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May 22, 2023

This Week's News is Sponsored by Better Branches ~



General News


Origence Partners with Zest AI

Origence, a digital lending solutions provider, and Zest AI, a company that provides AI-powered underwriting methods, have partnered to create an AI automated underwriting technology called Zest Automated machine learning (AML) for Mortgage. They say that this technology can replace a traditional manual underwriting process and provide quicker loan approvals while ensuring that credit risks are minimized through accurate risk assessments.



ENACOMM Unveils Emerie

ENACOMM has unveiled Emerie which they say is an advanced AI-based intelligent virtual assistant. It uses natural language processing and machine learning to help members with banking tasks such as checking account balance, transferring funds, and making payments.



Arteria AI Partners with Compliance Systems to Provide Enhanced Digital Documentation Processes for CUs

Arteria AI announced its strategic partnership with Compliance Systems to introduce an integrated solution to address the needs for better documentation processes. They state that this new integrated joint solution will leverage aspects from both the Compliance Systems and Arteria technology platforms to provide members with streamlined, compliant digital documentation in a single solution.





Hardware News


Best-of-Breed Networking: There’s an Opportunity for White Boxes in the WAN

The WAN (Wide Area Network) has traditionally been dominated by major vendors like Cisco and Juniper, but there is growing interest in alternative solutions like white box networking. White box networking allows organizations to build their own custom network solutions using open standards-based hardware and software. While there are some challenges to adopting white box networking, such as lack of vendor support and the need for specialized skills, the potential benefits include lower costs, greater flexibility, and the ability to better customize network solutions to specific business needs.



Dell Pushes Security in Storage Updates

PowerStore, Dell’s flash-based storage array line, is receiving numerous security updates. It now boasts STIG hardening, as well as secure and immutable snapshot technology, which should make for more reliable and harder-to-compromise recoveries. Multifactor authentication, streamlined file resiliency (which adds more mounted snapshots per system) and direct management of file permissions from within PowerStore are also being added.



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Software Updates


Top API Vulnerabilities Organizations Can't Afford to Ignore

While APIs provide an easy and efficient way for different applications to communicate with each other, they can also be exploited by cybercriminals to access sensitive data and compromise security. As more organizations rely on APIs, security needs to be a priority to prevent data breaches. The article concludes that research shows that two security approaches – API security tools and CNAPPs (Cloud-Native Application Protection Platforms) – are the most promising options to help organizations reduce their API vulnerabilities.



ChatGPT and Generative AI in Banking: How to Prepare

The article discusses how chatbots powered by GPT (Generative Pre-Trained Transformer) are changing the banking industry. While chatbots have the potentail to boost service levels, reduce wait times, and improve overall accountholder satisfaction, there is the risk of data security, potential errors in decision-making, and the need for cost-effective implementation.





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Federal Reserve Consumer Payment Survey Shows Higher Consumer Interest in Holding Cash

The Federal Reserve System’s FedCash Services (FCS) released a report from its ongoing research into the payment habits of the U.S. population. The 2023 findings from Diary of Consumer Payment Choice finds that consumer payment behavior remains consistent with the early pandemic, including a shift toward credit card payments and a slight decrease in the share of cash-based transactions. The average amount of cash held in adults’ pocket, purse, or wallet rose to $73, reflecting a recent trend of higher consumer interest in holding cash.



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Wireless World


FCC Advances 12 GHz Plan That Sides with SpaceX over 5G

The FCC has adopted rules to preserve spectrum between 12.2-12.7 GHz for satellite services, rejecting calls to allow 5G two-way mobile services in the band. After lengthy study and a public comment period, the FCC decided to reject Dish and others' request to use the 12.2-12.7 GHz band for two-way mobile communications and instead keep it for present and future satellite services. It’s exploring ways to use the band for fixed and unlicensed terrestrial services.



6 Ways Your Mobile Banking App Can Make Managing Your Money Less Stressful

This article provides six tips for people to better manage their money and reduce stress using banking apps. They include setting up alerts for transactions, using the app to create a budget and track spending, utilizing mobile check deposit, setting up automatic transfers to savings accounts, linking multiple accounts to one app, and taking advantage of the app’s fraud protection features. The author emphasizes the convenience and accessibility of mobile banking and recommends that FIs urge consumers to take advantage of these tools to improve their financial health.



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Security Section


Real-Time Payments and APP Fraud Emerging

Real-time payments systems are at high risk of APP (account takeover and payment fraud) attacks globally, according to a report by Aite-Novarica Group and Outseer. The research shows that 71% of FIs indicated an increase in consumer account takeover (ATO) using RTP rails from 2021 to 2022, and 62% of FIs said that consumer authorized push payment (APP) fraud via RTP rails had increased in the same period. 57% of FIs indicated mule account activity over RTP rails was up in 2022 vs. 2021.



New Tactics Being Deployed to Ensure Ransomware Payment

The trend of ransomware attacks continues to rise, and hackers are devising new ways to guarantee payment from their victims. One such tactic is to threaten to publicly reveal sensitive information obtained during the attack if the ransom is not paid. Another method is to target companies with insurance policies that cover the cost of ransom payments, knowing that these companies are more likely to pay up. Some hackers are even using social engineering techniques, such as posing as a legitimate authority figure and tricking victims into believing they must pay the ransom to avoid legal consequences.



