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gonzo-bankers-predict-the-end-of-online-banking

First, what a great site. Clearly, these guys agree with my philosphy that if you're not having fun, the money probably isn't worth it:


  • We are not the folks who borrow your watch to tell you what time it is - instead, we simply peer over at your wrist when you're not looking.
  • We never use silly words like "paradigm" and "mission statement" - we prefer more pragmatic terms like "revolutionary mental model" and "envisioned future state."

  • The Gonzo Banking team suggests that banks are not doing enough to protect their customers:

    B of A’s position was that their security had “done its job” and they could not be held responsible for their customer’s inability to adequately protect his computer and the information it contained. Banking customers across the country reacted negatively to the news that funds in their accounts were not being protected. “If I loose my checkbook, or have it stolen, my bank will stand behind me and protect my funds. Why doesn’t this apply to every method of accessing my accounts?”

    They offer some strategies to minimize the risks involved in online banking:

  • Do not allow transfers to external accounts.
  • Allow external transfers, but only to registered accounts.
  • Set limits on how much can be transferred outside the bank in a given day.
  • Requiring a normal range of payments to be specified for each vendor can reasonably protect bill payment.
  • Pressure your Internet banking product vendor to implement fraud detection software.
  • All sensitive information inside the network and all information on files sent outside the facility will be encrypted.


    These are noteworthy, but seem to be generated solely from a banker's risk management perspective. What about applying technology to solve some of these issues? As I have stated before, financial transactions can be validated or "signed" using a one-time password system. Perhaps there is a happy middle ground where riskier transactions require two factor authentication, while low-risk repititive transactions do not.


    If the Gonzo Bankers are concerned about the cost of two factor authentication, they should reconsider. With software-based two-factor tokens like WiKID, the cost would be far less than either hardware tokens or even passwords.


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