Interactive Home Banking via Internet

Attractive Interactive WWW pages

The pages can contain useful information, perhaps investment advice, shares and money market prices, reviews of accounts systems, money saving ideas, kids arithmetic puzzles etc. This is designed to entice the reader into the site (Unlike other advertising media, Internet content cannot be forced on the viewer). Links to products may be sprinkled in here.

Statements

The user is prompted to securely identify himself and then shown reports of his account. Various forms of report may be selected or specific items searched for.

Transactions

The user must be securely identified and then be permitted to make transfers.

Security

This will be based on public key encryption which provides for identification. An additional level of security might be based on the concept of a one-time-pad, a sort of cheque book where each cheque is used in sequence only once. The chequebook can be physically secured and so is immune to computer attacks. The chequebook may be paper or ideally may be a calculator style device with an optical sensor which can read data from the screen. Such a device can be secure against a man-in-the-middle attack (e.g. fake cashpoint machines)

Can it be done?

Yes. The technology for cost effective interactive secure content became available in 1996. Cycom has been testing the technology. It does work. Browsers incorporating the needed features will be widespread by 3rd quarter 1997.

Cycom has secure rich client technology demonstrated at Club Cycom.

Risks

The public may not trust confidentiality arrangements. They may not need the new features. The usage volume might not then justify the development costs (perhaps £200K). The service may cause other banks to follow with similar schemes and your product may not bear direct comparison (you have a poor value product!).

Opportunities

Over the next 5-10 years, Internet banking and shopping may become the norm. The company using this means will have fewer overheads than non-users and will gradually increase market share. It may be more difficult/expensive to catch up if you wait. Witness the success of early adopters of direct telesales.

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