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September 11, 2023

This Week's News is Sponsored by Better Branches ~



General News


For Hearing-Challenged Members, Visions FCU Testing Speech-to-Text Devices That Double as Name Tags

At select locations, Visions FCU said it is planning to pilot a device called “Badger” that provides closed captions for conversations in real time to help members who have issues with hearing. The size of a traditional name badge – and functioning as such when not in use – the device receives audio and converts it to text in real-time on the screen’s display.



Total Expert Introduces Next Generation Platform

Total Expert has launched the next-generation of their Customer Intelligence solution which features numerous enhancements. The company says that since launching Customer Intelligence in 2022, Total Expert has surfaced more than 289,000 insights and automated Journeys that have led to over $10.9B in loan applications and $5.8B in funded loans.





Hardware News


The Best NAS Devices of 2023

The best network-attached storage machines feature user-friendly interfaces, fast performance, and excellent app availability. This article states that the Synology DiskStation DS1522+ is the best network-attached storage overall. They also review boxes from Asustor, WD, TerraMaster and SSK.



CPI Card Group Introduces Card@Once Ribbon Shredder

CPI Card Group has introduced its Card@Once Ribbon Shredder designed to help FIs protect personal and financial data. For organizations that use the company's instant card issuing system, this addition can help safely destroy used printer ribbon panels that contain sensitive consumer data.



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


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Software Updates


Why Implementing Generative AI Is Challenging for FIs

This article covers five key points that highlight why implementing generative AI is a significant challenge for FIs: 1) Data Privacy and Security Concerns; 2) Regulatory Compliance and Ethical Considerations; 3) Skill Gap and Workforce Adaptation; 4) Legacy Systems and Infrastructure; and 5) Trust and Explainability.



Microsoft, Amazon Go Head-to-Head on genAI in the Cloud — Here’s Who’ll Win

GenAI requires supercomputing-like power, the ability to store and tap into monstrous amounts of data, close links to a company’s existing technology infrastructure, and straightforward tools to help users get the most out of it. Those requirements are well beyond the capabilities of all but a few companies, meaning businesses will need to turn to the cloud for them. While the author admits that it is too soon to predict a clear winner between Amazon and Microsoft as the top genAL cloud provider going forward, he would bet on Microsoft.





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Diebold Nixdorf Expands Cash Recycler Series

Diebold Nixdorf has expanded its DN Series of cash recyclers with the 600V and 430V models. The 600V is for in-branch use while the 430V is for outdoors. They claim that the 600V can automate 90% of transactions with large capacity note handling and authentication while the 430V can handle harsh climate conditions outdoors. The models are also powered by the DN AllConnect Data Engine, which uses AI and machine learning to detect impending failures and trigger a proactive service call. The recyclers also come with enhanced security features to protect against physical and software threats.



2023 ATM Fee Study

Consumers currently pay a record-high average of $4.73 in fees for using an out-of-network ATM — beating the previous high of $4.72 in 2019 — according to Bankrate’s 2023 checking account and ATM fee study. This total is made up of two components: the average surcharge of $3.15 that’s levied by the ATM owner, along with the average fee of $1.58 that’s charged by one’s own FI for using an out-of-network ATM.



Secure Innovation Announces ATM Cash Protection Solutions

Secure Innovation introduced a2m active and a2m passive solutions for ATM cash protection. A2m active offers an end-to-end protection of cash for ATMs, while a2m passive helps prevent explosive attacks. The a2m passive can be inserted into the lid of an ATM cassette with provided ink or glue. If someone tries to blow up the ATM, the solution will activate, covering the notes in permanent ink. Operators can also add Crimetag to allow authorities to track, trace and convict criminals.



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Wireless World


What CUs Should Know About Mobile Driver's Licenses

There are nearly 20 states where mDL is now an option. The author notes that the convenience of mobile ID has real appeal – if it’s tied to a program that is safe and secure. He lays out a few things that every CU should know about Mobile Driver's Licenses: 1) Proper mDL implementation is important; 2) You don’t accept mDL visually as a “flash pass; 3) It must be accurately provisioned to the right person; 3) The user gets additional control over data; and 4) Now is the time to grab your “first mover advantage.”



New Insights into Banking Apps from Billions of Installs

The 2023 Mobile Customer Engagement Benchmark Report compiles data from more than 1.2 billion app installs from Alchemer Mobile customers and app users. This article summarizes topics such as user retention rates, sentiments, ratings, reviews and key findings from this extensive research.



Tackling Impersonation Scams with 'Status Call' Feature

Impersonation fraud, when a scammer pretends to be calling from a trusted organization such as an FI so they can encourage people to send them money, is a growing problem. In a bid to beat the fraudsters, British bank Monzo's new tool will let people check their 'call status' in their app, which will show whether or not a member of the their team is talking to them at that moment. Mobile bankers using the feature will see an orange icon with a crossed-out phone showing a message that says: 'We're not talking to you, if someone is telling you they're from Monzo, hang up now'."



