News & Commentary
Content posted in February 2006
Chapter 2 on "info@"
News  |  2/28/2006  | 
Art Gillis info@ is not just a business concern of mine. I need it for more important matters, such as proving to my sweet wife that I can do anything on the Internet. Somehow she lives happily, relying on the New York Times and the New Yorker. Recently she complained that her favorite honey was no longer on the shelves of her favorite gourmet grocery stores. Typical of a know-it-all consultant, I responded with, "Go to Whole Foods, they'll have it."
Commerce to Offer Free Wealth Management
News  |  2/28/2006  | 
Commerce runs the gamut from free coin-counting to free online wealth management.
Does "info@" work for you? It's like the black hole of Calcutta for me.
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
To say that I surf the Internet would be a lie. I prefer to say I seek information from the Internet for worthwhile business purposes. And besides, whenever I go to the beach in Florida or California (there's no surf at my cottage on the north shore of Cape Cod) I never feel as though I relate to the lean, young, blond, WASPish teenagers who practically walk on water. And besides, they're having fun. When I'm on the Internet, I'm working. So now I hope I have set the stage of one grumpy old
Courtesy Calls
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
BOK Financial connects with customers and decreases charge-offs with Par3 solution.
SOA and Grid
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
The emergence of service-oriented architecture and grid computing offers banks the promise of a flexible, scalable IT infrastructure. But creating an open architecture doesn't come without challenges, such as upgrading legacy systems and chang
Some Things Are More Important Than Money
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
Like many financial institutions, technology vendors, suppliers and service firms still are recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Inside the Firewall
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
Bank security expert hobnobs with actor playing a bank security expert.
Planning for Continuity
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
Rather than rely on disaster recovery plans to pick up the pieces after a business disruption, banks are shifting their focus to business continuity plans to keep operations running through a disaster.
Health or Savings (But not Both)
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
Banks are being given the chance to get a lift from the multibillion-dollar opportunity offered by health savings accounts (HSAs).
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
JPMorgan Chase improves cash management site with configuration management tool.
Sleeping With the Enemy
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
For banks, technology is a weapon that can cut both ways when competing with nonbanks.
Pay It Forward
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
Taking SOX to the Next Level
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
It's time to start looking at Sarbanes-Oxley in a more positive light.
All-Transaction Machines?
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
While nonbanks expand the functionality of their ATMs, traditional banks move more cautiously.
Stepping Closer to SEPA
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
EBA Clearing takes on pan-European direct debit challenge.
Barclays Inks Support Deal With Getronics
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
Agreement prepares bank for future desktop changes.
Back to the Future
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
Banks are revisiting biometrics, study says.
Amex Signs Innovative Deal With Sun
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
Licensing pegged to number of employees.
Banks Benefit as Authentication Providers Duke It Out
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
Authentication vendors RSA Security and Vasco Data Security help stem online fraud.
The Devil’s in the Details: Complying With the PATRIOT Act
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
FinCEN rule calls for enhancement of processes, which will require monitoring technology, customer intelligence and communication.
Hoboken Revisited
News  |  2/27/2006  | 
New Jersey-based retail banking innovator Commerce Bank was about to open a branch in Hoboken.
Careers: Keeping Older Tech Workers On The Job Longer
News  |  2/23/2006  | 
Nearly a third of all U.S. workers will soon be over the age of 50, and nearing retirement. Combine that with fewer young people entering tech careers, and that leaves a skills and staff gap that older workers can fill.
Charles Schwab To Cover All Fraud Losses
News  |  2/22/2006  | 
The online broker issues a guarantee against losses from unauthorized account access, the latest online trader to try and calm customer jitters about phishing scams.
Former FTC Chair Defends Card Industry in House Testimony
News  |  2/21/2006  | 
Merchants seek transparency and competition in interchange rates – or is it just a payoff they're seeking?
The Black Hole of Little White Lies
News  |  2/21/2006  | 
by Art Gillis That was the title of last night's meeting at the Dallas chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants. And what a great job Tim Mazur did. He's the VP of Ethics at Countrywide Financial Corp. His presentation consisted of 29 PowerPoint slides. They were all worthy of careful study. Boiling it down to a few things that I want to keep in mind for myself, I offer this oversimplification to you: • Be guided by the "right thing to do." Sort of the way your mom taugh
If your IT outsource company is charging you more than $1.08 per DDA account per month, then you're being ripped off.
