Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Launching Concord: R3 CEV, a startup tech company that is working with more than 60 banks to build a new banking infrastructure system using blockchain technology, filed for a patent. Concord, as the project is called, aspires to be "a universal platform connecting bank operations within firms and across rival firms. It is aimed at digitizing and speeding up so-called middle- and back-office functions, like clearing and settling securities trades, registering a variety of assets and keeping track of cash balances," the Wall Street Journal reports. "If it comes together, the platform could help banks streamline cumbersome operations, lower the costs of maintaining them, and realize billions of dollars in savings." Wall Street Journal, American Banker
Wall Street Journal
Mobile banking hacks: The FBI and federal banking regulators are looking into the growing number of cyber thefts through mobile phones. Cyber thieves are using malware programs like Acecard and GM Bot to steal banking credentials from consumers when they access their bank accounts through their cell phones. Mobile phones are considered particularly vulnerable to hacking because consumers usually don't install malware protection on them.
JP Morgan names cloud executive: JPMorgan Chase has created a new executive position to lead it into the cloud. The bank tapped Harish Grama, most recently head of software development for IBM's cloud unit, as its new chief information officer for cloud services.
Meet Zelle: U.S. banks have come up with a new name for their person-to-person mobile payment service: Zelle. But don't get used to it: the name could still change "if last-minute difficulties arise," people familiar with the matter said. The service, which allows consumers to send money to each other using their mobile phones, is expected to launch at a payments-industry conference in October.
Blockchain good: Having overcome their skepticism about the technology behind bitcoin, "big banks now see huge potential benefits from harnessing the blockchain to make the existing financial system more efficient," the Financial Times says. "In today's banking world, it is all about cost savings, as they are all struggling with low returns and that is why they are all locking on to the blockchain," notes Richard Lumb, head of financial services at consultant Accenture. (THe FT had another article on Blockchain here).
New York Times
IRAs for Uber drivers: Uber is teaming up with Betterment, the robo financial adviser, to offer individual retirement accounts for some of its drivers. Drivers in Boston, Chicago, Seattle and New Jersey are the only ones eligible so far. The accounts are free of fees for the first year. "This is a realization of our mission to bring retirement planning and advice to millions of Americans," said Jon Stein, Betterment's founder.
Marcus will make money: William D. Cohan, the former Goldman Sachs banker turned financial writer, offers his take on the bank's new online consumer bank, dubbed Marcus. "It is not just coincidence that after 147 years of serving institutions and the ultra-wealthy, Goldman Sachs has decided that it will start catering to the common man: It is opportunism borne of necessity," Cohan writes. Back in the good — or bad, depending on your perspective — old days, individuals needed a minimum of $10 million to be a Goldman client. Now it will be happy to lend you $20,000, but it will still be wildly profitable. "Just remember that Goldman has never been, and will never be, a charitable organization," Cohan observes.