Banking News

AmBA: .bank Domain Can Strengthen Payments System May 29, 2015

The new .bank and .insurance domains coming online this year will provide an “incredible opportunity” to provide a more secure payments infrastructure, ABA and the Financial Services Roundtable said in a letter to the Federal Reserve officials leading the Fed’s faster payments initiative.

Because .bank has enhanced mandatory security requirements, it offers “a more secure place on the Internet with more protections and a tight-knight community of financial institutions than is possible in the .com world, ABmA and FSR said. The groups invited participants in the Fed’s faster payments process to “learn about the potential benefits of the .bank top level domain as a way of mitigating security concerns of using public IP infrastructure for payments.”

AmBA and FSR founded and together operate fTLD Registry Services, the financial services consortium that has been approved to operate .bank and .insurance. General registration for new .bank domains opens on June 23 at 8 p.m. EDT. This week more than 500 bankers participated in an AmBA webinar answering questions about the launch and providing advice about how to prepare for registration.

Click here to read the letter.

Click here to listen to the webinar recording and view slides.

Learn more at

Rob Nichols Named New President and CEO of ABA May 27, 2015

ABA Chairman John Ikard today announced that ABA has selected Rob Nichols to serve as the association’s new president and CEO. Nichols will join ABA later this summer upon Frank Keating's retirement after five years at the helm. Nichols, a former assistant secretary at the Treasury Department, is currently president and CEO of the Financial Services Forum.

“Rob Nichols will be a superb leader of the ABA,” said Ikard, who is also president and CEO of FirstBank Holding Co., Lakewood, Colo. “The banking industry is undergoing a great deal of change. We sought a visionary, strategic leader with demonstrated public policy acumen, a keen understanding of the entirety of the banking and financial system, and a strong track record of both strategic management and bipartisan advocacy. Rob Nichols hits the mark on all counts, and we are delighted that he will be leading our organization.”

“I am deeply honored to take on the responsibility of leading the ABA,” said Nichols. “The nation’s economic growth prospects depend on banks of all sizes and models in order to effectively serve the needs of local communities, clients and customers. The ABA is uniquely positioned to rigorously make this case to legislative, regulatory and administration audiences. I look forward to the opportunity of serving the ABA and will work tirelessly with members and the state bankers associations to improve the public policy environment in which all banks operate.”

Ikard saluted Keating for his service, noting that he “accepted this position during very difficult and trying economic times for our nation and for our nation’s banks” and “did a superb job of rallying our members, celebrating the key role they play in the vitality of their communities and the economy as a whole.”

Prior to leading the Financial Services Forum, Nichols was for more than four years assistant secretary of the Treasury for public affairs during the George W. Bush administration. He was previously communications director for the Electronics Industries Alliance and a senior aide on Capitol Hill.

AmBA Issues Analysis of Shelby Reg Relief Proposal May 19, 2015

On Friday, AmBA issued a detailed analysis of the regulatory relief proposal from Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), which is expected to be voted on by the committee later this week.

AmBA and other trade groups sent a letter to the committee on Friday thanking Shelby for introducing the bill and describing it as an “important step toward addressing the statutory and regulatory obstacles that stymie banks and credit unions from more fully serving the diverse financial needs of American consumers.”

Click here to read the analysis. Click here to read the letter.

Webinar to Cover Registration Process for .bank Domains May 19, 2015

AmBA will hold a free webinar on preparing for the rollout of the .bank domain on Tuesday, May 26, from 1-2 p.m. EDT. The webinar will cover what bankers need to know about the launch process, including trademarks, reserved names, the pre-verification process, domain redirects, registration and implementation. More information about the process is available at

Click here to sign up for the webinar.

ABA Tips, Infographic Help Customers Avoid ‘Card Cracking’ Scam May 19, 2015

ABA yesterday released an infographic containing tips to help bank customers avoid becoming accomplices in a growing “card cracking” scam. Card cracking, which originates online on social media platforms and targets young consumers, is estimated to have cost banks $11.6 million in stolen funds.

Card cracking happens when a fraudster reaches out to a bank customer promising quick cash. The customer provides account credentials to the scammer, who then deposits a fake check in the customer’s account. The fraudster then makes an immediate ATM withdrawal, sharing some of the funds with the customer. Meanwhile, the customer is instructed to report the card or credentials lost or stolen so that the bank will reimburse the stolen money -- making the customer a criminal accomplice.

To help customers avoid card cracking scams, bankers can advise customers to avoid online solicitations for easy money, never to share an account number or PIN, never to file a false fraud claim with a bank and to report suspicious social media posts connected to scams. Click here to view the infographic.

Report: Banks Are Most Trusted to Safeguard Data April 30, 2015

Banks are the institutions customers trust most to safeguard their personal data, according to a report this week from Accenture that also saw banks’ relationships with their customers becoming less branch-dependent and more transactional.

Eighty-six percent trust their bank “over all other institutions” when it comes to data security. Seven percent said they trusted payments providers most, and one or two percent each said they most trusted mobile phone companies, online retailers, technology companies, social media networks and broadband providers.

The report also found that customers are becoming less dependent on their local bank branch. Only 19 percent said they would switch to a different bank if their local branch closed. Forty-three percent said they would use a different branch; 16 percent said they would primarily switch to other channels of their primary bank, such as ATMs and online banking; and 11 percent said they do not use a branch at all with their primary bank.

However, as customers become less invested in the branch user experience, they are increasingly relying on their bank for transactional purposes such as paying bills and managing cashflow, compared to “relationship-driven” services such as financial advising, personal loans and brokerage. Nearly eight in 10 reported that their bank relationship is defined by transactional activities, up eight points from 2014 to 2015. Read the report.

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The Arkansas Banker

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Office Depot Discount Program

Click here to learn how to sign up for a national discount program from Office Depot.