Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Tim Hinds, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: Web 2.0, Search, AJAX & REA, Security

Web 2.0: Article

Retail Banks - Dinosaurs in an Online World

We have a recurring issue with our bank - they regularly flag transactions as fraudulent even though the transactions are fine

I had some interesting (sic) experiences with two separate banks with regards to two business accounts that we keep with each recently. The problem highlighted two issues that were both in some ways intertwined:

  1. False positive flagging of online transactions
  2. Identity Management between bank departments

First let me set the scenario. I am CEO of Storage Made Easy, a business that can be categorized (in bank speak) as an online internet business. We are a business that spends a fair amount on online advertising through various different channels and who also uses best of breed online services to make our life easier. Therefore we spend money with other online based internet companies including companies like Google, Amazon etc and we pay certain providers through merchant gateways such as Paypal. I suspect we are not that different to other similar companies in this regards.

We have  a recurring issue with our bank in which they regularly flag transactions as fraudulent even though the transactions are fine. These are what are referred to in the industry as 'false positives'. A false positive is a result that indicates a given condition has been fulfilled, in this case a transaction being flagged as fraudulent, when the condition was not or should have been fulfilled, and in this case the result is that the transaction should not have been flagged. The end result is that the credit card used to pay for such services is suspended until the end user (us) has negotiated with the fraud department of the bank to lift the ban and transactions that are flagged have to be re-submitted, a time consuming and costly process as it means all adverts stop running, payments are not made and someone within the business has to take time out of their day to sort the whole mess out.

You would think it would be fairly straightforward problem to fix. After all the transactions in question have a regular history of being paid each month, in most cases going back over 2 years. Unfortunately this is not the case, the bank merely says "our fraud detection system highlights these transactions as possibly being fraudulent and there is nothing that can be done". My ongoing question is why ? Why are you flagging transactions as being fraudulent that have a historic basis for payment in which the amount in most cases are identical to what was previously being paid over the past two years. This is largely a rhetorical question as no-one in the bank can answer it or even seems to care that it is a perfectly valid question that should be investigated.

The second issue involves getting in touch with the banks fraud department to arrange to have the block lifted. Normally when we speak with the bank we go through a telephone banking authentication process. The bank set this up with us and we have a pin and other personal and password details we have to give. The PIN relates to a challenge / response two factor authentication process. As a company we have a good knowledge of Identity Management, from Active Directory / SAML / Kerberos / LDAP through to OAuth OpenID etc and we also understand the challenges of integrating between the various identity management systems.

When we contact the fraud department they do not use our pre-defined identity management process at all. In fact they ask obscure questions about the account, such as "What was the debit amount for a transaction on 2nd January "etc. These are almost impossible to answer as a by-product of the fraud block is that online banking is also blocked and as we have paperless statements, there is no way to check or validate any of the questions being asked (which in any case are not in anyway related to the identity management process we have in place with the bank). When challenged as to why the fraud department is not using the existing identity management that we have in place the response is "We do not have access to that system". My guess is that as the fraud department seems to be outsourced to Mumbai, this is why, but this is not something we should care about or be impacted by.

My conclusion is that retail banking is akin to web 1.0 companies in a web 2.0 world. They have not changed their processes to work within the dynamics of the internet world, which is driven by online transactions, and their outsourcing exposes the lack of cohesion within their internal systems in which the customer suffers the consequences. There is also a certain type of arrogance within the culture of the bank that leaves me a little cold. There is a real "don't care' "can't do" type attitude.

It seems the option we have is to change banks but I really have little confidence this will solve the underlying issues as we already similar behaviour from the two banks we already use.

Banks now fail in the most fundamental thing you want them to be good at ie. lending money, storing your money and providing transparent secure access to it. They retain their position purely through lack of choice but it has often crossed my mind that a much better solution would be a consortium of similar minded tech companies who function as their own club that administer and provide their own financial services to each other.

More Stories By Jim Liddle

Jim is CEO of Storage Made Easy. Jim is a regular blogger at SYS-CON.com since 2004, covering mobile, Grid, and Cloud Computing Topics.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness, and in-car entertainment and this excitement will bleed into other areas. On the commercial side, m...
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.