Links Digest for September 22nd

September 13, 2010
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Bank Systems & Technology: The Blog: Chase’s Online Banking Outage Shows it’s Not About the Medium, but the Message
At some point Tuesday the status message on Chase's online banking site went from "scheduled system maintenance" to "temporarily unavailable." One way or another, Chase is working to resolve what a spokesman called a "technical issue" that's left online banking customers without service since sometime Monday evening.
Bill.com To Provide Zero Data Entry for Bills and Invoices
Bill.com has announced Bill.com Zen (Zero Data Entry) that eliminates the process of manually typing data into disparate banking or accounting systems and automatically maintaining important vendor information. Users simply fax, email, or upload bills into their Bill.com account and are notified by email when their bills are ready to review and pay, accuracy guaranteed.
How to Find a Cheaper Car Loan – NYTimes.com
Here’s a tip on how to find a cheap car loan or refinancing option. Check out MoneyAisle.com, which recently expanded its free auction service beyond savings products to auto loans and refinancing.

Let’s say you’re planning to buy a car. At MoneyAisle.com, you would enter inputs including your zip code; the make, model and price of the car you plan to buy; the expected loan amount and your credit status. Then within minutes, some of the 125 or so participating financial institutions, which include more than 100 credit unions, would place bids for your loan. MoneyAisle claims that the offers are generally below national averages; after the bidding ends, you’re presented with the winning offers.

Founder Institute: How To Launch In 10 Steps With Less Than $2,000
While there is no foolproof recipe for every launch, Ressi says his template will help any tech entrepreneur get a business off the ground for less than $2,000. The program, which Ressi recently presented at the Founder Institute’s Boston location, is a bare bones guide to securing your startup’s online identity, enhancing your appearance of legitimacy (through low-cost but well designed logos and marketing materials), understanding your startup’s priorities and target consumer, and finally, getting it to the point of a rough web launch.
Depositing Checks, Right From Your Phone – NYTimes.com
The process is terrifically simple: Once you are in the app, you tap on “deposits,” which activates your iPhone’s camera and brings up a viewscreen with some guides and commands. Line up the check with the guidelines on your screen, hold the iPhone steady and push an onscreen button. You then do the same for the back of the check. (The endearing Chase TV ads with newlyweds in bed also show how.)

The image is then sent to Chase’s computers, which use optical-character recognition software to “read” the information on the check. The software is impressive, able to read both handwritten (to a point–the software cannot read extremely messy, doctor handwriting) and printed checks. Once Chase’s computers have determined the check’s value, routing number and account number, the app displays a screen recapping the information, which you can then confirm with a click. About a minute later, you get an e-mail from Chase confirming the deposit.

Consumers shun bank marketing in favor of online research – Bank Innovation
Staggeringly when it comes to financial products, 88% of customers today start their journey online. For deposits and credit cards, 78% of time spent researching options overall is done in the digital space for an average of 3 hours and 20 minutes. (that’s up from 58% in 2008) For mortgages and home loans, 62% of their overall research is done online spending upwards of 11 hours and 25 minutes before settling on a product. 77% of those surveyed said that they didn’t know about the product they finally chose before when they started the task.
Digital Domain – A Strong Password Isn’t the Strongest Security – NYTimes.com
Some computer security experts are advancing the heretical thought that passwords might not need to be “strong,” or changed constantly. They say onerous requirements for passwords have given us a false sense of protection against potential attacks. In fact, they say, we aren’t paying enough attention to more potent threats.

Here’s one threat to keep you awake at night: Keylogging software, which is deposited on a PC by a virus, records all keystrokes — including the strongest passwords you can concoct — and then sends it surreptitiously to a remote location.

“Keeping a keylogger off your machine is about a trillion times more important than the strength of any one of your passwords,” says Cormac Herley, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research who specializes in security-related topics. He said antivirus software could detect and block many kinds of keyloggers, but “there’s no guarantee that it gets everything.”

Mobile Security Needs Rise With Smartphone Sales
Safe mobile computing isn’t a new concept, by any means. Indeed, Stacey recently offered tips to protect handsets and the data contained on them. So what’s changed recently? The sheer number of smartphones sold. Consumers are finally beginning to embrace the mobile web by purchasing connected handsets with enough power to provide a pleasant experience. The estimated number of smartphones that will sell this year rivals the expected number of notebook computers to be sold… in 2014. With high smartphone adoption rates and a reliance on the devices for our personal data, it’s high time for safe mobile computing to take center stage.
Bank Marketing Strategies: Banking on Social Sites Unlikely
According to a new research report by Forrester, Banking On Social Sites Is A Work In Progress, while social networking sites have a 30-day active population of more than 400 million users of which more than half visit on any given day, that love doesn't extend to banking through social networks. In fact, more than 70% of online households surveyed showed little or no interest in accessing their accounts through social sites like Facebook. Not surprisingly, the reasons for the lack of interest revolves around privacy and security concerns more than anything else.
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