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September 25, 2023

This Week's News is Sponsored by Better Branches ~



General News


Reseda Group Partners with Goalsetter to Build Next Generation of Savers, Investors, CU Members

Reseda Group, a wholly-owned CUSO of MSU Federal Credit Union, is partnering with Goalsetter to empower the education-first family finance app to deploy its next-generation platform to MSUFCU and other CUs. The platform offers smart spending, saving, investing, and financial education tools and resources.



Finastra Offers Compliance-as-a-Service Package for Instant Payments

Finastra has teamed up with financial crime specialists Fincom and ThetaRay to offer pre-packaged compliance screening for CUs delivering instant payments. Available via Mircosoft Azure, the new Compliance-as-a-Service package combines real-time sanctions screening and AI-powered anti-money laundering transaction monitoring for the FedNow Service.





Hardware News


Cisco Shapes Its Strategy for Ethernet-Based AI Networks

A core component of Cisco’s AI blueprint is its Nexus 9000 data center switches, which support up to 25.6Tbps of bandwidth per ASIC. Two technologies that enable Nexus AI-based networking are the switch’s NX-OS operating system support for Remote Direct Memory Access Over Converged Ethernet, version 2 (ROCEv2) and Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN). ROCEv2 is a high-performance network computing technology that lets data transfer directly between the memory of two devices without having to involve a server CPU. ECN essentially enables a lossless Ethernet network by monitoring for network congestion or other situations where packets could get dropped and throttling back the network to ensure that doesn’t happen.



New Chip Designs on Display at Intel Innovation 2023

Among the highlights of Intel's recent Innovation 2023 event was a preview of fifth-generation Xeon processors, which gain performance improvements and faster memory while using the same amount of power as the current generation. The Granite Rapids processor will offer two- to three-times better AI performance compared to 4th Gen Xeon. The new Sierra Forest Xeon processor, including a version with 288 E-cores, will deliver 2.5 times better rack density and 2.4 times higher performance per watt over 4th Gen Xeon.



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


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Software Updates


Salesforce Launches Next Generation of Einstein

Salesforce introduced the next generation of Einstein, its AI technology. Einstein now includes: Einstein Copilot which is an out-of-the-box conversational AI assistant built into the user experience of every Salesforce application, and Einstein Copilot Studio which is a way for organizations to build a new generation of AI-powered apps with custom prompts, skills, and AI models.



AI in Mortgages: Transforming the Lending Process

The author states that the end goal of a FI's AI rollout should be to use AI to generate a mortgage, leading the process from start to finish. He claims that his firm is able to reduce the time to complete a mortgage application from an industry average of 1-2 hours, to 8-10 minutes. His next step is is to offer a fully automated formal mortgage offer, following a completed valuation of the property, in the same time frame.





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AmeriCU Reports ITMs Can Now Be Accessed Using App Instead of Card

AmeriCU Credit Union said its interactive teller machines (ITMs) are now cardless. Members can now access all their AmeriCU accounts, make deposits and loan payments, transfer funds between accounts, and withdraw cash in multiple denominations without their debit or credit card. Instead, AmeriCU said it will send a secure access code through the AmeriCU app that will allow a member to access their account and perform a transaction.



ATM Population in the U.S. Shows Strong Growth over the past Year

ATMIA just announced the results of a recently completed project to estimate the current population of ATMs in the USA. After a significant dip in 2020, the U.S. ATM population grew by about 21,000 terminals from 2021 to the end of 2022. ATMIA now estimates the total number of active ATMs to be between 520,000 and 540,000.



KAL Intros Acquiring Host System for FIs

KAL ATM Software released its latest version of Kalgnite Terminal Host, which provides a variety of different capabilities such as end-to-end transaction processing, card scheme gateway support and security features. KTH runs on virtual servers in the cloud or on-premises, and it is also integrated with KAL's K3A app and KTC management system.



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Wireless World


Wi-Fi 7 Promises Big Leaps in Performance

The new Wi-Fi 7 standard, which is expected to be ready in 2024, is poised to deliver a big upgrade in performance over Wi-Fi 6E including theoretical speeds of over 40 Gbps. Wi-Fi 7 builds upon the foundation started with Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E but also includes 320 MHz bandwidth channels and 4K QAM modulation. It also includes a new feature, called multi-link operation (MLO) that is similar to carrier aggregation in the cellular world. ABI Research predicts Wi-Fi 7 devices (gateways, routers, extenders, etc.) will begin to hit the market this year.



The Role of Digital Wallets in Promoting Financial Inclusion

Digital wallets are electronic wallets that allow users to store and transfer money using their smartphones or other mobile devices. They can be used to make payments in stores, online, and to other people. The author is convinced that digital wallets can promote financial inclusion in a number of ways and goes on to provide examples of how digital wallets are promoting financial inclusion around the world.



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Security Section


Mastercard Leverages Its AI Capabilities to Help Fight Real-Time Payment Scams

Leveraging Mastercard’s latest AI capabilities and its unique network view of account-to-account payments, the card giant claims that it is helping FIs predict and prevent payments to scams of all types. They say that their AI-powered cybersecurity solutions have stopped over $35 billion in fraud losses in the last three years.





