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March 2024

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General News


Prizeout Partners with CUs to Launch CashBack+

Prizeout has launched CashBack+, a white label solution for CUs and their members. CashBack+ is a suite of products that lets members earn instant cash back while they shop and lets CUs grow their non-interest income.



Clearwater CU Partners with Cotribute

Cotribute announced it has partnered with Clearwater Credit Union to enhance their deposit onboarding experience. The Montana-based CU selected three of Cotribute’s modules: Consumer Account Opening, Commercial Account Opening and Consumer Loan Origination.



Epic River Launches Its Digital Lending Platform for Credit Unions

Epic River, a lending-as-a-service platform provider that connects CUs with healthcare providers to help streamline patient payments, announced the launch of its digital lending platform specifically tailored for CUs. The firm says that their platform equips CUs to extend loans to local healthcare providers, creating access to a larger loan volume and an additional source of interest income.



AKUVO Launches Virtual Collector

AKUVO announced the launch of a new product, Virtual Collector. Virtual Collector can be integrated with any collections or core processing system to provide automated touch points with borrowers through email, text, voice, and letters. The online portal allows members to make payments, create a promise, request a call back, and more.





Hardware News


The Best Large Tablets of 2024

This article goes hands-on with the best big screen tablets from Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, and more that offer bigger screens, ample storage, and excellent performance. Their pick for the best large screen tablet is the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but they also included options from Samsung, Microsoft, and more.



Dell Ramps up ‘AI PC’ Plans with Latitude and Precision Refresh

Dell has unveiled a range of new laptops and PCs featuring neural processing units (NPUs) designed to run AI workloads on-device for improved video call quality and better laptop battery life. Dell is one of several hardware vendors looking to benefit from growing interest in so-called “AI PCs.” The moniker refers to the inclusion of NPUs that are more adept than CPUs or GPUs when it comes to processing generative AI (genAI) and other AI-based workloads. These NPUs are set to become the norm in the coming years, analysts say, with major players such as Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm all offering NPUs. Gartner predicts AI PCs will make up 43% of PC sales in 2025; IDC puts the figure at 60% of the market by 2027.



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Software Updates


Harnessing AI and Machine Learning for Credit Decisioning

This article offers recommendations for FIs starting their AI journey and the first one is start experimenting with AI until you understand how to manage it. It’s also important to think through the model management and governance approach because these differ for AI versus statistical models. It points out that while you may find a vendor that’s well-versed in AI and machine learning, that doesn’t mean they understand credit decisioning. It is critical to partner with a credit decisioning vendor that thoroughly understands governance processes and procedures that every credit team must follow.



What FIs Need to Know About Coreless Banking

In a nutshell, coreless banking is about embracing a system that gives FIs the ability and flexibility to build and customize products on a single platform. However, coreless banking does not mean a "banking system without core." Instead, it is a transition from monolithic systems to architectures built on microservices and application programming interfaces (APIs). Acting as digital bridges, APIs can help facilitate seamless communication and data exchange among systems, applications, and external entities by providing standardized interfaces and protocols.



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

The author notes that fintech integration is taking too long in many cases, turning executives away from pursuing additional technology projects. She says that the solution is to choose a strong middleware partner that can ease the integration burden, thereby providing time and cost savings, seamless data access and faster time to market. For instance, middleware partners with the best handle on the issues that today’s FIs have in data integration uniquely offer a range of “recyclable” APIs rather than one-off data requests. Instead of repetitive data mapping for every fintech integration, the data becomes readily available and accessible. From there, subsequent fintech partnerships become a straightforward process, eliminating the need for the transferring, mapping and uploading of data from scratch for each and every project.



Artificial Intelligence and Genuine Member Experience

Use cases of AI in financial services are still limited, but UFCU is showing how new technology can help alleviate pain points and reduce friction. The Austin-based CU the credit union tapped AI, specifically machine learning, to continuously learn about members’ behaviors. It explored different models to leverage statistical data like never before and created an even better check hold model. he data for the new and improved check hold model lives within UFCU’s data warehouse and pushes out specific business rules to its core system.



Harnessing the Power of AI in Banking

This article posits that there is untapped potential for AI in the financial services sector. It states that FIs can use AI to improve service levels and provide a more personalized touch to their services, as well as to streamline branch management and bolster security. It goes on to provide some examples of AI in use and the future of banking.



Choosing a New Banking Solution - All Cores Aren’t the Same

Without a doubt, choosing a new core banking solution, whether to replace or modernize a FI's existing core banking platform, is a challenging decision. While some incumbent vendors are beginning to offer API marketplaces, others can only tap into a limited number of partners, inhibiting choice. With the advent of microservices, components can not only be developed and deployed separately but each component can also be managed separately. This means a component can be upgraded without the whole solution being stopped. This new generation of core banking providers embraced cloud, APIs, Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS), and financial service componentization. Their use of microservice architecture to mix and mesh with existing core banking systems is a significant departure from incumbent vendors.





