Financial Portals Are Hot, But for Whom?
ABA Banking Journal (07/00) Vol. 92, No. 7 p.53; Orr, Bill

Many analysts think that by the end of the year most big banks will have Web sites where customers can handle all of their financial needs. This requires the ability to aggregate information and perform transactions that involve customer accounts at different institutions. One way to do this is by "screen-scraping," which involves an aggregator, with an account owner's permission, going to different financial sites and getting the required information as if he or she were the customer. This requires the aggregator to translate the "scraped" HTML information to find the account balance, which takes time and requires ongoing maintenance. A standards-based financial messaging protocol would make this process easier, more secure, and would require little or no maintenance once it is implemented. S1 developed the first software platform for Web banking, used by Security First Network Bank, the first Internet-only bank, in 1995. S1 is still a leader in the field due to many acquisitions, including VerticalOne, which was the first firm to offer aggregation services for financial information. provides permission-based access to bank balances and other information. Its hallmark technology is its e-Personalization platform, which creates customized Web sites for leading general-purpose portals like Quicken's "MyFinances." FSPNetworks provides network infrastructure and Web site-authoring tools for banks to create comprehensive financial portals for their Web sites. Corillian uses its OneSource network to retrieve, analyze, and consolidate account information from banks, credit unions, brokerages, and investment houses. Financial Fusion makes systems to control Internet financial operations as they flow between an end user and a core data processing system. Finally, Sanchez Computer Associates provides e-banking services, including direct communication between users and core-processing levels and architecture that works with the software of any platform.

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