Technology Guidance for Bank and Credit Union Professionals

A collection of advice by InetSolution about programming, security, design and marketing for bank and credit union professionals.

Latest Entries


5 Tips to make Instant Messaging more effective

Posted by InetSolution STaff

This topic has probably been written to death, and I'm sure we're all instant message experts by this point, but every once in awhile it's good for a reminder. With our team here at InetSolution the most used tool in our collaboration toolbox is probably instant message chat. While it's the most frequently used instant messages and chats are probably the easiest place for misunderstandings and miscommunications to occur. IM’s are typically rapid and un-edited messages. To help make IM's be more effective I wanted to put out a couple of points that I keep in mind in hopes to minimize confusion and miscommunication. 1) Re-read before you hit enter – I’m as fast of a typist as the next web-geek, unfortunately my brain works faster than my fingers. I often find that I’ve left out a word, combined two words or some combination of the two in probably half of my mess...

Web Analytics that Measure Website Value for Credit Unions and Banks

Posted by Jason Sherrill

If you're a bank or credit union marketer, you should be using an analytics tool to measure your website's impact on your organizational goals. But what metrics are you paying attention to? If you're like most executives, your answer is probably visitor count, page views, referrals and, if you're doing pay-per-click advertising, then PPC spend. But what good are these numbers? How do these metrics translate into dollars, either earned or saved? If those are the only analytics you're paying attention to, you need to read this.

Security Tips for Banks to Protect Customers Through Better Online Banking System Security

Posted by Jason Sherrill

A judge in Michigan may have set a precedent when he ruled in favor of a small business that sued Comerica Bank for reimbursement of $561,000 to recover money that hackers stole from the business' account as a result of a phishing scam. The judge believed that Comerica should have done more to safeguard its customer's assets. Unfortunately many banks and credit unions lack adequate security & notification features in their online banking systems to help customer protect themselves. But many of the tools and technologies that could have prevented Comerica's loss are available to all banks and at minimal cost. I'm going to introduce you to four security features that can help customers proactively protect their assets and subsequently lower the loss risk to banks and credit unions. 

The Most Common Elements in Mobile-Optimized Bank and Credit Union Websites

Posted by Donovan Myers

We studied over 30 bank and credit union websites to evaluate mobile-optimization levels. We discovered consistent features throughout nearly all of the bank and credit union mobile websites, but were disappointed that a couple of key features are missing from a majority of these mobile-optimized websites. 

Free Guide for Bankers Considering Mobile Apps and Mobile-Optimized Websites

Posted by Jason Sherrill

Based on our project pipeline, 2011 is proving to be the year when small to medium sized credit unions and banks are finally taking action to provide mobile-optimized services to their customers. According to our data, consumers aren’t sitting idle when it comes to using mobile devices to interact with their financial institutions. Banks and credit unions who have been standing on the sidelines with regard to mobile would be wise to start planning a strategy now.

The Security Mirage

Posted by Jason Sherrill

We here at InetSolution are big TED fans. If you’re not up on the TED movement, check out ted.com for a whole array of videos that will move, inspire and intrigue you. I came across one the other day by Bruce Schneier. If you don’t know of Bruce, he does a lot of good thinking and writing on the topic of security. Not just internet security, but what it means in our culture, what its impacts are and how we perceive security as humans.

He was one of the speakers at a regional TEDx hosted at Penn State University. Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments.

Making it easier to send big files

Posted by Erin Sherrill

At one point or another we've all had the same problem of needing to send someone a big file, only to attach it to an email, hit Send and then BOOM, the email program will return something like, “Sorry, the file attachment is to large.” Pretty frustrating. We've got two solutions for you.

A Security Tip that Every Bank and Credit Union Should Use to Protect their Social Media Accounts

Posted by Jason Sherrill

Most savvy bank and credit union executives are familiar with the term “SSL” and understand that SSL is an important tool for protecting sensitive data on their online banking systems; however, in my experience, only a small minority of these managers realize that SSL is also important when using their social media accounts. With the growing popularity of Twitter and Facebook as a customer facing communication channel between banks and their customers, it’s critical that these financial institutions protect their social media account identities just as carefully as they protect access to other sensitive systems. Here’s how you can force Twitter and Facebook to use SSL when you’re accessing sensitive account data.

Four Risky Data Sharing Methods CPAs Should Stop Using Immediately

Posted by Jason Sherrill

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are entrusted with lots of sensitive data. CPAs need to share data with business and personal customers. There are some common practices that CPAs use to exchange data and files with clients that puts the data at risk. Review these practices and make sure that the CPAs in your firm know not to use these methods to send or receive sensitive data with clients.

