Banks go for instant messaging

Banks and financial services companies are rolling out niche instant messaging (IM) services in a bid to provide security to an...

Banks and financial services companies are rolling out niche instant messaging (IM) services in a bid to provide security to an increasingly attractive technology.

Deutsche Bank has deployed E-Vantage's Enterprise Instant Messenger client software throughout its global operations for internal communication.

UBS Warburg has developed and deployed MindAlign, which is now sold commercially and is being implemented by ABN Amro Bank.

"I think the financial industry is leading with respect to use of technology," said Andy Konchan, director of e-commerce for the Global Financial Markets unit at ABN Amro.

He was recruited to implement a MindAlign IM solution at ABN Amro from UBS Warburg where was director of the E-commerce Business Technology Group.

Konchan said financial services firms were using industry-created products such as MindAlign because they had been fine-tuned for the industry and were easy to use.

The MindAlign software updates financial market information to corporate customers over a secure system. There are also channels that serve as collaborative, real-time portals, where users can check in on the latest stock or currency information as well as work with colleagues.

Deutsche Bank has installed E-Vantage's Enterprise Instant Messenger client software to provide internal communications throughout its global operations.

In Europe, it uses a mobile version that works over Short Messaging System devices to help customers get stock updates and initiate transactions in real time, according to Hermann Seiler, head of card and e-business services at Deutsche Bank.

Seiler said Deutsche Bank chose the E-Vantage product because of the level of security it offered. "They specialised in this transactional type of model very early on," Seiler said.

Outside the financial services arena few companies have standardised on a secure IM product, according to a survey by US analysts Osterman Research. Of those with a secure IM product, 65% chose Sametime from IBM subsidiary Lotus, followed by products from Groove Networks, which was founded by Ray Ozzie, the creator of Lotus Notes e-mail software.

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