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Misconceptions About ATM Fees

Although the vast majority of ATM transactions are surcharge free, independent ATM operators consist of about two thirds of ATMs in operation. The primary fee IADs charge is an access fee, but FIs often charge an out-of-network fee as well. The average access fee is $3.15 while the FI's average fee is $1.58, according to a study by Bank Rate. Fees have increased quite significantly in recent years, which can influence a consumer's decision whether to use a surcharge ATM or not, especially considering the amount of money they are withdrawing. However, IADs do not necessarily have to charge fees to make money. In some occasions, FIs will place their branding on an IAD's ATM and compensate them on the back end. Yet another trend that is transforming the IAD industry is surcharge free ATM networks such as Allpoint.



Is Cash Here to Stay?

Some thought leaders believe that digital payments will phase out cash completely and lead us into a fully cashless society. However, there are reasons to doubt this narrative, especially when you consider numerous legal efforts to restrict or ban cashless businesses due to concerns with the unbanked and underbanked. This article takes a dive into the future of cash and cash versus currency.



The Importance of Testing ATMs

ATMs are becoming smarter, faster and more interconnected. The author states that in order to protect and optimize the performance of these critical components of a complete retail delivery strategy, it is important that fleet owners invest in modern ATM testing solutions that help maximize resource productivity, improve testing speed and quality – while at the same time reducing channel costs and ensuring that every consumer transaction is processed perfectly. She argues that besides increased accuracy and reliability, improved testing means improved security.



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Wireless World


Future-Proofing Mobile Banking with AI Innovations

Today, the stakes for delivering an exceptional mobile banking service are higher than ever, as the rise of digital-only and neobanks has upped the pressure on incumbent FIs to deliver exceptional mobile banking offerings. This article notes that mediocre mobile banking experiences can be damaging – alienating users and damaging trust. This article discusses the next wave of mobile banking features and functionality and how AI-powered systems may quietly work behind the scenes to improve mobile banking.



5 Steps FIs Should Be Taking as Digital Wallets Gain Ground

Consumers are embracing digital payments, which is, in turn, giving a boost to digital wallets. Most people — 64% — now say they use digital wallets at least as much as traditional methods of payment, such as paying with cash or a card, according to a Forbes Advisor Survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers with traditional FI accounts. And just over half — 53% — say they use digital wallets even more often than traditional payment methods, the August 2023 survey shows. The author recommends that in order to prepare for the increased use of digital wallets in the next few years, leaders in the banking industry should consider implementing the following strategies: 1. Map out integration; 2. Enhance security measures; 3. Educate consumers; 4. Streamline the onboarding process; and 5. Leverage data analytics.



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Security Section


Sumsub Deepfake Detection Helps Combat AI-Driven Identity Fraud

Sumsub has launched a Deepfake Detection feature integrated into its Video Identification solution. Sumsub’s new solution operates in real-time during video interviews, further securing the identification process. The enhanced deepfake detection technology is designed to identify and thwart fraudsters attempting to manipulate real-time video interviews for malicious purposes.



Ransomware Is Hitting the Financial Services Industry Harder than Ever Before

Findings from Netskope Threat Labs claims that the financial sector remains “one of the most attacked sectors by ransomware groups,” who mostly use trojans to breach systems and deploy encryptors. Netskope's report also found that Microsoft One Drive and Sharepoint, as well as GitHub, are some of the most popular targets for abuse and to spread malware.



Delinea Privilege Control for Servers Helps Enforce Least Privilege Principles on Critical Systems

Delinea announced the introduction of Privilege Control for Servers on the Delinea Platform, helping to enforce least privilege principles on critical systems consistently across identities to combat stolen credentials and restrict lateral movement. The Delinea Platform combines enterprise vaulting, VPN-less privileged remote access, and privilege controls. In Privilege Control for Servers, session recording and auditing occur on the host, so the company claims that the data cannot be altered.



Limit Fraud with Context-Based Authentication

Context-based, or context-aware, authentication considers the originating channel, transaction context, available authentication options and accountholder preference to determine the most appropriate authentication option. In action, a unified, or context-based, authentication strategy covers all of an FI’s engagement channels and shares context about each transaction, like the user’s device, location and behavioral biometrics between the channels. It also immediately spots higher-risk activity and steps up authentication measures or blocks the transaction, using the same risk signals, like biometrics or payment behavior, to help determine friend from foe.





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Technology and Marketing


Unleash the Power of Storytelling: How Video Can Amplify Your CU's Mission

Most of us are aware that stories have the power to build brand awareness, drive adoption of a product or service, and instigate an even more targeted action. The author argues that if you aren’t mustering that in some way, he strongly suggests a level set amongst your leadership team and partners. He goes on to discuss the power of storytelling and provide some examples of how video can help in this regards.



In the Race for Deposits, Speed and Convenience Matter to Consumers

The author tackles the big question of: What can FIs do to cultivate strong relationships with depositors in a highly competitive environment? Of course, strong pricing, a good brand reputation, marketing spend and relevant products with flexible terms are all important factors. He is convinced that your staff spends too much time on data entry and manual verifications, and not enough time on relationship onboarding. He offers some solutions to this problem by offering streamlined, digital experiences.