News  |  2/21/2006  | 
by Art Gillis I have nothing more to say on the subject, except that the processing of an average DDA account (22 transactions) is a commodity, like a gallon of gasoline. Unlike gasoline, however, tech vendors achieve economic advantages from scale, improved technologies, and a never-ending reserve of capacity. As a result, the price of a DDA hasn't changed (shouldn't have changed) in years regardless of COLA increases.
Quest For Compliance
News  |  2/17/2006  | 
Searching for products that will help satisfy government regulations? Many vendors claim to have all the answers, but just try to find a marketing rep willing to get into specifics about how the technology maps to particular elements of specific regulations.
If your name is on the company letterhead, take a long term sabbatical
News  |  2/16/2006  | 
by Art Gillis Sorry founders, it's not your fault, but I think it was destined to be. The man and the company are two different things. Today I read a press release about Perot Systems. I read several executive names, not one of which was Perot. H. Ross Perot probably deserves credit as not only the founder of EDS and Perot Systems, but the "founder" of outsourcing. Even IBM didn't know that was a business. Now it represents over 50% of what IBM does. And even Ross's son didn't do much g
It's the number of accounts vendors love, not the balances
News  |  2/15/2006  | 
by Art Gillis As of 11:00 AM Central Standard Time on February 15, 2006, Art Gillis updated the Number of U.S. Bank Accounts Model as shown below. But first, some caveats. This is not a first-time exercise, thus having the benefit of corrections made in previous attempts to arrive at projections. However, extrapolations, made based on a sample size of a few hundred client banks, may not produce perfect results. Gillis relied on his own tools and judgment. No one contributed to this exercise
Anti-Phishing Working Group: ’Crimeware’ Nearly Doubles in December
News  |  2/14/2006  | 
A recently revealed image-rendering vulnerability related to Windows Meta Files made it easier for phishers to spread software designed for a criminal enterprise, such as identity theft.
Barclays Signs Support Agreement With Getronics
News  |  2/14/2006  | 
Deal prepares bank to cope with future changes on the desktop.
Reading about the sales & marketing skills of banks is like reading about Dick Cheney's marksmanship - nice shot, wrong target.
News  |  2/14/2006  | 
by Art Gillis I have 13 accounts with my bank of record. I had 14, but my bank sold their merchant business to Wells Fargo. My bank never calls me, and that's their loss. I could use a couple more accounts. I never call my bank, and that's to their credit. They do things right so I never have to call to correct. The best targets for banks today are their existing customers, but I get the feeling we birds are in the bag, so banks look for other fish to fry. Wells Fargo calls me a lot and I
If you're the head of IT at your bank, I'd like to introduce you to your real boss. He's called CEO.
News  |  2/13/2006  | 
by Art Gillis Stop thinking about yourself. Think about what is on the mind of every good CEO. Here's the list: • Credit quality • Earnings • Shareholder value • Customer loyalty • The wrong acquirer who will put most of you in the unemployment lines • Partial technology (all banks have some, some banks have weak, no bank has the best) • The bank examiners are where? • Is Ben Bernanke speaking somewhere today? Take care of the CEO an
E-payment Provider Hit With Denial-of-Service
News  |  2/13/2006  | 
An online payment processor's Web site has recovered from a two-day denial-of-service attack that knocked it out of commission.
eBay, PayPal, Yahoo Jump On VeriSign Authentication Network Bandwagon
News  |  2/13/2006  | 
VeriSign unveils a new security system to protect online buyers from identity theft.
John Williams, Chairman of Computer Services, Inc. receives Kentucky's Governor's Technology Award.
News  |  2/10/2006  | 
Following is my congratulatory e-mail: John, I just did some clean-up work in my office and threw away some old publications that glorified the leaders of our industry. It was an amusing experience because most of them (all of them) were a proverbial flash in the pan. So it is with particular admiration and joy that I can say to you it's a lot sweeter when it is time-sensitive. Long time makes it a value add award. Enjoy it because you really earned it and because we can look up to you as a
Firewall: The News Show Preview
News  |  2/10/2006  | 
Check out my special News Show preview of Firewall: The Movie, which is Hollywood's take on what you do for a living.