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Technology and Marketing


3 Ways to Reach Unbanked and Underbanked Households

In 2021, nearly 4.5% of U.S. households were unbanked, according to the FDIC. Another 14.1% were underbanked. In response, the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund created a national Bank On initiative to build on locally led partnerships to raise public awareness, target outreach, and expand access to financial education. This article looks at how 3 CUs that serve different populations — California CU, Minnequa Works CU, and Shoreline Hometown CU — are addressing the Bank On challenge and opportunity.



AI + Data + CRM = More Personalized Banking

Marketing messages about products or services often miss the mark. This article recommends that FIs change this situation by analyzing the volumes of transactional data buried in their core banking and third-party systems, combining it with insight from their CRM system, and using AI to reveal key actions. If done properly, it says that marketers can serve up laser-focused, customized offers.



Reputation Accounts for More than 63 Percent of a CU’s Value

A World Economic Forum study estimated that reputation accounted for more than 25 percent of a company’s market value. A recent global survey of 2,000 executives put that share at 63 percent. The author points out that negative publicity, ethical breaches, social justice issues, financial malfeasance or any crisis linked to reputation can lead to a loss of member trust and loyalty. He concludes that as stewards and overseers of financial risks, it’s time for CU leaders to pay strict attention to reputational risks.



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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design


Visa Launches Cross-Border Solutions for Businesses Globally

Visa, in conjunction with Currencycloud, has launched Visa Cross-Border Solutions which delivers cross-border money movement solutions for FIs, FinTechs, FX brokers, corporates, and other payment institutions. Visa Cross-Border Solutions combines its homegrown cross-border and cash management capabilities, previously known as ‘Treasury-as-a-Service’, with solutions enabled by its acquisition of Currencycloud. The Cross-Border Solutions operates on ‘B2B4X’ model: the business serves other businesses, but with a strong focus on improving end-user experience.



ACI Worldwide Collaborates with Microsoft for Faster Payments

ACI announced a collaboration with Microsoft to help FIs enable instant payments transactions faster through ACI’s Real-Time Payments Cloud (RTPC) platform. Hosted in the Microsoft Azure environment, ACI RTPC is a multi-tenant SaaS platform that provides a payments interface between FIs and instant payments infrastructure, including The Clearing House's Real-Time Payments (RTP) Network and The Federal Reserve's FedNow Service.



Open Banking Continues to Build Momentum and Create New Possibilities in Financial Services

This article states that “open banking is coming. It’s here already, and it’s going to only become more of a topic in the United States.” It suggests that by providing access to previously unavailable or unaffordable cutting-edge financial services, open banking may help level the playing field between smaller FIs and the technologically well-equipped large banks.



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Internet Access


Who Is Selling Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and What Do You Get?

The last few years have seen an explosion of interest in Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). The zero trust approach replaces the perimeter defense model with a "least privilege" framework where users authenticate to access specific data and applications, and their activities are continuously monitored. But because zero trust is a framework (described in a NIST publication) rather than a specific technology, what gets labelled as ZTNA may have more to do with marketing than technology, and different offerings have different approaches and strengths. This article takes a deep dive into ZTNA and its leading vendors.



Solana - a High Performance Blockchain Network

Blockchain networks have long been proposed as new innovative payment rails. However, for many years they have struggled to scale to support secure, high throughput, low-cost transactions that payment companies require, and consumers expect. However, Visa sees potential for their Solana blockchain network to become one of the networks that could help power mainstream payment flows. They note that Solana's unique technological advantages, including high throughput with parallel processing, low cost with localized fee markets and high resiliency with a significant number of nodes and multiple node clients, work together to create a scalable blockchain platform with a compelling value proposition for payments.




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Call Centers


Will OpenAI’s Enterprise Chatbot Put a Big Hurt on Microsoft?

Microsoft has a surprising and powerful new competitor in its attempt to dominate the generative AI market – OpenAI, the company behind Microsoft’s genAI products, in which Microsoft has invested $13 billion, and whose technology is the sole reason Microsoft has taken the lead in genAI. OpenAI’s ChatGPT Enterprise is the business version of ChatGPT, which took the world by storm after it was launched in late November 2022. It directly competes with Microsoft Bing Chat Enterprise, Microsoft’s business-focused chatbot. This article compares and contrasts the two solutions.



Robust Knowledge Management Systems Can Help Cut Costs

It seems logical that the average call time could be reduced if agents could find the answer at conversational speed without having to scroll through articles, frantically trying to find the right information. With a reduced average handle time, the contact center would be able to handle these calls with a lower headcount. There is a difference between a knowledge base and knowledge management systems. A knowledge base is a depository of articles with a search function that will bring up multiple documents based on key words or an electronic library with categories. A knowledge management system can be used with all agent channels and should have an AI component. This article goes on to lay out the key components of a robust knowledge management system and why it is essential to every contact center.