The must-add list keeps getting longer, with everything from digital wallets to mobile remote deposit capture emerging as 2013 must adds for credit unions that are determined to stay relevant

But know this: there are even more “out there” ideas that, frankly, may not be quite ready for prime time … but they definitely deserve a spot on your watch list.

Two ideas seem especially ripe to me, and both revolve around a fundamental question: How does a financial institution know who you are?

What if you could sign into mobile banking with no login required? No username. No password.  Rich Bolstridge, chief strategist, financial services at Internet traffic company Akamai told me he sees exactly this coming as financial institutions race to up the usability and convenience of their mobile tools.

And anybody who has tried to input a lengthy password involving numbers, letters and other characters and upper and lower case knows exactly how treacherous that task is on a mobile phone. 

The idea of 86-ing passwords may not be crazy.  For starters, said Bolstridge, the vast preponderance of mobile logins are to grab a quick bit of rather harmless information (what’s my account balance? Did check 244 clear?).  We may not exactly want that information on the front page of the New York Times, but would it matter?

So, posited Bolstridge, what if a credit union required no login for a barebones visit – but if you want to do mobile bill pay or P2P payments, then a regular log in would be required?

Bolstridge pointed to Commonwealth Bank of Australia which already is offering a no login option.

This no login ante gets upped, dramatically, with the work that OneID is doing to eliminate use of usernames and passwords. The idea here is to embed an encrypted login into the mobile device.  Credit unions with the appropriate back-end technology would instantly know who is logging in and what accounts they will be allowed to see, said Jim Fenton, chief security officer at OneID.

Don’t dismiss this as crazy.  CUNA Strategic Services has announced an alliance with OneID where CUNA is promoting the technology to credit unions.

OneID also has flexibility. Want to require some kind of traditional login before any money is transferred out of the account? Additional verifications are a user selected option.

For now, Fenton admitted OneID has no active credit union users.  But, he said, “We are in active discussions with some credit unions.”

Accept this fact: conversations about simplifying, maybe eliminating, mobile logins are certain to get louder in 2013 and credit unions at the forefront of delivering member convenience will want to stay ahead of this curve

Then there is Photo ID by smartphone, a potentially revolutionary identification idea that Mitek CEO Jim DeBello is peddling.  DeBello’s mantra is use the camera that is built into every phone as the ultimate data entry solution.  It’s easy, fast, and – unlike typing on a smartphone’s glass – it is close to foolproof.

It may radically transform how – and how fast – new accounts are on-boarded. 

“We are leveraging consumer habits and letting the camera act as a keyboard,” DeBello said in an interview.

Already, Progressive Insurance is using a variation of the Mitek program which – from the Progressive mobile app – snaps a photo of an insurance applicant’s driver’s license and uses that data to populate Progressive’s quoting app.  In an instant, the user gets a valid quote from the insurer. How easy is that?

Mitek has counted some 197 formats for government-issued drivers licenses in the U.S. and it has concocted tools for extracting the right information and putting it in the right place, said DeBello.

DeBello now is seeking to license that technology to more kinds of institutions – think credit unions, credit card companies, and the like. 

Just about any place that uses a driver’s license as a cornerstone of identification might see value in building this snap and go tool into an app, suggested DeBello.  “We will get traction with this in 2013,” said DeBello