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February 2024

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General News

 

Oregon State CU Selects Bankjoy

Oregon State Credit Union has partnered with digital banking provider Bankjoy to use Bankjoy’s standalone Online Account Opening and Online Loan Application product suite. Bankjoy’s Online Account Opening verifies a user’s identity through ID upload and selfie matching for secure and efficient account opening.

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Jack Henry Announces Banno Business

Jack Henry announced Banno Business to help CUs to offer modern banking experiences for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs). The solution packages business solutions (including cash management, payments and commercial lending) with new embedded payment capabilities, cash flow tools, reporting, and advanced features for business owners to help control their finances.

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Abrigo Launches Fraud Detection Platform

Abrigo announced the launch of Abrigo Fraud Detection, a new platform that combines AI-powered inspection and check image analysis with a smart, configurable fraud decision engine.

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Federal Reserve Financial Services Launches New ACH Risk Management Service

Federal Reserve Financial Services announced the launch of FedDetect Anomaly Notification for FedACH Services, a new risk management service that helps CUs identify anomalous activity and supplement their fraud detection and alerting tools. This new addition to FedACH Risk Management Services allows CUs to receive notifications via secure email when anomalous FedACH activity is detected. It can help catch potential fraud attempts with account verification through micro-entry return and forward-entry monitoring.

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Hardware News

 

The Best Windows Laptops of 2024

ZDNET tested the best Windows laptops in terms of battery life, performance, and other metrics, and provided the results in this article. It reviewed the following laptops: 1) Dell XPS 15; 2) Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra; 3) Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED; 4) Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 3; 5) Acer Aspire 3; 6) Microsoft Surface Pro 9; 7) Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2; 8) Panasonic Toughbook 55; and 9) Razer Blade 17.

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Dell Reveals New XPS 13, 14 and 16 Laptops

Dell showed the next versions of its XPS line of laptops at the recent CES 2024, with new, larger sizes and AI integration. The new Dell XPS 13, 14 and 16 will come with Microsoft’s Windows Copilot keys for easy access to generative AI features. The Dell XPS 16 is the new high-powered entry in the XPS line of laptops. It runs Intel Core Ultra processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs (up to the GeForce RTX 4050 GPU).

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1Kosmos BlockID 1Key Device Helps Secure Users

1Kosmos announced BlockID 1Key, a biometric security key to provide a phishing-resistant passwordless multi-factor authentication option for restricted environments where access to mobile devices is not permitted. For workstation-independent environments, BlockID 1Key supports a register-once-use-anywhere model that allows users to authenticate and work on any managed device. Users simply select any managed workstation, log in with their username and then touch the fingerprint sensor.

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Software Updates

 

6 Ways FIs Can Harness the Power of AI

According to BAI research, FIs’ resistance toward AI is perplexing: 43% feel they don’t have enough data for AI 36% are considering AI but are yet to implement it 30% believe AI is inaccessible for their institution’s size 23% admit they wouldn’t know how to make the most of it The article goes on to list six ways AI can help: 1. Data analytics; 2. Ad targeting and optimization; 3. Social media management; 4. Communication; 5. Predictive analytics; and 6. Fraud detection.

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Coreless Banking - the Future of Banking

Coreless banking refers to a banking system that does not rely on traditional core banking systems, which are complex and difficult to update. The author argues that Coreless Banking allows FIs to innovate, be more agile and run at a much lower operating cost than before without impacting their cores. He recommends adopting MACH (microservices, API-first, cloud-native SaaS, headless) principles and the BIAN (Banking Industry Architecture Network) framework.

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Mastercard Improves Consumer Protection with Gen-AI

Mastercard’s Decision Intelligence (DI) - a real-time decisioning solution - currently helps FIs score and safely approve 143 billion transactions a year. The next generation technology, Decision Intelligence Pro, works by assessing the relationships between multiple entities surrounding a transaction to determine its risk. In less than 50 milliseconds, this technology improves the overall DI score. Initial modelling shows AI enhancements boost fraud detection rates on average by 20% and as high as 300% in some instances.

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Key Features of Windows 11 Enterprise

Normally, Windows 11 Enterprise must be acquired through some kind of licensing agreement with Microsoft or one of its partners, such as through the company’s Windows 11 Enterprise website. In general, Windows 11 Enterprise offers additional or enhanced features designed specifically for business use. These items fall into three broad categories: 1) Security; 2) Productivity; and 3) Management. This article takes a deep dive into all three of these categories.

