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February 27, 2023

This Week's News is Sponsored by Better Branches ~



General News


Mahalo Banking Offers Neurodiversity Functionality

Mahalo Banking announced the launch of its next-generation digital banking platform which is engineered to deliver neurodiverse functionalities intended to improve accessibility and better accommodate the cognitive needs of all members. The platform has features designed to accommodate the cognitive needs of members with dyslexia, autism, ADD, ADHD, epilepsy, visual sensitivity, ASD and more. These features include left- and right-hand use modes, font options for those with dyslexia or visual impairments, and the ability to disable animations for individuals affected by epilepsy.



CUs Form CUSO to Work with Prizeout

Prizeout has partnered with nine CUs to form a CUSO to provide access to proprietary ad technology, giving credit union members additional purchasing power while allowing the CUs to increase their non-interest income. The CUSO, called Prizeout Partners, has 9 members.



equipifi and Associated CU of Texas Partner to Bring Members Buy Now, Pay Later

equipifi has partnered with Associated Credit Union of Texas to offer BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) as a payment option through existing debit cards. Equipifi has been working with several credit unions to launch BNPL solutions this year, powered by integrations to major core and digital banking platforms.





Hardware News


Cisco Adds New Catalyst Edge Platform

Cisco has launched a new model of its Catalyst 8500 edge platform, along with other enhancements for its SD-WAN portfolio. The move is seen as an attempt by Cisco to encourage customers to transition from its Integrated Service Router (ISR) product suite to the Catalyst 8500 series. The new Catalyst 8500-20X6C model boasts 100G speeds.



The Best Dell Laptops for 2023

Dell offers a huge variety of laptops. This article reviews these top models: Dell Inspiron 16 Plus (7620); Dell Inspiron 15 (3525); Dell XPS 13 (9315); Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022); Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520); Dell XPS 17 (9720); and Dell Latitude 7420.



Flip-out Portable Monitor Provides a Second Screen

Mobile Pixels has introduced the Duex Plus, a 13-inch display that attaches to any Windows laptop to provide a second screen. The display snaps onto the back of the laptop via magnets and can be extended out and angled for a dual-screen setup. While lacking touchscreen support and color accuracy, the Duex Plus is an on-the-go productivity solution for those who want a dual-screen setup without carrying a separate monitor. The monitor costs $279 and comes with four magnets, an alcohol wipe, and a USB-C to USB-A/C cable.



Hardware Section Sponsored by
Millennial Vision, Inc. (MVi)


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Software Updates


FireMon Policy Analyzer Combats Firewall Misconfigurations

FireMon has launched a complimentary firewall assessment tool called FireMon Policy Analyzer, which helps organizations identify security risks caused by misconfigurations and outdated rules in their firewall policy. The tool provides a diagnostic report on the health of the firewall policy, including best practices and recommendations to improve security posture. The analysis covers six key categories, including policy warnings, overly permissive and high-risk rules, and FireMon's exclusive Security Concern Index (SCI) score.



Adobe and Microsoft Embed Acrobat PDF Technology in Microsoft Edge

Adobe and Microsoft are updating the built-in PDF reader in Microsoft Edge, powered by the Adobe Acrobat PDF engine. They say that this will provide more accurate colors and graphics, improved performance, stronger security, and better accessibility. Users who want more advanced digital document features can purchase an Acrobat subscription that enables access to these features anywhere, including directly inside Microsoft Edge via a browser extension. Microsoft Edge users with existing Adobe Acrobat subscriptions can use the Acrobat extension inside Edge at no extra cost.



Malwarebytes Application Block Helps Restrict Access to Outdated and Unsafe Apps

Malwarebytes has launched Malwarebytes Application Block, a new threat prevention module that helps IT teams guard against unsafe third-party Windows applications and meet compliance requirements. The module allows admins to blacklist or restrict access to outdated, untrusted, or unsafe applications with known vulnerabilities or that lack the latest patches.





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How Will Central Bank Digital Currency Impact ATMs?

Panelists at a recent ATMIA event discussed the impact of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) on the ATM industry and cash usage. The panelists were skeptical about whether CBDC would replace cash, as consumers already use digital currency in the form of FI accounts and ATMs are still the most cost-effective way to exchange digital currency for cash. They also questioned the effectiveness of CBDC in promoting financial inclusion and expressed concerns about its impact on deposit bases. The panelists agreed that a decision on CBDC in America is unlikely to be made for at least five years.



Tyme Announces New Biometric-Enabled Kiosks

Tyme has partnered with biometrics FinTech company PopID to bring face verification technology to self-checkout kiosks in restaurants. PopID's face verification platform, PopPay, will allow customers to check in and receive personalized order recommendations, as well as pay through a simple face scan. This integration, along with the kiosk's ability to accept traditional payment forms, aims to enhance the customer experience by offering flexibility in how they order and pay.



ATM XFS Standard Set to Transform Industry

The ATM industry is moving forward with a new platform called XFS4IoT that is platform agnostic and aims to provide benefits to vendors, FIs and users. The XFS standard, which controls the interface of the Windows OS to the ATM's devices, powers 90% of ATMs in operation today worldwide. XFS4IoT offers new functionality, cloud-based capabilities, and increased security features.



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Wireless World


Mobile Banking App Use Reaches 87%

A recent survey by Chase found that 87% of consumers use their mobile banking app at least once a month, and 66% say they can't live without it. Consumers prefer to use just one app to manage their finances, including depositing checks and checking credit scores. Credit monitoring is a high priority for respondents, with 46% checking their scores at least once a month. The features of banking apps that have seen the largest increase in usage include requesting card replacements and peer-to-peer payment features.



Testing RFID Blocking Cards: Do They Work? Do You Need One?

