Five Tech Trends to Watch

Embrace mobile services—but beware mobile malware.

May 01, 2013
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Technology continues to be a hot topic in the credit union industry. The CUNA Technology Council has identified five trends combining member services and security issues that have risen to the forefront:

1. Mobile services. Sure, smartphones are great for social networking. But they’re also solid tools for managing our finances. So mobile access to those services—and their usability—remain hot topics in 2013.

Two billion smartphones will be active worldwide by the end of the year, according to Deloitte. Credit unions must recognize consumers’ growing expectation for 24/7 access to these services from any mobile device and location.

2. Mobile malware. Given the proliferation of smartphones and downloadable applications, it’s not surprising that malware targeting mobile devices has become a common nuisance. Trend Micro estimates the number of malicious Android apps will hit one million this year.

Malware that provides unauthorized access to mobile devices— making it possible to install other malicious programs or steal personal data—is particularly troubling for financial institutions, as are the dangerous Trojans that capture mobile banking login credentials. The Zeus-like ZitMo malware, for example, infects 10,000 to 20,000 Android smartphones per week.

Financial institutions must invest in mobile malware detection and prevention, and educate members about protecting themselves.

3. BYOD (bring your own device). Nearly three-quarters of employees access corporate assets with their personal mobile devices, according to a survey by security vendor Blue Coat, yet few organizations have a BYOD policy.

Investigate technology from companies such as GOOD, Zenprise, and MobileIron that securely deliver business email and calendaring to personal devices.

4. Mobile remote deposit capture. Many credit unions have launched a triple-play mobile services strategy (WAP, APP, SMS), but they can’t be satisfied with that because members aren’t. Mobile deposit capture, mobile bill-pay, and mobile loans must be on credit unions’ radar.

A mobile payments leader will emerge soon. To be ready, credit unions should have solid, yet flexible, mobile platforms today.

5. Credit Union Financial Exchange (CUFX). Amid the furious pace of innovation and change, credit unions must continually improve their technical infrastructure to best serve members and remain competitive. Integration standards such as CUFX promise to reduce inefficiency in connecting applications.

Experts from leading credit unions and top vendors are collaborating on CUFX, a CUNA Technology Council initiative. The goal is to develop vendor-agnostic standards that make product and service integration across the credit union industry faster, easier, and less expensive.

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