Blog

Featuring commentary from the editors of Bank Systems & Technology, as well as other bank technology industry experts.

Zeus-Based Malware Targets Mobile Banking
September 28, 2010 @ 16:48 PM | By Penny Crosman

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Cost Accounting - a Term as Foreign to Bankers as a Profitable Trust Department
September 28, 2010 @ 10:29 AM | By Art Gillis

I checked with Mr. Campbell, and just as I thought, he knows exactly how many pieces of carrots, potatoes, celery, peas, onions and green beans go into a can of vegetable soup. Even after enhancing it with sea salt and macaroni, and at a sale price of $1.00 per can, Mr. Campbell makes 15 cents net. That's good pricing.

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Can RIM's PlayBook Take on the iPad?
September 28, 2010 @ 09:57 AM | By Penny Crosman

Research in Motion previewed its new iPad-challenging PlayBook tablet yesterday; the device will launch early next year. In a video, the company shows the small (5.1" by 7.6") and lightweight (less than a pound) tablet being used for fun and business — to store music, photos, presentations, movies, contacts, and documents, for instant messaging, for making travel reservations.

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Wholesale Credit Union Failures: Painful Implications All Around
September 26, 2010 @ 21:09 PM | By Bill Bradway

The ink is barely dry on the latest round of multi-billion dollar government-assisted failures.

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First Direct CEO Says Social Media Networks Good for Seeing 'Gripes' and 'Niggles'
September 23, 2010 @ 10:57 AM | By Penny Crosman

In an article for Reuters, Matt Colebrook, CEO of first direct, an online banking subsidiary of HSBC, describes the future of banking, and social media will play a large part in it, he feels. "Social media carries fluffy connotations as it is often looked upon as something of a fad," he writes in the article. "The question on the lips of every skeptic is ‘What's the ROI of a social media strategy?'"

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Price of Stolen Credit Card Data Has Dropped to $1.50
September 22, 2010 @ 09:33 AM | By Penny Crosman

The good news for those shopping for stolen credit card data, according to a blog by former Washington Post reporter Brian Krebs, is that competition has driven down the typical price to $1.50 per card. The bad news, he says, is that these black-market sites have begun tacking on fees.

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When I'm Wrong, It Really Hurts
September 21, 2010 @ 13:41 PM | By Art Gillis

I'm very grateful to the reader who corrected me about the CIO of Wells Fargo. Admittedly, I lack international sophistication and therefore the name Avid I presumed was male because 99.9% of all bank CIOs are male.

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IT Innovation in Banking — Not Easy to Find
September 21, 2010 @ 10:48 AM | By Art Gillis

I like all kinds of "beauty contests" announcing the best of class in anything. But mostly because it allows me to play critic. For example, this is me, "They must have been downing too many shots to pick this guy as MVP." Or, "You certainly don't need good looks to be a great singer." Or, "That actor must have a great agent to have been cast for that part." So it was with great interest that I pored over InformationWeek's 22nd Annual Ranking of the most innovative companies. I like IW for its diversity in reporting. After reading the first issue decades ago, I declared it the Time magazine of IT affairs. They used to carry human interest stories, and therefore published one of mine in 2002 about stressed out IT workers. The title was, "Coping With a Bevy of Turmoil, Step by Step." My title was "Have Ya Evah Had Your Kneecap Licked By A Dog?" I don't know what it was about 2002, but even the ABA Banking Journal interviewed me about "Easing Technology's Stress Points." Compared to now, 2002-style stress was a walk in the park.

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Software Analyst: Oracle Database Could Be Source of JPMorgan Chase Online Banking Outage
September 20, 2010 @ 11:43 AM | By Penny Crosman

Software analyst Curt Monash has offered an explanation for the JPMorgan outage last week, in which online and mobile banking were down for more than 24 hours. The bank itself said on Friday that a third-party database company’s software had caused a corruption of systems information, disabling its ability to process customer log-ins to chase.com.

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Chase Public Apology Addresses Online Banking Outage
September 16, 2010 @ 18:08 PM | By Matt Gunn

Several days after an extended online banking outage affected some 16.5 million customers, New York-based Chase issued a public apology on its website.

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Chase Public Apology Addresses Online Banking Outage
September 16, 2010 @ 17:56 PM | By Matt Gunn

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Basel III Should Make Banks Rethink Risk, Collateral Management Systems, Celent Report Says
September 16, 2010 @ 14:15 PM | By Penny Crosman

In a report, Celent analysts say the new Basel III capital rules will require banks' IT and operations departments to take a new took at the technology they use for credit and risk modeling, collateral management, liquidity management and stress tests.

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IDC Examines Why Some Mobile Payment Models Succeed
September 15, 2010 @ 16:37 PM | By Penny Crosman

Clues to how PayPal, MasterCard, Zoompass and others make it work.

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Chase's Online Banking Outage Shows it's Not About the Medium, but the Message
September 14, 2010 @ 18:26 PM | By Matt Gunn

At some point Tuesday the status message on Chase's online banking site went from "scheduled system maintenance" to "temporarily unavailable." One way or another, Chase is working to resolve what a spokesman called a "technical issue" that's left online banking customers without service since sometime Monday evening.

