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July 17, 2023

This Week's News is Sponsored by Better Branches ~



General News


Stanford FCU Partners with Agent IQ

Agent IQ announced that Stanford FCU has selected Agent IQ's Lynq platform to help deliver a more digitally consistent banking experience to its members. Lynq equips Stanford FCU with real-time digital connection between members and associates; empowers members to select and engage with a preferred personal associate across any digital channel; stores previous conversations for internal collaboration and provide context to members’ unique situations; facilitates video and co-browsing options to further enhance and support member interactions; and eliminates active waiting as members can request a personal advisor and receive notification once an associate responds.



Union Credit Launches Marketplace of Trusted CU Lenders

Union Credit has launched what they are calling the first marketplace for CUs to make firm, one-click credit offers at the point of purchase. Offers span across all consumer loan types including auto loans, credit cards, home equities, personal loans, and more.



Bankjoy Integrates with Plaid

Bankjoy announced its partnership with Plaid, the leading open finance provider powering the digital financial ecosystem. CUs on the Bankjoy platform will now be able to offer their members API access to Plaid’s network of more than 8,000 FinTech apps and services.





Hardware News


Intel Revises Its XPU Strategy

Intel recently announced its revised XPU strategy, aiming to deliver a range of specialized accelerators to cater to specific workload needs. The company plans to offer a more diverse set of accelerators to address different workloads, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Intel plans to develop XPUs for areas such as AI, graphics, network, and storage acceleration, encompassing a variety of processing units like CPUs, GPUs, and FPGAs.



Cloud Computing Is No Longer a Slam Dunk

The author argues that cloud computing should never be a default solution. As the prices of traditional servers decrease, he notes that it is important to consistently reevaluate your objectives for utilizing these systems. There will be ongoing questions about the ability of traditional servers to adapt and integrate with other service types. Some evaluations will point to public clouds as the platform that will return the most value to the business, but that won’t always be the case.



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Software Updates


The Benefits of AI in Financial Services Outweigh the Risks

This article argues that while there are concerns with AI regarding job displacement and privacy breaches, the advantages offered by AI outweigh these risks. One of the key benefits of AI in financial services is increased efficiency and cost savings. AI can help automate repetitive tasks, reduce errors, and streamline processes, which can lead to significant time and cost savings for FIs. Additionally, AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data more accurately and quickly than humans, enabling better decision-making and risk assessment.



Splunk Unveils Attack Analyzer to Automate Malware, Phishing Attack Analysis

Splunk, a leading data analytics company, has introduced the Attack Range Analyzer, a new solution aimed at automating the analysis of malware and phishing attacks. The tool works by mimicking real-world attacks in a safe, controlled environment, allowing security teams to identify potential vulnerabilities and test the effectiveness of existing defenses. By automating this analysis process, the Attack Range Analyzer aims to enhance the speed and accuracy of threat detection and response efforts.





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Is Self-Service Killing Cash?

This article highlights how self-checkout systems and customer-operated kiosks have reduced the need for cash transactions in various industries, including retail, dining, and transportation. However, it notes that while the shift towards self-service technologies may be affecting cash usage, it is unlikely to completely eliminate cash transactions in the near future. As for ATMs, it states that they serve as a bridge between the physical and digital channels at a price point that is more compelling than the traditional branch delivery channel.



Face Biometrics Deployed for Cardless ATM Transactions

NEC began providing a facial recognition cashless payment system for Japan’s Seven-Elevens back in 2020. The technology utilizes facial recognition to authenticate accountholders at Japan’s Seven Bank to make deposits and withdrawals using facial recognition at roughly 20,000 ATMs.



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Wireless World


Digital Wallets Transaction Value to Surpass $16 Trillion Globally by 2028

Juniper Research predicts that the global transaction value of digital wallets will exceed $16 trillion by 2028. This growth will be driven by advancements in digital wallet services. The report highlights various factors contributing to this surge, such as the increasing popularity of contactless payments, the integration of digital wallets into various sectors, increased adoption of advanced services such as BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later), and the rise of peer-to-peer payment platforms.



Personal Financial Management Is a Mobile Banking Must-Have

Personal financial management tools built into mobile banking and credit card apps are rapidly becoming a table stakes item for FIs. The typical personal financial management tool covers these three areas: budgeting, analysis of actual spending and credit score monitoring. A Deloitte report on digital banking maturity pointed out that PFM pioneers have found that PFM offerings can actually become cross-selling tools. This article goes on to point out four key points that FIs working to implement and improve PFM tools need to consider.



10 Best Mobile Website Designs You Must Know in 2023

The author claims that almost half of all web visits today use a mobile device. Various tools like Google's Mobile-Friendly Test, Chrome DevTools, and Google PageSpeed Insights are available that can help you to provide information about your website’s mobile friendliness. He lays out his top 10 mobile website designs: 1) Tarotoo; 2) Lyft; 3) Purple; 4) Warby Parker; 5) Apple; 6) Etsy; 7) Adobe; 8) Slack; 9) Kinsta; and 10) Wash My Car.



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Security Section


Cymulate Announces Security Analytics for Continuous Threat Exposure Management

Cybersecurity firm Cymulate has introduced security analytics to aid organizations in managing continuous threat exposure. The new feature provides insights into vulnerabilities and potential risks. By simulating different attack scenarios, organizations can help identify weaknesses and conduct proactive remediation.



Confronting Financial Fraud in Payments with the Help of AI

AI is seen as a promising fraud fighting solution due to its ability to detect patterns and anomalies in large volumes of data, thereby reducing false positives and improving fraud detection accuracy. Some FIs are using AI to examine unstructured data, and for entity extraction. Swift is building a new AI platform with tech players such as Google, Microsoft, and others, and the believe that these efforts are going to help them add on to their rule-based engines and really bring a higher success rate in helping with fraud.



