10 Banking Trends for 2016 | US News

Things are changing in the banking industry. Some banks are ahead of the curve, most still try to continue using the old banking business model, but adding in some updates. So what’s ahead for banking? U.S. News spoke to four financial and banking experts, and here are 10 trends they said to watch for in 2016:

  1. Fewer people will head to branches. The number of people going to branches has decreased. According to one analyst, four in ten Americans haven’t visited a branch in the last six months, which is higher than 18 months earlier. Watch the number continue to rise as more people do their banking online, on their phone, or at ATMs.
  2. The digital and branch experience will merge. Banks are looking for more ways to integrate banking on a phone with banking in a branch. Banks will start to connect the digital experience. For example, you may start an application online, realize you need help, and then finish it at the branch.
  3. Branches will start to go digital. Some branches are already doing this by giving tellers tablets so they can meet with customers informally in the lobby or in private offices instead of at the counter. Other branches are installing self-serve kiosks or video ATMS connected to a remote teller.
  4. Investment options at the bank aren’t likely to expand. But that isn’t necessarily the right move for banks. For example, according to one expert, HSAs are growing rapidly, yet only 2,300 of the nations 12,000 banks and credit unions offer HSA options.
  5. Savings account interest rates should go up, but you won’t get rich. Even though the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, savings accounts are not tied to the prime rate. However, rates still may have a modest increase.
  6. Banks could start charging for convenience. Because of pressure to keep fees down, banks have to find other ways to make money. So be on the lookout for new fees for convenience services, such as remote check deposits and expedited payments.
  7. Online banking will remain popular but won’t replace branches. Even though less and less people visit bank branches, visiting a teller remains the most common way for people to access their account. Online-only banks have less fees and may become more popular, but they won’t replace the branches completely.
  8. Mobile payments will continue to make in-roads. Even though you see ads about the benefits of Apple Pay or Android Pay, not many people use them yet. Part of the reason is that retailers have been a little slow to sign on. However, this may be the year it becomes more common and smaller companies start to accept mobile payments now that more big merchants are doing so.
  9. Regional banks will get in on mobile deposits. Large, national banks have had the ability to remote deposit checks for a few years. But in the next 12 months expect more regional banks and large credit unions give their customers the ability to snap a photo of a check and instantly deposit it.
  10. Chip cards may finally see some action. There was a lot of hullabaloo about banks switching over to chip cards last year, but you probably haven’t used your new card much at the checkout. That’s because some merchants may not have the right payment terminals. Watch for merchants to update their systems and be prepared to start inserting your card into a terminal rather than swiping it.

For the full article from U.S. News, click here.

Identity Thieves Hack IRS. Again.

In an attempt to file fraudulent tax returns, identity thieves hacked IRS computer systems once again. In a statement from the IRS, they said they halted an attack attempting to access PIN information. An E-file PIN is used in some instances to electronically file tax returns.

The identity thieves stole social security numbers outside of the IRS, and, using that information, they attempted to create E-file PINs. No data was compromised or disclosed on the IRS computer systems.

They identified 464,000 unique social security numbers used in the unauthorized attempts, of which 101,000 were used to successfully access an E-file PIN. The IRS will notify affected taxpayers by mail that their SSN were used in the attempt and have marked their accounts to protect against any tax-related identity theft.

Last week the IRS had a systemwide computer failure and could not accept many tax returns. The IRS said in their statement that this incident is not related or connected to the outage last week.

In 2015 the IRS had a massive data breach that led to $50 million in bogus tax refunds. A later report found that the computer system the IRS used to detect identity theft may have been vulnerable to hackers.

For the full statement from the IRS, click here.