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Juniper Brings AI to Data Center Operations

Juniper Networks is bringing its AI-based management technology to its intent-based data center software, Apstra, in an effort to simplify design, deployment and operations. The move brings Juniper’s wired, wireless data center, campus and branch networking products under one common offering, which the networking vendor calls its AI-Native Networking Platform. Central to the AI-Native Networking Platform are the firm’s cloud-based, natural language Mist AI and Marvis virtual network assistant (VNA) technology. Juniper’s Mist AI engine analyzes data from myriad networked access points and devices so it can detect, offer actionable resolutions, and fix anomalies and problems.

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Here’s the Key to Bringing New Fintech to Your Core Banking System

Core banking systems often face issues when integrating with new technology stacks. The author posits that instead of repetitive data mapping for every fintech integration, middleware brings seamless linkage at a much faster pace. She recommends working with a middleware partner that offers a range of “recyclable” APIs rather than one-off data requests.

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ATMs/Kiosks

 

GoldATM Intros Gold Bill Dispensing ATMs

GoldATM plans to unveil its gold dispensing ATMs which will provide Goldback bills, made of 24-karat gold with the flexibility of cash. This currency is considered as "Specie Legal Tender" in Utah, Nevada, New Hampshire, Wyoming and South Dakota.

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Cash in Circulation Has Surged by over $500 Billion Since the Pandemic

The monetary value of greenbacks and coins circulating in the economy has surged 28% to $2.3 trillion since the onset of the pandemic, even as homebound shoppers charged up a storm with plastic and consumers feared handling Covid-tainted cash. The article suggests that several factors may have contributed to this increase, including hoarding behaviors, limited spending opportunities, and a preference for cash during uncertain times.

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How AI Delivers Improved Kiosk, ATM Operations

ith AI, self-serve kiosk and ATM operators can identify ahead of time potential device faults and either make the fixes remotely or schedule maintenance. It can also detect potential attacks, either physical or software. One company, DPL Wireless, designed an AI solution called Hercule AI to help self-service kiosk and ATM operators better manage their devices. This article covers more details on how Hercule AI functions.

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Contactless ATMs Improve the User Experience

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was great concern among users around the cleanliness of touchscreens of keypads. As a result, ATM, POS and kiosk vendors began deploying or offering contactless ATMs, via allowing people to control the screen via their smartphones or by tapping their card. With contactless or tap, ATM users can simply tap their cards on an RFID reader on the ATM, which delivers the information over to the machine, saving time. There are multiple ways contactless ATMs confirm a user's data, including biometrics, near-field communication, verification codes or a QR code.

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Wireless World

 

Visa Expands Its Digital Wallet Capabilities and Availability

Visa announced extended digital wallet capabilities within Visa Commercial Pay, a suite of B2B payment solutions built in partnership with Conferma Pay. The innovation enables FIs to add virtual corporate cards into an employees’ digital wallet – including third-party wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay – to enhance convenience, security and flexibility for corporate users.

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Fortinet Offers Secure Wi-Fi 7 Package

As the potential for use of Wi-Fi 7 gains ground, Fortinet has rolled out a secure access point and switch that will be able to support the wireless technology’s higher data rate and throughput technology. To support Wi-Fi 7, Fortinet has rolled out the FortiAP 441K AP, which includes support for four Wi-Fi radios in each device: one radio each for 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands and one radio to scan for rogue devices or to assist with presence.

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Digital Wallets Are Falling Short. Can Providers Fix That?

While digital wallets have established a beachhead in the payment ecosystem, consumers still aren’t embracing the apps with gusto. The primary reasons are concerns over security and the lack of value-added features, such as rewards and loyalty programs and spend-management capabilities. While wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay have made strong inroads in adoption, this is largely because they are standard apps on iPhones and Android phones, respectively,

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AI-Powered 6G Wireless Promises Big Changes

The next evolution in wireless communication, 6G (sixth-generation cellular) will deliver significant improvements in security, resilience, reliability, latency, connection density, traffic capacity, spectrum efficiency, and user data rates, compared to 5G. It is expected to be 50 times faster than 5G, with a top-end, theoretical speed of 1Tbps, compared to 20Gbps for 5G. The plan is for 6G to support AI-enabled applications, including distributed data processing, distributed learning, AI computing, AI model execution, and AI inference.