A Method for Generating More Loans on Bank and Credit Union Websites

Posted by Jason Sherrill

Retail financial institutions (banks and credit unions) face the challenge of triggering a need for some of their products, such as car, home and similar loans. Putting a loan on “sale” doesn’t create the need for the product, rather it makes the product more appealing to a customer who already has the need. In other words, if a customer isn’t shopping for a car, she has no need for a car loan. So how can a bank or credit union use their website to increase loan volume by creating a need for something like a car loan? Is it possible to even create a sort of “impulse need” for a loan using a bank or credit union website? 

GRAPE January Security panel recap

Posted by Jason Sherrill

This past week I attended a great panel discussion on Internet security hosted by GRAPE - Grand Rapids Area Professionals for Excellence. The panel was titled "Internet Reconnaissance: How Secure Are You?" and featured speakers with expertise in data center security to cyber war and from Microsoft to Symantec. Each panelist spoke about their own areas but it all boiled down to the fact that security is still a lot of work, regardless if you're a one person company or a multi-million dollar organization.

Four Common Data Sharing Methods that Provide a False Sense of Security

Posted by Jason Sherrill

Security gets a lot of attention in business today, but there are still some common practices that provide people with a false sense of safety when sharing sensitive data and files with others. Review these practices and make sure that everyone in your organization knows that these practices are dangerous and should not be used.

600 New Ideas to Improve Bank and Credit Union Products & Services

Posted by Jason Sherrill

Today Seth Godin shared a good idea that could have a profound impact on any bank, credit union or other type of business. It would take little effort, maybe a few minutes each day, Monday through Friday. The idea costs nothing to implement (except a few minutes of time each day) and is so easy that everyone in an organization could participate.

New Massachusetts Data Security Law Could Affect Many Banks, Credit Unions and Other Online Businesses Outside of the State

Posted by Jason Sherrill

The state of Massachusetts' new data security law, 201 CMR 17.00, will impact many web based applications that collect and store personal financial information about users. The new law reaches beyond the state's borders and affects organizations that are collecting and storing personally identifiable information (PII) about Massachusetts residents. The law requires that PII be encrypted during transport (from client to browser) and while at rest. The law imposes stiff monetary penalties for organizations that fail to provide these two types of data protection for PII that they collect and store about Massachusetts residents.

Guidelines for Developing and Hosting Secure Online Forms for Banks and Credit Unions

Posted by Jason Sherrill

InetSolution provides not only secure website hosting for banking sites, but we also provide application development and security consulting. Even with all of the security awareness present in the financial industry, the overwhelming majority of banks and credit unions that fail our basic website form security audit. At a bare minimum, any form that collects information from visitors to your website should meet these criteria.

CSS How To: Create a Print Friendly Style Sheet for Websites and Blogs

Posted by Donovan Myers

Some users like to print web pages, especially interest rate and disclosure pages on banking websites. Likewise, loan application confirmation pages on bank and credit union websites should be printable since customers often like to print copies for their records.

Creating Conditionally Required Fields on HTML Forms for Bank Websites

Posted by Donovan Myers

Recently, I was asked by one of our bank website design clients to come up with a way to make one set of input fields required if a particular radio button was checked and another set of input fields if the other radio button was checked. That would be just a simple JavaScript form check, however we also wanted to use CSS to visually let the user know that the field had just become required by making the text bold as well as adding a red asterisk (*) to the beginning.

CSS Style Switcher: A quick and dirty how-to

Posted by Donovan Myers

Before you begin to start switching CSS styles on your web site, it is very important that you have already developed it using structural XHTML. It is also necessary that you have created at least 1 style sheet, and for the purposes of this tutorial, 1 alternate style sheet.

Calculating Website ROI for Banks and Credit Unions

Posted by Jason Sherrill

For over 10 years we have worked with banks and credit union managers to design and implement online banking, internet & e-mail marketing, customer service and website solutions. In many instances, prior to our work with the organization, they had few metrics by which they measured their website's return on investment (ROI). To help our prospective clients establish a starting point for measuring ROI, we created an online Bank and Credit Union Website ROI Calculator.

.NET Obfuscation - A Waste of Time?

Posted by Misti Kenison

Obfuscation, aside from being a tongue-twister to pronounce, is an important topic within the realm of .NET development. While some folks around the inter-webs might have you believing that obfuscation is a useless, needless or worse - a complete joke and waste of your time - they couldn't be any further from the truth.
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