Your source for the latest technology information of interest to credit unions across America.
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and stay on top of the latest technology trends in Hardware, Software, ATMs, Biometrics, Wireless, Online Banking, Marketing, Security, Internet Access and Call Centers.
This Week's News is Sponsored by Better Branches ~
Tyfone’s FedNow Instant Payment Xchange tool has helped StarOne launch the FedNow service to allow instant payments for members. Through this collaboration, Star One Credit Union will be able to offer its members the ability to transfer money instantly, increasing convenience and improving the overall banking experience.
A new consortium called FraudXchange has been launched to address the increasing problem of check fraud. FraudXchange offers reporting of fraudulent transactions, streamlined communication, and expedited funds return between member FIs. Additionally, it provides dark web monitoring, employee email fraud detection, and a fraud training platform.
Scienaptic AI, an AI-powered credit decision platform provider, announced its integration partnership with DigiFi, a platform for automated digital lending. With this integration, DigiFi clients can access Scienaptic’s advanced AI-powered signals for lending.
Intel has launched Emerald Rapids, its 5th Generation Xeon CPU, which features up to 64 cores and 40% better performance than its predecessor. The processor packs a raft of additional improvements that Intel says will help service the growing compute demands of AI. According to Intel, the processor features workload-optimized performance, improved energy efficiency, and 36% higher performance per watt across a range of workloads.
Hard disk drives (HDD) have lost the low-end capacity market to solid-state drives, and SSDs are slowly but surely making their way to higher capacity dominance. So, the makers of HDDs have stuck to the one place where they still have an advantage, and that is capacity. Western Digital unveiled the second generation of its Ultrastar DC HC680 drive family of drives in 24TB and 28TB capacity using shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology, which is designed specifically for data centers. It also introduced new enterprise drives, the WD Gold Enterprise and Ultrastar DC HC580 24TB, with conventional magnetic recording (CMR).
The author is convinced that AI is reshaping the financial services landscape. He says that it is imperative to address three key areas: 1) Determining which transactions are best suited for human interaction versus digitization; 2) Understanding the importance of integrating consumer-journey insights for personalization; and 3) Minimizing the risks of over-indexing on technology in service delivery. He concludes that the optimal path for the financial services industry is a blend of digital innovation and human empathy, not just driving everyone to a digital channel.
After announcing a gradual elimination of third-party printer drivers on Windows earlier this year, Microsoft has now unveiled its plan for enhancing security by introducting Windows Protected Print Mode (WPP). Microsoft says that print bugs account for 9% of all Windows cases reported to the Microsoft Security Response Center. WPP, for now limited to Windows Insiders, only supports Mopria-certified printers and disables third-party printer drivers.
This article states that AI is not the future of financial services — it’s the present. Such is the transformational potential of AI that FIs will need to construct rules on its usage that reflect the regulatory environment, consumer expectations, and geographic and cultural differences. The article goes on to provide some real life AI case studies.
42% of US Gen Z banking consumers would consider their proximity to ATMs as a factor before choosing a new FI. The survey also found that the majority of Gen Zers (70%) have used physical branches to purchase banking products and services and consider access to be very important in choosing an FI.
The author points out that sometimes adding more features to an ATM can make users less satisfied, not more. He thinks that being able to deposit cash or checks and contactless access at ATMs makes sense, but has serious doubts about ATM advertisements. He concludes that ATM deployers must look at innovation on a case-by-case basis, and that any ATM technology should ultimately serve the user.
Cash recycling, which involves machines that accept, authenticate, sort, and dispense cash, is already popular in other countries but has been slow to gain traction in the US due to regulatory and logistical challenges. However, the article states that the automation opportunity presented by cash recycling can provide FIs with 20% savings in total cost of ownership and reduce cash replenishment efforts by up to 75%. By creating a closed-loop recycling environment that automatically moves money through the system, it has the added benefit of prolonging cash-in-transit (CIT) intervals and drastically reducing CO2 emissions — in some cases, reducing the number of visits by 80% over a year.
The evolution of chatbots has vastly improved their linguistic capabilities, with models like GPT 4 enabling deeper comprehension of user behavior patterns for personalized services. AI, inclusive of rules, natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML), helps chatbots to analyze data and address diverse requests. Banking basically utilizes two primary chatbot types: Task-Oriented Chatbots and Data-Driven Predictive Chatbots. The former utilizes rules, limited ML, and NLP, focusing on specific functions such as FAQs or basic transactions. In contrast, the latter, like Siri or Alexa, employs NLU, NLP, and ML to learn from interactions and deliver personalized experiences. NLP in particular is showing signs of being helpful for interacting with mobile banking apps.
As we gradually transition from Wi-Fi 6 to the more advanced Wi-Fi 7, we uncover the significant enhancements in speed, efficiency, and spectrum usage that set it apart from its predecessors. Based on the IEEE 802.11be (Extreme High Throughput) standard, Wi-Fi 7 is faster and more spectrum efficient than every previous Wi-Fi generation. For example, Wi-Fi 7 is three times faster than Wi-Fi 6 because it supports 4K QAM and channel widths up to 320 MHz versus 160 MHz for Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6. Plus, fast link switching allows Wi-Fi 7 devices to avoid interference and access Wi-Fi channels without delaying critical traffic.