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Security Section

 

TitanHQ Launches PhishTitan to Help Combat Advanced Phishing Attacks

TitanHQ has launched PhishTitan Integrated Cloud Email Security (ICES). PhishTitan is a native M365 anti-phishing solution that helps block and remediate threats like business email compromise (BEC), account takeover, VIP impersonation, zero-day attacks, and more. PhishTitan works within M365 and scans all emails, internal and external. The native and API-based integration augments EOP and MS Defender.

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Mastercard Tags Biometrics and Passkeys as a Fix for Passwords

Mastercard's new Biometric Authentication Service is meant to help resolve friction and vulnerability issues that arise from ceaseless passwords and multi-factor authentication prompts. The service relies on standards from the Fast Identity Online Alliance, also known as FIDO, which has been instrumental in developing new authentication measures, such as passkeys. Passkeys are a replacement for passwords that provide faster, easier, and more secure sign-in to Web sites and apps. Mastercard created a developer’s Web site that includes documentation on the service.

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Managed Ransomware Detect & Respond (RDR) Offering from Zyston

Zyston has introduced Managed Ransomware Detect and Respond (RDR), a co-managed solution designed to mitigate risk and provide a swift, expert response to ransomware incidents. With real-time threat detection, continuous monitoring, and rapid response capabilities, Zyston claims that their new Managed RDR offering provides a comprehensive solution to safeguard organizations' digital assets.

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How AI Is Revolutionizing Identity Fraud

In 2023, the explosion of AI tech didn’t just make it hard to discern if something was written by ChatGPT. It gave the same cutting-edge abilities to fraudsters who now use AI to create fake IDs seamlessly, with convincing, computer-generated or stolen headshots and nearly undetectable document composition. With AI-powered fraud escalating, some think tanks are predicting that police will make the first arrest of an individual for using AI to impersonate someone in 2024. In the meantime, governments worldwide are grappling with how best to legislate the technology while it is still quickly evolving.

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Technology and Marketing

 

Prioritizing Deposit Growth in Inflationary Times

BAI’s forecast for financial services organizations’ deposit growth in the year ahead is negative, with a forecasted 2.4% decline in deposits. The competition for deposits has intensified because deposits are the best and the cheapest source of funding. This article takes a closer look at deposit growth trends and strategies.

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Can CUs Catch up on Branch EV Charging?

The nation’s banks are ahead of credit unions when it comes to installing EV charging stations at their locations, according to one expert, who believes CUs are just beginning to see the advantages of offering the opportunity to recharge include driving loyalty, new members and possibly even payments volume. In addition to driving member loyalty and more business to a branch, Jeff Muglia of Tetto 5G, a company that offers EV charging solutions, says that there is revenue to be generated from the EV chargers themselves. He goes on to list the various ways that CUs can move forward with implementing a branch EV charging system.

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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design

 

Why Smaller FIs Need Both FedNow and RTP

As of July 2023, FedNow is up and running, and many smaller FIs are getting on board. Both FedNow and the RTP network settle and fund payments immediately. In terms of how the two networks differ, RTP settles payments through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, while FedNow settles them through the Fed’s master accounts with banks. Additionally, RTP’s current transaction limit is $1 million, and FedNow’s is $500,000. While some distinctions exist between FedNow and RTP, this article insists that FIs should not necessarily choose one over the other—in fact, many would be wise to adopt both.

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Visa Announces Pilot Launch of Visa AR Manager to Simplify Commercial Virtual Card Acceptance

Visa announced the forthcoming pilot launch of Visa AR Manager, a new home-grown innovation that will reduce the friction commercial merchants experience with virtual card acceptance. Visa AR Manager will help automate the virtual card transaction process by retrieving card account details, initiating the authorization and clearing steps on the supplier’s behalf, and then providing meaningful and timely reconciliation data to close out invoices in the supplier’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

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US Falling Behind Peers on CBDC Progress

he United States' slow progress on central bank digital currencies is seeing it fall behind the likes of China, India and the European Union on the future of money, warns think tank The Atlantic Council. he Council argues that the Fed should grasp the opportunity to set standards and influence constructive developments on the future of CBDCs and payments more generally. I

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How Visa and Mastercard Are Embracing Blockchain

Blockchain technologies and digital currencies might initially appear to be a threat to traditional financial institutions like Visa and Mastercard. Yet these debit and credit card network operators — which have a combined market share of more than 70% — are exploring blockchain for fast cross-border payments and cryptocurrencies for card payments and rewards. This article details how the card giants are moving forward with their blockchain efforts.