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Security Section


Visa Research Highlights Emerging Fraud Schemes

Visa's Fall 2023 edition of its Biannual Threats Report showcases a significant rise of phishing schemes proliferated through generative AI tools, and a marked increase in enumeration and ransomware. Highlights of the report’s findings include: 1) Ransomware attacks continue to evolve and grow in prevalence; 2) Enumeration attacks continue to impact merchants and consumers alike; and 3) Card-Not-Present merchants emerge as bigger targets.





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Technology and Marketing


SEO Best Practices, Common Mistakes and Easy Wins

Marketers in every industry struggle to keep up with search engine optimization. This article looks at some key SEO issues such as: What are some of the key SEO mistakes, How is AI affecting SEO best practices, Is there low-hanging fruit, such as pieces of content, that are easy SEO wins, and What are the most common SEO tools.



What Are Environmental Graphics and Why Should FIs Care?

Environmental graphic design is a retail trend that has gained a lot more momentum in financial services in recent years. Environmental graphic design — or EGD for short — is the use of graphic elements such as typography, color, imagery, and textures to curate and enhance the experience people have within a space. Environmental graphics create a more welcoming environment, in contrast to the more formal feel older branches often have. This article provides a mini crash course on environmental graphics.



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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design


ACI Worldwide Survey Reveals Bill Payment Anxiety Driving Interest in Real-Time Payments

According to the 2023 ACI Speedpay Pulse report, 35% of consumers express readiness to switch their bill payment method to achieve faster processing. This shift in consumer behavior can be attributed to the fear of being penalized for late payments among the growing number of people making urgent or same-day bill payments. According to the report, financial concerns are prevalent among younger consumers, with 80% of Gen Z consumers having bill-pay anxiety. The article concludes that the launch of the FedNow Service — the new instant payments infrastructure developed by the Federal Reserve — paves the way for a new era of enhanced payment options, allowing for greater financial flexibility and certainty when making time-sensitive payments.



Moving from Plastic Cards to Paper Cards

Blackhawk Network (BHN) is working with Visa to move its network branded prepaid products distributed by third party retail networks from plastic to paper-based materials. The switch could impact over 350 million open loop and multi-branded products produced by BHN and up to another 700 million third party cards. The firm says that its decision will have a significant green impact while offering minimal disruption to merchants, issuers, brands, and users.



FedNow Makes Instant Payments into Instant Must-Have for FIs

FedNow — a set of payment rails run by the Federal Reserve — went live with a group of early adopters in July. It competes with the private sector’s Real Time Payment Network, which launched in 2017. Backers of instant payments point to this trend as evidence that the concept is catching on. They contend that widespread adoption by FIs is not a matter of if, but when.



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Internet Access


Banking on the Cloud for a Wealth of Benefits

Migrating a core system to the cloud can be a very stressful experience. This article notes that you should “create your migration plan but know you will recreate it at least two more times. Your first migration plan will not be your final migration plan because you are going to learn a lot along the way.” Two other recommendations include thoroughly training your staff them and letting them immediately apply their new knowledge, and determine the problem you’re trying to solve before moving solutions to the cloud, business case by business case.



Google's Cross-Cloud Network Service Aims to Simplify Multicloud Networking

Google Cloud has added a new service that promises to make it easier for organizations to securely network multiple cloud-based resources. The Cross-Cloud Network service consists of new and existing Google Cloud technology and includes a partner ecosystem to help organizations develop, build and support distributed applications across clouds. Key to the Cross-Cloud Network service is the vendor’s Cross Cloud Interconnect feature, introduced in May, that offers 10 Gbps or 100 Gbps managed, encrypted links to connect Google virtual private cloud (VPC), other VPCs or virtual networks in different clouds. The service supports security options such as IPsec VPN or MACsec and is backed with a 99.99% SLA promise.



AWS vs. Azure: 5 Key Differences

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is to Microsoft Azure what McDonald's is to Burger King: They both provide the same core types of products and target the same audiences and use cases. But they do so in different ways, and understanding the differences between AWS and Azure is critical for choosing the right solution for your organization. The author recommends careful due diligence in certain areas — like Ci/CD, hybrid cloud, networking, and cloud monitoring — because AWS and Azure are different in important ways.




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Call Centers


PenFed Bets on Gen AI for Hyper-Personalization

After successfully leveraging chatbots to support employees and members, PenFed is now looking to generative AI to blend digital channels with data and thereby turn itself into a ‘cognitive credit union.’ Today 80% of PenFed’s interactions are digital, 15% are via call center, and 5% still rely on physical branches. They started its new service strategy by deploying an Einstein-powered chatbot from SalesForce internally to support its IT service desk. The bot, which leveraged PenFed’s body of knowledge articles to assist end-users with tasks such as password resets, proved its effectiveness immediately and now handles about 25% of common internal service requests. The next step was to roll out the bots externally to their members. Today, bots handle nearly 40,000 sessions per month, providing loan application status, product and servicing information, and technical support.



Use Callers' Questions to Build Better Knowledge Base Articles

Useful knowledge base articles must “fit” the user’s needs, whether the user is a tech support analyst or a business user. The author suggests that you must not rely on vague, one-size-fits all templates to create knowledge base articles. She provides numerous tips in this article for making the KB writing process easier and KB articles more useful.