New technologies and some tried-and-true service

So today I’m writing about work — well I’m writing about my perspective on the stuff I write about for work.

I’ve been infused, invigorated and inspired with some much-needed creative bursts — likely triggered by my company’s expected launch of a new mobile-banking portal. I’ve actually enjoyed thinking about what this site could be and how I can work to fulfill some personal goals or missions through the site’s story angles and coverage.

In my last post, I mentioned Uganda and underserved women there whom a friend was trying to help. (And when I write ‘underserved,’ I mean underserved from a banking perspective. The term typically refers to people who either have limited or no access to traditional banking accounts/services.) Today, I write about mobile banking, and how I see it being a catalyst for serving underbanked populations in places like Uganda.

So many possibilities exist for this banking channel — it’s really exciting!

I’m currently working on a study, geared more toward the U.S. market, that examines the role mobile banking is expected to play in the overall financial landscape over the next 24 months. More to come soon!

I won’t go into too much about all of that here, but as a consumer, I LOVE my mobile alerts. I get balance updates every morning that include the transactions that ran through the account the previous day. If something appears awry, I can address it. Think about how user-friendly and intuitive that is — esp. when one considers an underserved user, who might be intimidated by call centers or tellers.

Anywho, I’m feeling good about all of it from business and personal perspectives. I also have another trip to Africa (this time, Cape Town) on the books for the fall. I think I’ll have some good stuff to write about when I get there. Stay tuned!

This whole mobile movement is interesting, but I still take pleasure in the fundamental role the ATM plays. I mean: Let’s hope that when I get to Africa this time that my ATM card works. Yes, of all people on the planet (the editor of ATMmarketplace.com), I couldn’t get my card to work — and what a mess! I use the ATM every time I travel overseas as a way to get local currency, and I use it when I’m home for deposits, withdrawals, etc. I love it. I use it when I want to — regardless of whether the branch is open.

And I’m not the only one.

Case in point: I hit my local Chase branch last week to deposit some cash. It was during regular biz hours, so I did not think rolling up to the drive-thru ATM would be an issue. Everybody else would be using the tubed tellers, right? WRONG!!!!!!!!!! The one ATM had a five-car wait, while the tubed lines were completely open.

I wasn’t going to wait, so I wheeled up to the tube. What a PAIN!

My thinking on the way: Automated deposits = no need for a deposit slip or envelope. I just put in what I need and with my card info select the account and the transaction. At the tube, I can’t do that. I have to explain what I want to a teller, who is not pleased with my lack of deposit slips. Huffily she calls through the mic: ‘What do you want me to do with this?? DEposiT?’ I reply, ‘Yes,’ thinking that was obvious, esp. since I included the checkbook with the cash when I sent it through the tube.

I understood her frustration more clearly when, along with my deposit receipt and checkbook, she included a freakin’ stack of deposit slips in the cylinder she shot back at me. She needed a vacay day, all I’m sayin’!

Well, I suppose a mix of the work stuff in my posts is not so bad. It’s something to write about, right?

Till next time!

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