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If a Bank Doesn't Have the Best Commercial Loan System It Might as Well be Using an NCR Post-Tronic
September 14, 2010 @ 14:42 PM | By Art Gillis

One reason why I'm using this blog to announce the importance of the commercial loan (CL) module of core systems is that not many people know it's the most valuable application in the suite. Here's a case in point. During my seminars for bank tech vendors, it is clear that the best people show up. It's as if my announcement said, "Don't send your rookies." Early on, as an attention grabber, I use the following hypothetical situation: "You are invited to make a 15-minute presentation to a body of astute bankers who are evaluating core systems. They are using this method to quickly trim a large list of core brands (68) to a manageable list of five. What are you going to pitch during your fifteen minutes in order to assure your company will be selected as one of the five?"

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India Bringing Mobile Banking to Every Village
September 14, 2010 @ 09:59 AM | By Penny Crosman

In several recent speeches and press conferences, Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty has vigorously advocated improving bank technology to help the "common people" and the unbanked. He said yesterday at a press conference that he is working on a plan to cover every village with mobile banking services by 2015. In this case, "mobile banking" means a bank-operated vehicle that rolls into a neighborhood and provides basic services such as deposits and withdrawals.

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JPMorgan, UBS Said to Be Considering Letting Employees Use iPhones
September 13, 2010 @ 11:59 AM | By Penny Crosman

According to Bloomberg News, some large banks, including JPMorgan and UBS, are considering officially allowing employees to use the Apple iPhone for corporate email, for the first time allowing a mobile alternative to the BlackBerry.

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What Do Customer Centricity and Risk Management Have in Common?
September 13, 2010 @ 10:20 AM | By Bill Bradway

Some readers may consider this question an oxymoron while others may be puzzled by the fact that there could be common attributes that link customer centricity and risk management.

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Apple's Relaxed App Review Guidelines Offer Flexibility to iPad, iPhone Mobile Banking App Developers
September 10, 2010 @ 11:09 AM | By Penny Crosman

Yesterday, Apple debuted new review guidelines for iPhone and iPad applications. These App Store reviews have been a mixed blessing for developers of mobile banking applications — on the one hand, the review process takes time and some developers have been frustrated at being rejected for violation of an Apple rule; on the other, the App Store hasn't been filled with fake banking apps the way the Android Marketplace has.

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Is Goldman's $27 Million FSA Fine A Call for Better Risk Management Software?
September 09, 2010 @ 10:20 AM | By Penny Crosman

Today, the U.K.'s Financial Services Authority fined Goldman Sachs $27.1 million for "failure to ensure that it had in place adequate systems and controls to enable it to comply with its U.K. regulatory reporting obligations." Essentially, no one told the compliance department of Goldman's U.K. arm, GSI, about the SEC's investigation of Goldman's Abacus 2007-AC1 synthetic collateralized debt obligation, and therefore the compliance department did not notify the FSA, its regulator.

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2010 Was Supposed to be the Beginning of Banking's Recovery - It Wasn't
September 07, 2010 @ 11:43 AM | By Art Gillis

Bank earnings are shrinking; bank failures are growing (20% more than last year at the end of this eighth month); bank customers (retail and commercial) aren't making good on their loans; Chairwoman Bair's troubled list (829) is growing; Chairman Bernanke continues to report the weak economy isn’t going to end soon and yet he can't find a better bailout; the wrists of too-big-to-fail banks are broken from all the congressional penalty slaps; bank tech vendors are reporting flat revenues; bank IT budgets have a new name — "feed don't seed." And from India last week, the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank casts a dark shadow by proclaiming that banking technology has not improved productivity and efficiency. The Internet must have loved the speech because it's everywhere.

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Citi's Martin Kennedy Shares His Fondness for the IBM z196
September 03, 2010 @ 10:47 AM | By Penny Crosman

In a rare public display of affection for hardware, Citi's managing director of enterprise systems infrastructure Martin Kennedy, has divulged to InformationWeek's Bob Evans his admiration and high hopes for IBM's new water-cooled z196 mainframe, one of which the bank recently purchased.

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New Report Seeks to Define 'Engagement Banking'
September 02, 2010 @ 12:07 PM | By Matt Gunn

The customer is changing. And so is their relationship with the bank. And if the bank can't adapt, the consequences could be dire.

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Grameen Grows Its Microfinance Platform on Amazon's Cloud
September 01, 2010 @ 11:41 AM | By Penny Crosman

We've recorded recently how Grameen Foundation — a U.S.-based nonprofit that builds on the work of Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus to try to "enable the poor to create a world without poverty" through microfinance (very small loans, such as $500) — has enlisted the help of SunGard and ThoughtWorks to scale up its Mifos platform. Mifos is essentially a core banking platform for microfinance institutions, and the organization has brought on four new institutions in the last four months. In an interview a few days ago with George Conard, executive director of Grameen Foundation’s Technology for Microfinance initiative, I learned that Mifos also runs on Amazon's EC2, which provides scalability in terms of compute resources — theoretically a company can run an application on as many of Amazon's computers as it wants, on demand.

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