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Posted: Oct 11, 2017
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Author: Lou Grilli

Should Credit Unions Renew?

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published on CU Insight and has been modified.]

It’s hard to believe that three years has passed since Apple surprised the mobile payments world by stating that iPhone 6 users can make payments with the touch of a finger, beginning on October 20, 2014. About 500 credit unions and banks were among the initial issuers who agreed to a three-year term to participate, meaning their contracts are coming up for renewal. Many financial institutions signed on shortly thereafter. According to PYMNTS.com, the terms of the contract required the issuers to give up to Apple a half penny for every debit transaction or 0.15 percent of every credit transaction conducted through Apple Pay. These fees were over and above charges already assessed by the card networks and the processors. But those financial institutions, mostly larger or forward thinking credit unions and banks, wanted to be on the forefront of what was highly touted to be the evolution to the long-awaited “year of the mobile payments.”

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Posted: Sep 14, 2017
Comments: 0
Author: Tom Davis

No, really, we have!

The dream of leaving your leather wallet at home and using other form factors for payments, primarily smartphones, has been the dream of analysts and prognosticators for many years. Every year, at least one publication stakes the claim that the next year will finally be that year.
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Posted: Sep 6, 2017
Comments: 1
Author: Lou Grilli

An update on where we are with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin was once viewed as a promising alternative to the US dollar and other fiat currencies that are controlled by federal governments or national banks. Bitcoin was appealing and newsworthy because it offers near real-time transfer of value (compared to 1-3 days for a bank settlement), anonymity, and virtually free transactions versus credit card merchant charges of 1-3%.

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Posted: Aug 24, 2017
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli

But, that’s all about to change to the delight of smartphone users.

Entering a PIN on a physical pad of numbered buttons has just surpassed being a 50-year old technology, created with the first ATMs. The current security requirements around PIN management and transmission, ISO 9564, dates to 1991.

Today’s smartphone users are accustomed to tapping PINs on their screens, to unlock the phone and access mobile banking. But to make a debit transaction, the consumer still needs to press the buttons on the PIN pad. Security certification of dedicated hardware-based PIN pads assured that the PIN could not be compromised, and could be transmitted securely. “PIN on glass” implies entering PINs on many different phones, tablets, built-in screens on gas pumps, kiosks, etc. This represents a new challenge, because these screens are inherently software devices that potentially can be modified remotely, infiltrated by malware, or hijacked by fraudsters.

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Posted: Aug 2, 2017
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli

It could happen.

There’s been lots of hype claiming that Zelle, the recently launched P2P service by several major banks and credit unions, is the “Venmo killer”, alluding to the fact that financial institutions are staving off the onslaught of tech companies looking to make inroads into the banking industry.

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