many would prefer to speak to a real person. However in effort to save money, many organizations are trying to use automated chatbots in place of talking to a person. It is a difficult balancing act, and the author concludes that understanding the best pathways to route visitors down when engaging them is only going to grow increasingly vital.

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