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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design


FedNow Participants Share Insights on Instant Payment Use Cases

Many credit unions have already implemented Federal Reserve’s FedNow Service since it launched in July 2023 to help gain a competitive edge and improve member experience. “Instant payments are helpful to us as a smaller financial institution because they reduce the buildup of interbank obligations,” says Scott Young, vice president of payment operations at HawaiiUSA FCU in Honolulu. “With transactions settling in seconds, we can scrutinize our operating expenses and identify cost-saving opportunities.” This article goes on to cover numerous instant payment CU use cases.



Fed Not "Remotely Close" to a Central Bank Digital Currency

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell significantly downplayed the possibility of the central bank issuing its own digital currency, and said if it ever came to pass, the government would play a limited role. “People don’t need to worry about a central bank digital currency, nothing like that is remotely close to happening anytime soon," he told the Senate Banking Committee. He added that the Fed has no interest in establishing accounts for individuals that would compete with the banking system, and it would not support any Fed monitoring of personal financial transactions.



Mastercard Offers Issuers Open Banking-Based Account Opening

Mastercard has launched a program that uses open banking to streamline the account opening process for some US debit and prepaid products. Mastercard will provide participating US issuers free access to its Account Owner Verification, Account Detail Verification and Account Balance Check technology. Issuers can use this to support digital account opening of Mastercard-branded consumer and small business debit and general-purpose reloadable consumer prepaid products. This, says the payments giant, will help them to verify account ownership; lower abandonment and inactive accounts; and reduce non-sufficient fund returns.



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Internet Access


Web Check: Open-Source Intelligence for Any Website

Web Check, which is free, provides insight into the inner workings of any specified website, enabling users to identify possible security vulnerabilities, scrutinize the underlying server architecture, inspect security settings, and discover the various technologies employed by the site. Currently, the dashboard will show IP info, SSL chain, DNS records, cookies, headers, domain info, search crawl rules, page map, server location, redirect ledger, open ports, traceroute, DNS security extensions, site performance, trackers, associated hostnames, carbon footprint.



Cloudflare Enters Multicloud Networking Market

Cloudflare announced the launch of Magic Cloud Networking, which they claim is a simple, secure and scalable way for organizations to connect and secure their public cloud environments. Magic Cloud Networking will allow customers to leverage Cloudflare's global network, which they say is the largest and most interconnected network in the SASE market.



Menlo Security Unveils Cloud-Delivered Secure Enterprise Browser

Menlo Security announced what they are calling "the industry’s first cloud-delivered Secure Enterprise Browser" solution. They claim that the solution delivers end-to-end visibility and dynamic policy enforcement directly inside browser sessions and blocking zero-hour phishing, malware, and ransomware attacks. It also includes new capabilities for managing local browser security policies within Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.



Cloudflare Announces Firewall for AI

Cloudflare has announced the development of Firewall for AI, a protection layer that can be deployed in front of large language models (LLMs) that promises to identify abuses before they reach the models. Firewall for AI is intended to be an advanced web application firewall (WAF) for applications that use LLMs, comprising a set of tools that can be deployed in front of applications to detect vulnerabilities and provide visibility into the threats to models. Cloudflare said Firewall for AI will combine traditional WAF tools such as rate limiting and sensitive data detection with a new protection layer that analyzes the model prompts submitted users to identify attempts to exploit the model.




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Call Centers


Pindrop Pulse Helps Fight Audio Deepfakes

Pindrop launched Pindrop Pulse, an audio liveness detection capabilities for real-time identification, monitoring, and analysis of audio deepfakes. The firm claims that in Pulse’s beta testing phase, it demonstrated remarkable efficacy in voice security, pinpointing manipulated voices with just two seconds of audio and offering responses in a swift 150 milliseconds, and that it allows call centers to swiftly neutralize threats in real time.



Evolving the Contact Center with AI-Enabled Support

This article explores the answers to the following 5 questions: 1) How can FIs determine which of the numerous AI technologies out there are right for their center?; 2) How can AI be applied in a contact center context?; 3) How are contact center agents working with chatbots and other AI-based technology?; 4) What are some of the main self-service opportunities AI can provide for accountholders?; and 5) How do you monitor the performance of the technology itself?



Talkdesk Unveils Autopilot Virtual Agent

Talkdesk introduced Talkdesk Autopilot, the next generation of its virtual agent. With the addition of new GenAI features, and prebuilt flows and conversations tailored specifically for financial services markets, the company says that Talkdesk Autopilot can autonomously resolve complex use cases, understand a consumer's journey, and intelligently make timely decisions based on knowledge of that journey.



Fix These Four Live Chat Mistakes

Great chatbots or automated assistants have improved the chat experience, but bad chatbots have made it much, much worse. The author highlights 4 chat mistakes to avoid bad experiences: 1) Forcing people to have a fruitless interaction with your chatbot before they can chat with a live person; 2) Shutting chat down when your contact center is open; 3) Withholding the chat transcript; and 4) Using technical terms that confuse people.