ABA Banking Journal - February 2008 - (Page 54)
Tech topics do a full-day product demonstration of their system. It is very important that you emphasize to your vendor that you wish to be presented to as though you are a “new business” prospect and not a current user. This way, you get to see the very best functionality that your vendor is currently selling. This exercise will help you uncover the true capabilities of your core system and help you determine the best course of action going forward. It should become clear from this whether or not you are on a core system that is, or can be, the right system for your bank. If you are, you need to work closely with your core vendor to ensure you are on the most current version of their software and that you are taking advantage of any tools, advanced education, webcasts, user events, etc. to help you utilize your core system to the best of your ability. It is critical that you maintain good lines of communication with your core vendor. In the core banking software business, everyone throws around the term “partnership” rather loosely. The truth is, it is only a true “partnership” if both parties work to make it one. tionality that can help customer service reps cross-sell various bank products. In talking about this aspect of their systems, vendors will often note how these features can help the bank create a ‘sales culture.’ It’s time the vendor organizations helped educate banks on the actual steps they will need to take to establish that culture, not just what key to hit to advance to the next screen. If vendors are going to sell the technology, then it only makes sense that they get very good at educating the people who are going to use it. This was horribly lacking when internet banking first came to the market, and it is an issue as banks attempt to sell remote deposit capture to their commercial customers. Core banking vendors need to rise to the occasion and develop new methods to help educate their clients on how to more effectively use their core banking systems. Security 2.0: Not just a new kettle of phish ust when bankers are getting a feel for the benefits of Web 2.0 now comes Security 2.0, a radical new approach to foiling “malware,” malicious software whose target is the nitty gritty transaction details of online banking. Much of the security software now used in banking is designed to protect users against identity theft and other frauds typically perpetrated via e-mail and generically known as phishing. Like security in any arena, phishing quickly turned into an arms race between offense and defense. While e-mail messages promising financial or physical enrichment were once staples for enticing users to give out their passwords or credit card numbers, that approach is losing its potency. So the arms race escalated. Fraudsters devised cleverer come-on messages that e-mail users couldn’t see through and sent them out in such profusion that fraud fighters couldn’t keep up with them. The classic of this kind was Storm Worm, a spam e-mail attachment that broke out in January ’07 with subject lines such as “230 dead as storm batters Europe” (in a week when there actually was a deadly storm in Europe). One executive of an anti-virus firm detected tens of thousands of variants of this message. At the beginning of 2007 anti-malware vendors detected about a quarter of a million incidents worldwide. At the end of the year the number of attacks had reached half a million, as reported in IT security threat summary by F-Secure, a pioneer in next-generation anti-malware services. This doubling of detected incidents means that the bad guys launched as many attacks in one year as they had in the previous 20, F-Secure reports. The sharp escalation in volume indicates that in 2007 malware authors were adapting, J What should vendors be doing? Overall, the core banking vendors deliver outstanding technology tools. That does not mean, however, there are not some areas for improvement. If there is a shortcoming, it most likely comes in the form of setting unrealistic expectations for the bank (e.g. seamless integration) and in how vendors educate (not just train) a bank’s personnel as to how they can utilize the new technology most effectively. The “train the trainer” concept has been around since the mid-1970s. How is it that some 30 years later, most vendors still utilize this concept as their primary mode to educate bankers about the new system they have just invested in? In this day and age of advanced technology, it is time that vendors provide more advanced educational offerings for their client banks that go beyond the fundamental training they now provide as part of their delivery process. Many core systems, for example, now have func54 FEBRUARY 2008/ABA BANKING JOURNAL So, does core really matter? My vote is in: Absolutely yes! Core does matter. Your bank’s core system drives and controls the very lifeblood of your bank’s business. Serving as the very foundation for your IT infrastructure, it impacts every facet of your operation. So it is important that you find, in Art Gillis’ words, the right system for your bank, not necessarily the best system. As stated above, the core banking vendors deliver outstanding technology tools. It is important to remember, however, that your relationship with your core vendor is every bit as important as the product itself. You need to work closely with your vendor and maintain good lines of communication. Do not make your core system your highest priority, however. Things like mission, focus, vision, and your people are more critical to the success of your community bank than your core banking system is. Do you really know what it is you are trying to do every day as a community bank? Answering this question is where effective use of technology has to begin. When you know this, when you have established a true sense of purpose for your bank, then evaluating all technology (including core systems) becomes a much easier process. BJ By Bill Orr, contributing editor. firstname.lastname@example.org www.ababj.com/subscribe.html
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