How Is Biometrics Transforming FIs’ Security?

This article discusses the “magic triangle of biometrics” as user experience, security, and cost effectiveness. It posits that the first wave of biometric tech was “clunky,” and that the new innovations will focus on face recognition as well as higher levels of voice biometrics. It concludes that 2-factor authentication can be cumbersome with overly complex authentication methods such as One Time Passwords (OTPs), and that biometric technologies offer greater protection against fraud and theft and provide consumers with a more convenient and streamlined banking experience.





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Technology and Marketing


Personalized Recommendations to Better Serve Gen Z

The author states that Gen Z values convenience, instant gratification, digital platforms, and social responsibility in their banking experience. According to BAI research, the top frustration Gen Z customers have with digital banking is a lack of personalized recommendations. He says that offering tools to help them reach their goals – whether it’s savings, budgeting, investing or borrowing for a major purchase –can help Gen Zers grow their wealth, which will in turn help build loyalty.



BECU Offers Digital Envelopes to Help Members Build Savings

BECU has introduced a new digital feature called "Envelopes" to assist its members in saving money. Envelopes allows members to separate their savings into various categories, such as emergency fund or vacation savings, within their online banking platform. This tool helps users keep track of their savings goals and progress, making it easier to allocate money efficiently and resist unnecessary spending. Members can also set up recurring transfers into their envelopes to ensure consistent savings.



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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design


Inside a Successful Digital Banking Conversion: Lessons Learned

What helped the digital banking conversion at ORNL Federal Credit Union go so smoothly? One factor is the “all hands on deck” approach ORNL took to managing call center and chat queries in the weeks after its new online and mobile banking platform went live. ORNL’s strategy revolved around minimizing disruption to the user experience. To ensure nothing was missed, they centralized the collection and sharing of member feedback for the first three weeks after the new digital banking platform launched. If the team noticed patterns, it would send notices to branch and call center staff, arming them with information on how to help resolve those particular issues.



Twenty-Four Central Banks Will Have Digital Currencies by 2030

According to a survey conducted by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), 24% of central banks globally have plans to issue digital currencies by 2030. The study included 65 central banks, representing jurisdictions covering 91% of the world's economic output. The findings indicated that central banks in emerging market economies are more likely to launch digital currencies than those in advanced economies. The survey also highlighted various motivations for issuing digital currencies, including the need to provide a backup to existing payment systems, enhance financial inclusion, and counter threats from private cryptocurrencies. However, the BIS noted that hurdles such as legal frameworks, cybersecurity concerns, and monetary policy implications could impact the adoption and design of digital currencies.



Experian Expands Coverage for Real-Time Income and Employment Verification

Experian announced consumers can now choose to share information directly from their employers’ payroll service through Experian Verify when applying for credit, including mortgages, auto loans and personal loans. Lenders first obtain consumer consent to verify income and employment information in real-time via Experian’s instant employer payroll network. From there, if a consumer’s records are available, the lender receives an Experian Verify report in real time. In the event a consumer’s income and employment information is unavailable, Experian will automatically start the permissioned verification process, which enables consumers to share their information directly from their employer’s payroll service.



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Internet Access


5 Cloud Logging Best Practices

This article recommends five ways to get the most out of cloud logs to minimize cloud logging costs and maximize actionability: 1. Reduce Cloud Logging Data Ingestion 2. Make Sure Cloud Logging Is Turned On Where Needed 3. Don't Settle for Cloud Vendors' Logging Tools 4. Set Cloud Logging Retention Policies 5. Correlate Cloud Log Data.



The Importance of Penetration Testing in Cloud Security

Under guidelines from the cloud service providers, the following cloud components should be tested: the network infrastructure, the authentication and access controls, the data storage, potential virtual machines, the application programming interfaces and the application security. The article states that the most common cloud threats are: 1) Insecure APIs; 2) Insufficient access controls; 3) Outdated software; 4) Account hijacking; 5) Shared technologies vulnerabilities; and 6) Malware.



Attackers Intensify DDoS Attacks with New Tactics

As we entered 2023, the cybersecurity landscape witnessed an increase in sophisticated, high-volume attacks, according to Gcore. The maximum attack power rose from 600 to 800 Gbps. UDP flood attacks were most common and amounted to 52% of total attacks, while SYN flood accounted for 24%. In third place was TCP flood. The alarming 50–100% annual increase in DDoS attack volume highlights the growing sophistication of cyber attackers and their utilization of increasingly powerful tools. They conclude that attackers are now employing adaptive strategies, such as combining high-volume UDP attacks with a massive number of TCP packets, and shifting from targeting the application layer with a large amount of traffic to using a high volume of small packets.




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Call Centers


Do You Really Want ChatGPT Talking to Your Callers?

The author is convinced that the current generation of conversational bots fail at understanding how humans communicate. He recommends taking a slow track on improving the machines and start focusing on improving people’s ability to work with existing systems. Specifically, he says we should develop a standard vocabulary for talking to our bots more effectively and start teaching people how to use it.



The Contact Center Is the Front Line in Fraud Prevention

There are a number of mature technologies available to help combat fraud across the contact center. Examples of these include voice biometrics; adoption of novel digital solutions like disposable apps; innovative offerings that leverage consumer-friendly, AI technologies like conversational AI; and working with outsourced PCI-certified providers for more stringent security controls. The article goes on to discuss each of these options in depth.