Feedzai ScamPrevent Helps Protect from Financial Scams

Feedzai, an AI-powered fraud prevention platform, has unveiled Scam Prevent, a product designed to counter the rise of digital fraud. Scam Prevent utilizes machine learning to evaluate transactions’ risk for fraud and provides a detailed analysis for quicker decision making. The system allows FIs to combat both traditional payment fraud and newer fraud methods such as social engineering, account takeover, and authorized push payment (APP) fraud.





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Technology and Marketing


3 Ways CUs Can Leverage Advanced Analytics to Drive Member Retention & Business Growth

The author is convinced that strategically leveraging tools such as advanced analytics and understanding how to extract meaningful insights from that data can give CUs a competitive edge when it comes to business growth and member retention. He has come up with three particular approaches. The first way is by using predictive analytics to identify members at risk of leaving and taking proactive measures to retain them. Secondly, leveraging analytics to identify cross-selling opportunities and increasing share of wallet of existing members. Lastly, using data-driven insights to develop personalized marketing strategies that encourage member loyalty and attract new business.



Overcoming the Biggest Challenges That FIs Face When It Comes to Using Analytics

FIs face several challenges in the implementation of analytics, including data quality, lack of skilled personnel, legacy systems, and silos in data and decision-making. To overcome these challenges, the article states that FIs should establish a data governance framework, invest in analytics training, leverage cloud-based solutions, implement data integration tools, and prioritize collaboration across departments.



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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design


Managing the Risks and Rewards of Faster Payments

Approximately 70% of consumers indicate that faster payment capabilities are an important factor in their satisfaction with FIs. Likewise, about 75% of medium- and large-sized businesses plan to incorporate faster payment capabilities into their future banking relationship commitments. However, faster payments bring risks such as increased fraud, operational errors, and compliance issues. The article suggests that FIs adopt a comprehensive risk management strategy that includes a thorough assessment of the potential risks and the implementation of effective fraud prevention and detection solutions.



Physical Instantly Issued Payment Cards Will Surge to over 470 Million Shipments by 2027

According to a new report by global technology intelligence firm ABI Research, the worldwide market for instantly issued physical payment cards will increase from 243.2 million shipments in 2022 to a forecast of 471.1 million in 2027. The report attributes this growth to the fact that these payment cards offer a more convenient and secure option for consumers to receive and use credit or debit cards immediately.



Mastercard Taps Open Banking for Digital Account Opening

Mastercard is planning to tap open banking technology for digital account opening services for its customers. The move forms part of Mastercard’s plan to embed itself more deeply into the digital finance ecosystem. The card giant is planning to offer data-based insights around users’ app and transaction usage patterns to FIs, and has established a strategic relationship with Token, a payments open banking platform, to create a digital solution for FIs.



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Internet Access


A Look at Next-Gen SD-WANs

Next-gen SD-WANs will incorporate machine learning and artificial intelligence to make more intelligent decisions about network performance, security, and routing. They will also integrate more seamlessly with cloud services, enabling better application performance in a multi-cloud environment. Moreover, next-gen SD-WANs will deliver a better user experience, providing consistency across all devices and locations, and will be easier to deploy and manage with automation and self-service capabilities.



How to Choose the Right UCaaS Platform

This article provides an overview of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), a cloud-based communications platform that combines various communication tools, such as voice, video, messaging, and collaboration. The article outlines the key features that businesses should consider when evaluating UCaaS providers, such as ease of deployment, security, integration capabilities, and pricing models. It also provides a list of top UCaaS providers, including Cisco, Microsoft, and Zoom, along with their strengths and weaknesses.



Cloudflare One for AI Helps Organizations to Safely Use Generative AI Tools

Cloudflare announced the addition of AI to its Cloudflare One platform which they claim will help secure network perimeters by blocking malicious traffic using Cloudflare's security tools. The platform will also be able to detect patterns in network traffic, allowing for proactive identification of potential issues. The AI technology will be integrated across all Cloudflare One services, with the goal of providing increased security and improved network performance.




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Call Centers


Garden Savings FCU Intro’s New AI-Powered Phone Assistant

Garden Savings FCU has introduced a new AI-powered phone assistant dubbed Lucy. The phone assistant is powered by AI and can answer routine member inquiries and direct members to the appropriate department for further assistance. Lucy has been designed to learn from interactions with members and improve its responses over time. The CU is also planning to integrate Lucy with its online chat function in the future.



Zoom Announces Partnership with Anthropic for AI Call Center Services

Zoom's partnership with AI firm Anthropic will incorporate Anthropic's AI technology to develop new AI-powered features for Zoom's call center platform, such as automated call routing and sentiment analysis. This partnership comes as Zoom looks to expand its call center offerings and compete with other call center software providers.



How Conversational AI Can Improve the Member Experience

While AI is often used for credit scoring and credit card fraud detection, the application of AI to the member experience in the call center through conversational machine agents is also a growing trend. Chatbots operate like an auto-attendant that directs members to press a number for high-volume, simple requests, while more complex requests is where conversational machine agents stand out. However, the author maintains that CUs must ensure AI solutions are tailored to the specific needs of their members and maintain transparency regarding the use of AI. He conludes that one conversational machine agent removes a monthly 20 hours of human time. He posits that instead of hiring another agent for $4,300 per month, you can add a conversational machine agent for around $150 a month.