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From the diary of a digital war veteran


- no one will be interested in that online bank (early 1980s > half a million customers were using it in Finland when Internet came)

- one-time passwords are far too difficult to use (served well until replaced mostly by face)

- the identification service does not belong to banks (it has been heard from the times of Venice). Adopted first for insurance companies in early 90s

- at least the public sector cannot accept identification services by banks (now used some 60 times/year/citizen on average - 50/50 public/private sector)

-  e-payments in e-commerce not needed as there are credit cards (direct payment still dominating in domestic e-commerce)

- online banking does not work on a mobile phone (especially the Swedes were so fond of PC-Solo at Nordea > now mobile is dominating, even if wealt services still work better in laptops)

- contracts cannot be signed with bank IDs  (e-loans introduced in late 90s, Sonera deployed for signing operator contracts in -98..)

- the Internet is not as big a deal as you claim - you shouldn't get so excited about it

- sending and receiving e-invoices is not banking (now most SMEs are signed up and almost all consumers use it)

- identity wallet applications will not be adopted in a long time, even if EUDI-complaint applications are already available both for citizens and organisations (will be rapidly installed once the public sectors first start pushing out all sorts of verified data - credentials)

- the use of data is not important in the PK sector

etc etc have been heard. We just had to keep on talking.

Has everything gone according to plans? ๐Ÿ˜Ž No - and besides - if you haven't made any mistakes, you haven't tried hard enough. In any case adoption is often much slower than it should be..

What hasn't gone quite right?

- I suggested in Nordea -99 that we should organize ourselves around the data needs of citizens' life events - not "products". Too early - there was no way to collect data needed for the customer from outside the bank. Nordea has taken steps towards this - and now that everyone will have fact wallets, the service for life situations will be the starting point for everyone.

- as a member of the Visa Advisory Board, I believed that smart cards can provide services other than payments. Didn't progress.

- we believed in the Mobey Forum (where I was a founder and chair in 2000) that it is possible to create a model where citizens can freely choose any bank, telecom operator and phone where banking services, identification and other services work when one or two of the three are replaced. As a solution, we saw phones that would have had another SIM card-shaped chip supplied by the banks, which would have had a VISA card at first. Nokia was ready for mass production, but when Motorola and Ericsson, which were involved in Mobey, ran into difficulties, it did not progress despite a well-functioning prototype.

- SOLO WAP in the 90s was not particularly easy to use and communication was expensive - but it was only the first step.

- SOLO TV in the 90s with a settop box, we tried and launched for customers with a partner. It didn't fly even though it worked tolerably well.

- when the bank's loan contracts became paperless with bank ID signatures in the 90s and Sonera introduced the service for telephone contracts, I was sure that it would come to all paper or PDF contracts. Strangely, it didn't happen. Although the e-testament showed the way..

- we believed in the Mobey Forum (where I was a founder and chair in 2000) that it is possible to create a model where citizens can freely choose any bank, telecom operator and phone where banking services, identification and other services work when one or two of the three are replaced. As a solution, we saw phones that would have had another SIM card-shaped chip supplied by the banks, which would have had a VISA card at first. Nokia was ready for mass production, but when Motorola and Ericsson, which were involved in Mobey, ran into difficulties, it did not progress despite a well-functioning prototype

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Bo Harald

Bo Harald

Chairman/Founding member, board member

Transmeri, Demos, Real Time Economy Program,MyData

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Helsinki Region

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.


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