So ya wanna get rich quick? Buy low and sell high.
News  |  2/10/2006  | 
by Art Gillis The entire contents of Automation in Banking - 2006 (now in update mode) reside on my PC. Where else? In addition, there's a bit of "push technology" in my schema that monitors on line activity and yells at me when it detects an alert. So today, it told me that Fiserv's stock price dropped enough to put it in the red from April 2005's price. By only a few cents, however, but that's what our digital world is all about. That alerted me to look at the list of public companies in
Security ’Geek’ Advised New Harrison Ford Movie
News  |  2/9/2006  | 
The founder of a managed security services firm was on-set for three weeks, acting as technical adviser for Ford's new movie, "Firewall," which opened Friday and involves a high-tech bank heist.
Security Specialists Paint Bleak Picture
News  |  2/9/2006  | 
Panelists at a security technology showcase agreed security problems will be around for a while and suggested different ways for reducing the risk.
The Devil in the Details: Complying With the PATRIOT Act
News  |  2/7/2006  | 
Financial institutions opening correspondent accounts or private banking accounts will have to do their homework, and technology can help -- to an extent.
What are you worth?
News  |  2/7/2006  | 
by Art Gillis What does it cost to make good technology decisions? Like any consultant, my answer is, it depends. But I'll give you some of the data elements to plug into your own algorithm. Based on standards used by any good consulting firm, a rookie consultant with an MBA from a top business school is going to bill out at $2,800 per day. The math is pretty simple, and I didn't invent it. Although the numbers were a lot lower when I worked for the prestigious sector, the algorithm is the
State of the Union: What's an HSA?
News  |  2/7/2006  | 
Health Savings Accounts? Sounds innocuous enough. But what is it really? Previously, the tax code provided preferential treatment for health insurance paid by an employer, as well as a portion of other medical expenses for those who itemize. Insurance companies get to invest these funds in return for paying for the medical care of the insured. Now, this transfer from the employer to the insurer of tax-free funds is being divided into two separate streams. The first stream replicates the old
What the Internet needs now is a 40-year-old editor
News  |  2/6/2006  | 
by Art Gillis And you thought I was going to say consultant. But I do admit to a bias for editors. I like editors because they fix things objectively (they didn't write it), and live by rules they didn't create. They also understand logic and sequence. Have you ever read a book that didn't have an introduction, foreword or preface? Second, I picked the age of 40 carefully - not too young to be in the same arena as the creators of Internet nerdism, and not too old to be thinking, "You gotta
All Together Now: Security
News  |  2/6/2006  | 
Data Security Deluge
News  |  2/3/2006  | 
The popularity of security-management software rises as more vendors enter the market and prices fall
ID Management For The Masses
News  |  2/3/2006  | 
BMC adds .Net support, giving small and midsize companies better automated controls
Top Tech Talent In Short Supply, Survey Says
News  |  2/2/2006  | 
The IT job market has improved to the point where there will be a shortage of CIOs, chief technology officers, and other top IT talent this year, according to headhunters.
The dot-com bust isn't over yet
News  |  2/2/2006  | 
by Art Gillis The 2001 Edition of Automation in Banking included 31 Internet-type vendors. The 2006 Edition has 13. Is that a good sign? For the survivors, YES. When every wannabe was jumping into the space, I went public with this remark. "Internet banking is a project, not a company. What will the vendors do after every bank is on board?" So the reduction to 13 is logical, and it may go down even further. If you want to go down memory lane, here are some of the casualties: BroadVisio
CheckFree sees the value of telephone banking - Gillis comes out of the closet.
News  |  2/2/2006  | 
by Art Gillis Nine years ago when everything in banking looked like it was going to happen on the Internet, I hid in the proverbial closet. I didn't believe it, and I was quite happy with my own banking habits, but I didn't want Bill Gates to call me a dinosaur. So I hid in the closet. Today, I use 13 of the 14 channels in retail banking. But I won't put my money and ID on the Internet. So when Peter Kight stated his support for telephone banking in an American Banker story on 1/26/06, I kn

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