Vulkit RFID blocking cards are effective in blocking RFID signals from credit, debit, and ID cards, preventing unauthorized scanning. A test using the Flipper Zero showed that the blocking card prevented the device from reading the unprotected card's data, even when placed behind it. The Vulkit RFID blocking card adds an extra layer of security, especially in situations where someone might have access to the card, such as unlocking hotel safes. The author concludes that while the chance of an RFID attack is small, the low cost and ease of use of these cards make them a worthwhile investment for some.



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Security Section


Consumers Want More Banking Security Measures

According to a recent survey by PYMNTS and Entersekt, while consumers view smartphones and computers as equally secure for online financial activities, they prefer smartphones as their devices of choice. Furthermore, 47% of consumers used biometric tools to authenticate access to online accounts and payment methods in the previous month, with 31% believing that biometrics are more secure than passwords. Although most consumers are satisfied with their FIs’ digital security measures, half believe that additional protection is necessary for non-routine transactions.



AI Security Can Make or Break a FI

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a Framework to help manage the risks of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, particularly in the financial services industry where consumer data must be safeguarded. Privacy and security concerns are the main barriers to adopting and incorporating AI technologies in banking, according to a recent survey. However, the article states that AI-powered customer experience (CX) solutions can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, and four in five senior banking executives believe that unlocking value from AI will distinguish outperformers from underperformers.





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Technology and Marketing


New Approaches to New Account Acquisition

Everyone knows that acquiring new accountholders is not easy as most people are very hesitant to change their primary FI. However, younger consumers are more willing to change FIs and are more likely to need new products. This article states that a strong digital offering is important, but the importance of branches should not be overlooked, as Gen Zers and millennials are still using branches. The article concludes traditional FIs need to take a close look at their value proposition relative to direct banks and focus on their strengths to target the specific consumers that they are pursuing.



What Is Predictive Analytics? Transforming Data into Future Insights

Predictive analytics is a data analytics technique that uses historical data and statistical modeling to make predictions about future outcomes. Organizations use predictive analytics to detect trends, forecast events, and identify risks and opportunities. Predictive analytics can also help organizations generate new consumer responses, cross-sell opportunities, and improve retention rates.



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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design


The Rise of Embedded Finance: Exploring the Next Wave of Digital Banking

According to this article, embedding financial services into corporate platforms can increase convenience and expand revenue streams for FIs. However, this comes with the downside of increased complexity within the ecosystem and potential complications that could harm CX. The article suggests that embedded finance necessarily requires an ecosystem of best-in-class partnerships to deliver innovation.



Open Banking Tools Should Sync with FI's Key Strategies

The article discusses the challenges faced by FIs in implementing an open banking strategy. While the value of open application programming interface (API) integrations is established, FIs face difficulties in identifying the areas to funnel tech spending dollars for maximum impact. As a result, FIs need to focus on core areas at a time, prioritizing back-office efficiencies that improve operations or creating entirely new products that may open new revenue streams. With limited resources, FIs must determine whether it is more important to invest in back-office efficiencies or new products. The author suggests that improving traditional services and the back-office processes that govern them is key.



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Internet Access


Check Point Software Introduces Quantum SD-WAN to Protect

Check Point Software Technologies has launched Check Point Quantum SD-WAN, a new software blade that combines network and Internet connectivity with security to help safeguard branch offices from cyberattacks. Traditional network architecture causes a bottleneck and reduces performance by routing all traffic through the data center before reaching its destination in the cloud. By connecting branches directly to the cloud using Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology, performance can be improved and costs reduced. However, most existing SD-WAN technologies in the market are not built with security in mind, which is why Check Point has released this solution.



Extreme Adds Network Fabric Support to Its SD-WAN

Extreme Networks has added network fabric capabilities to its ExtremeCloud SD-WAN platform to enable customers to securely link and manage distributed resources. The enhancements include improved automated workflows and direct connectivity to cloud systems such as Microsoft Azure and AWS. ExtremeCloud SD-WAN can adjust application traffic flows based on real-time network conditions, improving performance and quality of service for end-users. With the addition of support for Extreme's Fabric Connect technology, customers can more easily extend connectivity to new sites while keeping costs low and improving security, visibility and application performance. The software now also supports the ability to direct traffic specifically to Microsoft Azure and AWS clouds.



Google's AI Chatbot Is Out to Rival ChatGPT

Google is set to release its AI chatbot, Bard, which will be powered by Google's Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) and compete with other AI chatbots such as Microsoft's ChatGPT and Baidu's Ernie bot. Bard is currently undergoing internal testing and will be released in the coming weeks. In addition to revamping search engine capabilities, Bard will also bring features that will assist developers in developing their applications using Google's language model. Google aims to make it easy for others to build more innovative applications with AI by creating a suite of tools and APIs.




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Call Centers


What Are ChatGPT's Potential Impacts on Banking?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) computer program that can intake, comprehend and produce a response using human-like language rather than giving an answer that sounds like a robot. The program is equipped with a transformer-based neural network with extensive data and information up to 2021. ChatGPT can serve many industries — including banking. In financial services, ChatGPT can offer intelligence to automation, support, security, personalization, underwriting process, market research, and email marketing.



Advice for Contact Centers in Dealing with Bots

ChatGPT is an AI technology that is increasingly being used in service interactions, and it presents both benefits and challenges for contact centers. One benefit is that ChatGPT can improve communication clarity, potentially reducing cycle time to resolution. However, the technology is not perfect and still requires human oversight to ensure accuracy. Additionally, as customer adoption of ChatGPT increases, there may be a "battle of the bots" to see which is better skilled. To make the most of this emerging technology, organizations should follow best practices for CX interactions with AI robots, including not making assumptions about their capabilities, using simple and concise language, not taking things personally, and always striving to deliver meaningful interactions.