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Almost Half of Americans Have Not Written a Single Check in the past Year — Here’s What They’re Doing Instead

While writing checks may be less popular than it used to be, 54% of Americans still wrote a check in the past year. According to one survey, in the past year, 15% of Americans wrote a few checks a month, 17% wrote less than six checks, 17% wrote a check once a month and 4% wrote more than 12 checks. This article concludes that PayPal, Venmo and Zelle continued to take the digital payment sphere by storm in 2023 and will remain the front-runners for payment apps in 2024.

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Internet Access

 

Cisco, Hitachi Deliver Managed Hybrid Cloud Services

Cisco and Hitachi Vantara have unveiled Hitachi EverFlex with Cisco Powered Hybrid Cloud, which includes a range of converged infrastructure services that meld compute, networking and software technologies from Cisco and storage capabilities from Hitachi. The services are customizable and feature consumption-based pricing. The technology involved in the services primarily includes Cisco Unified Computing System X Series servers and its Intersight cloud management platform. A variety of other Cisco networking technologies are also part of its hybrid cloud umbrella, such as security, Nexus switches and SD-WAN support.

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How to Combat Runaway Cloud Costs and 'Cloud-Flation' in 2024

The author suggests taking a tactical approach to governing cloud costs that includes: * Implementing effective cost governance measures: Implement cost monitoring and detection capabilities with alerts that promptly notify stakeholders of impending cost thresholds, allowing them to make timely adjustments as needed — before the cost overrun happens. * Cost avoidance: Leverage long-term discounts to pay less for the IaaS services or negotiate with SaaS providers to achieve lower prices through volume discounts. * Usage optimization: For instance, rightsize and take advantage of IaaS pausing features to use services only when necessary — rather than openly churning and burning through cloud resources * Consolidating and eliminating SaaS duplicates: Expose shadow IT in software usage to standardize SaaS usage around a lean list of tools.

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Cato Networks Extends SASE Platform with XDR, EPP Capabilities

Cato Networks announced it expanded its cloud-based SASE platform to also offer extended detection and response (XDR) and endpoint protection platform (EPP) capabilities that will enable security teams to consolidate security tools and streamline security incident detection, prevention, and resolution. Cato SASE Cloud runs on a private global backbone of more than 75 points of presence (PoPs) connected via multiple SLA-backed network providers. The PoPs software continuously monitors the providers for latency, packet loss, and jitter to determine in real-time the best route for every packet.

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Call Centers

 

Put AI in CX: Efficient Contact Centers Require Greater Digital Transformation

Without a doubt, providing multiple communication channels to today’s digital consumers is essential to a quality CX. This article states that a modern, cloud-based contact center powered by AI can likely provide consumers with the personalization and self-service functionality they demand, while supporting contact center agents with tools that allow them to do their jobs more efficiently. It goes on to cover ways to overcome barriers to implementing AI in the contact center.

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Future-Proofing Your Contact Center: Trends to Leverage in 2024

This article highlights 20 key trends shaping contact centers in 2024. It offers three overall recommendations that will help ensure you’re moving in the right direction: 1) Develop a culture of honoring employees, encouraging their insight, and engaging them every step of the way; 2) Use a detailed accountholder access strategy to guide decisions; and 3) Stay focused on offering strategic value by staying cross-functional and improving the contact center's impact on the broader organization.

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FIs Expected to Increase AI Investments to Boost Service Levels in 2024

Service applications of AI are particularly low in the financial services industry but are expected to see sizable growth in coming months. According to a report by Strata Decision Technology, just 12% of survey respondents said their FIs use AI tools for customer service, such as chatbots to expedite customer communications, while only 8% use AI to personalize the customer experience. However, 50% plan to implement AI to elevate the customer experience over the next 12 to 18 months, making it the industry’s biggest area of anticipated growth for AI applications. Another 42% plan to implement AI for customer communications tools.

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Beyond the Chatbot: Why Virtual Assistants Are the Service Future

Conversational AI (CAI) refers to technological systems that enable people to interact with technology in a human-like manner. Unlike traditional chatbots, it offers fluid, natural interactions, understanding user queries in their complexity and diversity. It is a much more powerful and advanced technology than a simple chatbot. This article lays out exactly why CAI gives a virtual banking assistant significant advantage over a traditional script-driven chatbot.

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