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Ebanking
Traditionalbanksoffermanyservicestotheircustomers,includingacceptingcustomermoney
deposits,providingvariousbankingservicestocustomers,andmakingloanstoindividualsand
companies.Comparedwithtraditionalchannelsofofferingbankingservicesthroughphysical
branches,ebankingusestheInternettodelivertraditionalbankingservicestotheircustomers,suchas
openingaccounts,transferringfunds,andelectronicbillpayment.
Ebankingcanbeofferedintwomainways.First,anexistingbankwithphysicalofficescanalso
establishanonlinesiteandofferebankingservicestoitscustomersinadditiontotheregularchannel.
Forexample,Citibankisaleaderinebanking,offeringwalkin,facetofacebankingatitsbranches
throughoutmanypartsoftheworldaswellasebankingservicesthroughtheWorldWideWeb.
CitibankcustomerscanaccesstheirbankaccountsthroughtheInternet,andinadditiontothecoree
bankingservicessuchasaccountbalanceinquiry,fundstransfer,andelectronicbillpayment,Citibank
alsoprovidespremiumservicesincludingfinancialcalculators,onlinestockquotes,brokerage
services,andinsurance.
EbankingfrombankslikeCitibankcomplementsthosebanks'physicalpresence.Generally,e
bankingisprovidedwithoutextracosttocustomers.Customersareattractedbytheconvenienceofe
bankingthroughtheInternet,andinturn,bankscanoperatemoreefficientlywhencustomersperform
transactionsbythemselvesratherthangoingtoabranchanddealingwithabranchrepresentative.
Inadditiontotraditionalbanksthathavebothaphysicalandonlinepresence,thereareseverale
banksthatexistonlyontheInternet,allowinguserstoworkwitha"virtual"bank.NetBankissuchan
Internetonlybank.Withoutphysicalbranches,NetBankcancutoperatingcostsandcanpotentially
offerhigherdepositratestoitscustomersandwaivemanyfeesnormallychargedbyabankwitha
largenetworkofphysicalbranches.ThechallengeforInternetonlybanksistoprovidequality
customerserviceswithoutphysicaloffices.OnewayinwhichNetBankisdealingwiththisissueis
viaanagreementwiththeMACATMNetwork(automatedtellermachinenetwork),thusproviding
itscustomersaccesstonearly18,000ATMsacrosstheUnitedStates.NetBankcustomerscandeposit
andwithdrawfundsfromtheirNetBankaccountsthroughtheseATMs,andinaddition,customerscan
alsodepositandreceivefundsthroughwiretransfer.
EbankingservicesaredeliveredtocustomersthroughtheInternetandthewebusingHypertext
MarkupLanguage(HTML).Inordertouseebankingservices,customersneedInternetaccessand
webbrowsersoftware.MultimediainformationinHTMLformatfromonlinebankscanbedisplayed
inwebbrowsers.Theheartoftheebankingapplicationisthecomputersystem,whichincludesweb
servers,databasemanagementsystems,andwebapplicationprogramsthatcangeneratedynamic
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HTMLpages.
Bankcustomers'accountandtransactioninformationisstoredinadatabase,aspecializedsoftware
thatcanstoreandprocesslargeamountsofdatainhighspeed.Thefunctionofthewebserveristo
interactwithonlinecustomersanddeliverinformationtousersthroughtheInternet.Whentheweb
serverreceivesarequestsuchasanaccountinquiryfromanonlinecustomer,itrequiresanexternal
webapplicationprogramtoprocesstherequest.C,VisualBasic,VBScript,andJavaaresomeofthe
languagesthatcanbeusedtodevelopwebapplicationprogramstoprocesscustomerrequests,interact
withthedatabase,andgeneratedynamicresponses.Then,thewebserverwillforwardtheresponse
HTMLfilestoebankingcustomers.Severalbanks,suchasNationsBank,alsousestateoftheart
imagingsystems,allowingcustomerstoviewimagesofchecksandinvoicesovertheInternet.
Oneofthemainconcernsofebankingissecurity.Withoutgreatconfidenceinsecurity,customers
areunwillingtouseapublicnetwork,suchastheInternet,toviewtheirfinancialinformationonline
andconductfinancialtransactions.Someofthesecuritythreatsincludeinvasionofindividuals'
privacyandtheftofconfidentialinformation.Bankswithebankingserviceofferseveralmethodsto
ensureahighlevelofsecurity:(1)identificationandauthentication,(2)encryption,and(3)firewalls.
First,theidentificationofanonlinebanktakestheformofaknownUniformResourceLocator(URL)
orInternetaddress,whileacustomerisgenerallyidentifiedbyhisorherloginIDandpasswordto
ensureonlyauthenticatedcustomerscanaccesstheiraccounts.Second,messagesbetweencustomers
andonlinebanksareallencryptedsothatahackercannotviewthemessageevenifthemessageis
interceptedovertheInternet.Theparticularencryptionstandardadoptedbymostbrowsersiscalled
SecureSocketLayer(SSL).Itisbuiltinthewebbrowserprogramandusersdonothavetotakeany
extrastepstosetuptheprogram.Third,bankshavebuiltfirewalls,whicharesoftwareorhardware
barriersbetweenthecorporatenetworkandtheexternalInternet,toprotecttheserversandbank
databasesfromoutsideintruders.Forexample,WellsFargoBankconnectedtotheInternetonlyafter
ithadinstalledafirewallandmadesurethefirewallwassufficientlyimpenetrable.
Therangeofebankingservicesislikelytoincreaseinthefuture.Somebanksplantointroduce
electronicmoneyandelectronicchecks.Electronicmoneycanbestoredincomputersorsmart
cardsandconsumerscanusetheelectronicmoneytopurchasesmallvalueitemsovertheInternet.
Electroniccheckswilllooksimilartopaperchecks,buttheycanbesentfrombuyerstosellersover
theInternet,electronicallyendorsedbytheseller,andforwardedtotheseller'sbankforelectronic
collectionfromthebuyer'sbank.Further,banksseektooffertheircustomersmoreproductsand
servicessuchasinsurance,mortgage,financialplanning,andbrokerage.Thiswillnotonlydeliver
morevaluetothecustomersbutalsohelpbankstogrowbusinessandrevenues.
seealsoEcommercePrivacySecurityWorldWideWeb.
MingFan
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Bibliography
Furst,Karen,WilliamW.Lang,andDanielE.Nolle."SpecialStudiesonTechnologyand
Banking."OfficeoftheComptrolleroftheCurrencyQuarterlyJournal19,no.2(2000):2948.
Kalakota,Ravi,andAndrewB.Whinston.ElectronicCommerce:AManager'sGuide.Reading,MA:
AddisonWesleyLongman,1997.
Wenninger,John."TheEmerg

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