Links Digest for August 23rd

August 23, 2010
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Personal Financial Management Tool Usage Trails Consumer Interest, Fiserv Research Shows – MarketWatch
Research that shows consumers are very interested in personal financial management (PFM) tools, which enable them to track and analyze their spending and create budgets. However, while interest in PFM is high, actual usage remains quite low.

However, while interest in PFM is high, actual usage remains quite low, indicating potential for growth.Nearly 40 percent of the consumers surveyed indicated that PFM tools would be beneficial to managing their finances, yet only 15 percent of consumers had used a PFM service in the past 90 days

Livewire: Cash, Card or Mobile, Sir? Mobile Payments revolution has begun!
Mobile payments is a very broad space today. We can broadly classify all of the Mobile Payments initiatives in 4 main tracks namely:

-Mobile Commerce (purchasing digital & physical goods through the mobile phone)

-Mobile P2P payments & Money Transfers

-Mobile POS Payments (ex: Tap & Pay)

-Mobile Banking & Bill Pay

Each of these tracks have attained different levels of maturity across the world today and some of them like Mobile Banking have much more wide spread adoption than the others. Some parts of the world have made advancements in these areas than the rest.

Is choice paralysis damaging your e-commerce sales? | Econsultancy
Choice paralysis is a well-known problem in retail. Numerous tests in supermarkets have shown that if you offer a customer too many varieties they are less likely to buy than if there are only a few.
Bank of the West Launches Mobile Banking | Business Wire
The free mobile service is available to Bank of the West’s online banking customers. Through texting, registered customers can send simple text commands, such as ‘BAL’ to request their account balances, to BKWST (or 25978). Using their phone browser, customers can also use mobile web to manage their finances at www.botw.com.

In addition to the mobile Web and text banking services announced today, Bank of the West also recently launched a peer-to-peer payments service – POPMoney, allowing customers to use online banking to send money directly to individuals. POPMoney simplifies the money delivery process, eliminating the need for cash or checks, and enabling the sender to make payments using an email address, cell phone number or bank account information.

Bank of America Redesigns Email Alerts (NetBanker)
On August 9, Bank of America redesigned its email alerts. The biggest change was repositioning, renaming, and highlighting a security feature, “last login time.” The info is now in a prominent gray box at the top called the Security Checkpoint. Previously, it was buried in the middle of the left-hand column.
BofA and Visa to test cell phone payments | Reuters
Bank of America Corp, the largest U.S. consumer bank, and Visa Inc, the world's largest payment processor, plan to begin a test program next month that lets customers use smartphones to pay for purchases in stores.

The program will allow select New York-area employees and customers to install small chips, supplied by Visa and its technology vendors, in their smartphones that emit radio signals over very short distances.
,br>Customers would then "bump" their phones with point-of-sale devices in stores — actually they need only wave the phones near the devices — and their bank account data would be collected and their purchases completed.

WePay Brings Hassle-Free Group Payments Platform To Facebook
WePay is a dead simple way to collect, manage and spend money for groups. WePay, which launched to the public earlier this year, of course faces competition from online payments giant PayPal.

But there is a slight difference between the two platforms. With PayPal, your account is tied to your name, without any way to separate the payments associated with a group. On WePay, you can create a unique, FDIC insured account for each group. While the account is still associated with your name, but you can keep each group account totally separate from your personal transactions. Group money can essentially be kept separate from any individual accounts you may have. You can also designate specific individuals to have control over accounts.

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