Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Lori MacVittie, John Wetherill

Related Topics: Agile Computing, API Journal, IoT User Interface, Cloud Security

Agile Computing: Article

Retail Banks - Dinosaurs in an Online World

We have a recurring issue with our bank - they regularly flag transactions as fraudulent even though the transactions are fine

I had some interesting (sic) experiences with two separate banks with regards to two business accounts that we keep with each recently. The problem highlighted two issues that were both in some ways intertwined:

  1. False positive flagging of online transactions
  2. Identity Management between bank departments

First let me set the scenario. I am CEO of Storage Made Easy, a business that can be categorized (in bank speak) as an online internet business. We are a business that spends a fair amount on online advertising through various different channels and who also uses best of breed online services to make our life easier. Therefore we spend money with other online based internet companies including companies like Google, Amazon etc and we pay certain providers through merchant gateways such as Paypal. I suspect we are not that different to other similar companies in this regards.

We have  a recurring issue with our bank in which they regularly flag transactions as fraudulent even though the transactions are fine. These are what are referred to in the industry as 'false positives'. A false positive is a result that indicates a given condition has been fulfilled, in this case a transaction being flagged as fraudulent, when the condition was not or should have been fulfilled, and in this case the result is that the transaction should not have been flagged. The end result is that the credit card used to pay for such services is suspended until the end user (us) has negotiated with the fraud department of the bank to lift the ban and transactions that are flagged have to be re-submitted, a time consuming and costly process as it means all adverts stop running, payments are not made and someone within the business has to take time out of their day to sort the whole mess out.

You would think it would be fairly straightforward problem to fix. After all the transactions in question have a regular history of being paid each month, in most cases going back over 2 years. Unfortunately this is not the case, the bank merely says "our fraud detection system highlights these transactions as possibly being fraudulent and there is nothing that can be done". My ongoing question is why ? Why are you flagging transactions as being fraudulent that have a historic basis for payment in which the amount in most cases are identical to what was previously being paid over the past two years. This is largely a rhetorical question as no-one in the bank can answer it or even seems to care that it is a perfectly valid question that should be investigated.

The second issue involves getting in touch with the banks fraud department to arrange to have the block lifted. Normally when we speak with the bank we go through a telephone banking authentication process. The bank set this up with us and we have a pin and other personal and password details we have to give. The PIN relates to a challenge / response two factor authentication process. As a company we have a good knowledge of Identity Management, from Active Directory / SAML / Kerberos / LDAP through to OAuth OpenID etc and we also understand the challenges of integrating between the various identity management systems.

When we contact the fraud department they do not use our pre-defined identity management process at all. In fact they ask obscure questions about the account, such as "What was the debit amount for a transaction on 2nd January "etc. These are almost impossible to answer as a by-product of the fraud block is that online banking is also blocked and as we have paperless statements, there is no way to check or validate any of the questions being asked (which in any case are not in anyway related to the identity management process we have in place with the bank). When challenged as to why the fraud department is not using the existing identity management that we have in place the response is "We do not have access to that system". My guess is that as the fraud department seems to be outsourced to Mumbai, this is why, but this is not something we should care about or be impacted by.

My conclusion is that retail banking is akin to web 1.0 companies in a web 2.0 world. They have not changed their processes to work within the dynamics of the internet world, which is driven by online transactions, and their outsourcing exposes the lack of cohesion within their internal systems in which the customer suffers the consequences. There is also a certain type of arrogance within the culture of the bank that leaves me a little cold. There is a real "don't care' "can't do" type attitude.

It seems the option we have is to change banks but I really have little confidence this will solve the underlying issues as we already similar behaviour from the two banks we already use.

Banks now fail in the most fundamental thing you want them to be good at ie. lending money, storing your money and providing transparent secure access to it. They retain their position purely through lack of choice but it has often crossed my mind that a much better solution would be a consortium of similar minded tech companies who function as their own club that administer and provide their own financial services to each other.

More Stories By Jim Liddle

Jim is CEO of Storage Made Easy. Jim is a regular blogger at SYS-CON.com since 2004, covering mobile, Grid, and Cloud Computing Topics.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT.
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
The world is at a tipping point where the technology, the device and global adoption are converging to such a point that we will see an explosion of a world where smartphone devices not only allow us to talk to each other, but allow for communication between everything – serving as a central hub from which we control our world – MediaTek is at the heart of both driving this and allowing the markets to drive this reality forward themselves. The next wave of consumer gadgets is here – smart, connected, and small. If your ambitions are big, so are ours. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jack Hu, D...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
We’re entering a new era of computing technology that many are calling the Internet of Things (IoT). Machine to machine, machine to infrastructure, machine to environment, the Internet of Everything, the Internet of Intelligent Things, intelligent systems – call it what you want, but it’s happening, and its potential is huge. IoT is comprised of smart machines interacting and communicating with other machines, objects, environments and infrastructures. As a result, huge volumes of data are being generated, and that data is being processed into useful actions that can “command and control” thi...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fil...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...