Technology

What about post-merger tech?

Equally important to the merger of the bank’s assets and people is the merger of technology. And this is an aspect that is often treated as an afterthought. Some banks come with teams and a clear vision for the merged technology. Some have an idea about where to begin but need guidance to ensure everything runs smoothly. And some contact their technology vendors about three weeks before the merger is scheduled to take place to say, “By the way, we’re merging.” (Hint: Don’t take this approach.) [Continue]

AI tools speed, secure M&A processes

Founded in 1968 in St. Paul, Minn., Datasite specialized in financial printing, marketing and communications for regulated industries. In 2018, the company went through a major transformation, divesting its legacy businesses to focus solely on its M&A platform. Jenna Kroll, Datasite regional sales manager, based out of Chicago, describes how tech is changing M&A. [Continue]

Understanding encryption (and why it’s not enough)

Bankers keep a lot of secrets, and they are able to do this in our modern world with encryption. For most, encryption is a mystery and taken for granted. We know it’s important. We know we’re doomed to be a criminal’s mark without it. Yet, we probably have little sense of when it’s in use or not.  [Continue]

Open banking provides competitive edge

Bryan Wilken, chief information operating officer at Bank Midwest, based in Spirit Lake, Iowa, can be found online these days extolling the virtues of open banking. Wilken shares his thoughts on how the pandemic accelerated banks’ demand for cutting edge tech.  [Continue]

What you can protect… and what you can’t

The rise in ransomware attacks among financial institutions has shown no signs of slowing down. Cybersecurity threats have been rampant during the pandemic, with bad actors taking advantage of the disruption caused by COVID-19. The abrupt shift to working from home or changing office procedures meant that shortcuts or security measures may have been piecemealed together. [Continue]

Tips to prevent, or respond to, a cyber intrusion

What can you do to prevent a ransomware attack? And what should you do if the attackers get in? At United Bankers’ Bank, Bloomington, Minn., employees use a biometric authenticator — a fingerprint reader, in this case — to log in. “It’s required whether I’m sitting here at my desk at home or whether I’m logging into the same network from my desk in the office,” said Barb Fugate. “We can’t be in too much of a hurry to accommodate remote work that we cut those corners. And I think for the most part banks have not.” [Continue]

Hey buddy, who are you calling fungible?

Join me now for another trip into the beyond, to the world of international mystery, art, crime, computers and (probably) robots. Did I mention crime? The latest head scratcher has come in the form of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Out of nowhere come reports of individuals (Elon Musk’s girlfriend Grimes for instance), who are using NFTs to sell digital art. Though new, the value of these “tokens” is jaw-dropping. [Continue]

Bringing true AI to AML

Criminals have become increasingly sophisticated at money laundering, creating a flourishing industry that costs banks around the world a great deal of money in fines each year. Illegal funds flow in ever-greater volumes through the global financial system; fraud is the most common crime in the digital world, and criminal capabilities outpace the industry’s ability to respond.  [Continue]

Decentralization is new but emerging way to think about finance

Decentralized financing (DeFi) is now part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Jason Wu, CEO of Minneapolis-based DeFiner, a crypto bank fintech that facilitates savings and loans using cryptocurrency, weighs in on whether its service is a tool for traditional banks — or their new competition. [Continue]

Is closed banking dead?

The walls between great ideas and real fintech products and services are crumbling. Application programming interface-based connections for data sharing are making it easier to innovate — but it’s time for truly open banking to be embraced by the entire financial services ecosystem.  [Continue]