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Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 17 May, 2012, 11:37Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

A seasoned program manager with over two decades of experience exclusively in the Retail vertical was first put in charge of a transaction banking / payments / cash management program at a Top 5 UK Bank a few years ago. When he heard why the bank had to spend several millions of GBP in implementing an ACTIVE:ACTIVE architecture to ensure automated failover, he mused, "Ah, now I understand, a 5 minute downtime can wreck havoc with a bank's liquidity position whereas it's only a matter of a few T-Shirts lying unsold in the case of a retailer". 

I'm reminded of the above story when I read this question: "...if retail suppliers... can offer an engaging online experience, why not banks?". 

When I want to buy a shirt online, I might want to view it in 360 degrees, turn it upside down, get a feel for its texture, and so on, before I decide which shirt to buy. And the retailer's website should be geared up for letting me do all that. However, as a retail consumer or corporate treasurer, when I want to make a payment, I really don't want to engage, interact or otherwise schmooze with a bank's website - all I want to do is to spend the least amount of time on the website and move on to other things in my busy life. As long as a bank's website lets me do this, it's doing a great job for the given purpose.

So, as a customer of a bank interested in making a payment, here are the specific things I'd like to see on the EFT screen of a bank's website that's missing from most of them today: (1) Let me simply enter the beneficiary name, bank account details and the transer amount (2) Make the reference field length long enough for me to enter all required details so that the beneficiary can figure out why they're receiving this payment (3) Help minimize the likelihood of my entering wrong details or assure me that I can retrieve my payment if I make a genuine mistake. I'd like the bank to figure out which method of payment to use based on my choice of cost and lead time instead of troubling me by making me add beneficiary by type of payment and so forth.