The proliferation of mobile banking apps creates new and complex vulnerabilities in the nexus between mobile technology and its users. Effective defense will require that FIs keep pace both with the increasing sophistication of actors and the evolving, sometimes reckless behavior of mobile bankers. By some estimates, mobile accounts for an ever-greater portion of fraud: one in 20 fraud attacks can now be traced back to a rogue mobile application. In its 2023 Mobile Banking Heists Report, mobile security company Zimperium analyzed 24,000 unique samples of mobile device malware infections and identified 29 malware families targeting 1,800 mobile banking apps. Monitoring millions of devices, it also found that 9% had been affected by malware, with banking trojans affecting a fifth of these devices. In 2023, Zimperium found troubling numbers of malware with new capabilities to evade security, avoid detection, and steal credentials.
Cleafy has unveiled technology to help proactively classify, detect and respond to new malware variants in real-time. The company employs advanced threat detection and analysis techniques, such as application and device integrity checks, and behavior-based analysis, supported by real-time AI engines. Once a new malware variant is classified, the newly isolated malware signature is immediately propagated to all instances of the Cleafy platform across its entire network.
Tokenized credentials are supposed to stop fraud by masking card account numbers when a transaction is processed, but according to Visa global losses owing to illegitimate tokens totaled $450 million last year. That’s bad enough to prompt the network to announce it is launching Visa Provisioning Intelligence, a service aimed at combatting token requests from fraudsters. The new service relies on machine learning to rate the probability that a token request is fraudulent. Machine learning models use scans of previous good and bad requests to isolate patterns that would indicate the probability of fraudulent intent, Visa says. That probability then results in the final score.
In cybersecurity, open-source tools are invaluable assets, empowering organizations to fortify their defenses against evolving threats. In this article, you will find a list of open-source cybersecurity tools that offer different capabilities, such as intrusion detection, network analysis, and vulnerability scanning.
With Cisco AI Assistant for Security, organizations can use natural language to discover policies and get rule recommendations, identify misconfigured policies, and simplify complex workflows. The Cisco AI Assistant for Security will first be implemented as part of the vendor's cloud-based Firewall Management Center and Cisco Defense Orchestrator services. Cisco’s Firewall Management Center is a centralized platform for configuring, monitoring, troubleshooting and controlling Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewalls. The orchestrator platform lets customers centrally manage, control and automate security policies across multiple cloud-native security systems.
Technology and Marketing
The author posits that embedded finance presents a viable alternative to high-budget, less-effective campaigns via SEO or Facebook ads, for instance, or what many believe are outdated marketing tactics like mail campaigns that deliver little return. He insists that embedded finance offers a reliable, efficient, and cost-effective solution that elevates community FIs’ brand across different communities and audiences and increases loan volume, while simultaneously making them more appealing to younger demographics by offering a competitive financial alternative.
The pressure to deliver immediate results has led many marketers to focus more on short-term activation strategies and less on brand building. The author insists that balancing short-term activation with long-term brand investment is crucial for lasting success. She goes on to lay out the benefits of balancing short-term activations with long-term investments.
Approximately three-quarters of consumers say they now pay for their phone, Internet, utility and credit cards online. However, despite the demand for online bill payment, many FIs struggle to offer a user-friendly and efficient platform. This article suggests that one key challenge is the lack of integration between different payment systems, making it difficult for consumers to track and manage their bills in one place. It also offers many recommendations for promoting bill pay adoption and reducing payment friction.
The Federal Reserve reported recently that some 331 institutions are now sending or receiving transactions on FedNow. Meanwhile, ever since FedNow launched in July 2023, the Real Time Payments network operated by The Clearing House Payments Company has seen a surge of interest in real-time payments. In fact, The RTP network has added 135 participants in the second half of the year alone, bringing their current total to 483.
Open banking, which allows consumers to share their banking data with authorized third-party providers, enables individuals to have a more holistic view of their financial picture. This article states that open banking is more than a technological advance; it's a shift toward financial democratization. It details the advantages of open banking for personal finance management.
According to this article, most cloud transformations are stalled in intermediate stages, with concerns around cost, lock-in, and meeting budget and timeline constraints. Less than a third meet budget and timeline expectations, indicating a significant disconnect between cloud discussions and clear business objectives. To help rectify this situation, the article reveals some secrets to mastering cloud for business.
Gartner says 2024 demand for public cloud services will surpass 2023 by more than 20%. That makes cloud computing "indispensable," one analyst says. The main trends fueling demand are generative AI and industry cloud platforms, Gartner said. Other areas of cloud computing that will experience more consumption next year include cloud application services; cloud business process services; and cloud desktop as a service.
Cloudbrink has added firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS) to its zero-trust access solution. They claim to be the first vendor to provide granular security controls all the way to the user edge for the comprehensive protection of endpoint devices. The company said that "existing firewalls were never designed with a large work-from-anywhere workforce in mind. Our FWaaS takes care of the remote users, leaving the existing firewall to do the jobs it was intended for - such as Layer 3 protection against DDoS attacks."
Deepfake technology has advanced to the point of successfully mimicking voice signals that give us vital information about a caller’s characteristics, like tone and articulation, making it nearly impossible for call center employees to detect voice fraud using traditional methods. In response, Daon has developed xSentinel which generates a signal to potential fraud that they say is more accurate than traditional audible cues, effectively stripping away the advantage that cloned voice generators provide for bad actors. Seconds after a caller begins speaking, the proprietary algorithms detect various cues that could indicate a digitally generated voice. It runs on, but does not require, Daon platforms.
Arkansas Federal Credit Union has partnered with Little Rock-based First Orion to utilize their INFORM solution. The company delivers branded calls to subscribers on all major U.S. carriers. Through First Orion’s customer portal, businesses can also manage their phone numbers and use advanced analytics to optimize their calling programs. In addition to displaying the Arkansas Federal Credit Union name on a smartphone screen, the call display also can show what CU department is calling so that members know why AFCU is calling.