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Your source for the latest technology information of interest to community banks across America.

Subscribe to our weekly e-mail newsletter and/or our monthly newsletter and stay on top of the latest technology trends in Hardware, Software, ATMs, Biometrics, Wireless, Online Banking, Marketing, Security, Internet Access and Call Centers.

June 21, 2021


Hardware News

 

Palo Alto Networks Enhances ML-Driven Next-Generation Firewalls

Palo Alto Networks has introduced five innovations that make it easier for customers to adopt Zero Trust across their network security stack. Additions include: SaaS Security, Advanced URL Filtering, DNS Security, Cloud Identity Engine, and new ML-Powered Firewalls.

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Intel Unveils New Type of Network Accelerator Chip

Intel has expanded its network processor roadmap with the announcement of the Infrastructure Processing Unit (IPU). Intel has its own line of SmartNICs, called Ethernet 800, so where does the IPU fit in? According to an Intel representative, the primary purpose of a SmartNIC is to securely accelerate networking and storage infrastructure. The IPU is an evolution of the SmartNIC.

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Schneider Electric Rolls Out Its Smallest Single-Phase UPS

Schneider Electric has rolled out APC Smart-UPS Ultra, a 3kW 1U single-phase uninterruptible power supply. It is designed to deliver more power, flexibility and intelligent monitoring in the smallest footprint. The APC Smart-UPS Ultra offers flexible mounting options including rack, tower or wall/ceiling mounts, so it can be placed out of the way to allow for more space for IT in the rack.

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Software Updates

 

Sunlight Aims at More Efficient Virtualization

Sunlight claims its software streamlines virtual environments, cutting the need for server hardware by two thirds and promising similar power savings. The company estimates that hardware requirements can be reduced by as much as two-thirds, depending on the application. Apps heavily dependent on I/O, like analytics or AI, would gain the most.

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This Open-Source Microsoft Benchmark Is a Powerful Server Testing Tool

DISKSPD is a free, open-source tool for benchmarking drives with a customisable set of workloads. It's highly configurable, with a set of command line options that allow you to build scripts that can run a series of tests on both desktop and server operating systems. Microsoft provides a set of instructions for installing it remotely using PowerShell -- a useful alternative if you're benchmarking a cluster of Windows Server Core systems that may not have a browser or a UI beyond a command line.

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ATMs/Kiosks

 

An ATM Must Do More than Dispense Cash

The author states that a key takeaway from FIs’ pandemic response is that, while the ATM can serve as a backup to or replacement for the branch, it must do more than simply dispense cash. It must be managed as a mission-critical device. In some cases, this could mean transitioning to a full interactive teller machine (ITM) with elongated service hours, which can soften the blow of branch closures. In other cases, expanding the availability of ATMs that can take cash deposits has taken on new importance.

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KAL Publishing Free, Open Source XFS SP Framework for ATMs

KAL is publishing a free and open-source implementation of XFS4IoT (the new generation of the XFS standard born in December 2020), allowing hardware manufacturers to quickly create XFS4IoT SPs. It works with hardware from multiple vendors, and helps provide FIs with greater choice, enhanced security, plug-and-play hardware and lower costs.

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Wireless World

 

Visa Brings Its Tap to Phone Payments to U.S. Merchants

Visa is bringing a point-of-sale payment acceptance application that uses commercially available consumer smart phones on tour to U.S. small businesses. Using a smart phone from ZmBizi loaded with the POS app, 50 small businesses in Washington, D.C., will be able to accept payments without having to use a dedicated point-of-sale terminal.

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5G Is on Pace to Be the Fastest-Deployed Mobile Communication Tech in History

5G devices and services are appearing at an ever-faster rate. Ericsson predicts that it will penetrate every market on the globe by 2026. 5G subscriptions with capable devices grew by more than 70 million during the first quarter of 2021, reaching 290 million. Ericsson predicts that there will be 580 million 5G subscriptions by the end of 2021, and by 2026 North America will lead in shares of mobile subscriptions that are 5G, with 84% of mobile users having 5G coverage.

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Security Section

 

A Look at a Zero Trust Strategy for the Remote Workforce

IT departments can focus on and incorporate several key zero trust considerations into their existing security checks to build a strong and resilient security system. These include: 1) Verified user identities; 2) Usage of trusted devices; and 3) Allowing access to users on an approved network. Together, these elements form conditional access. This article goes on to layout the seven basic tenets of zero trust.

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Best New Windows 10 Security Features

As with 20H2, Windows 10 21H1 combines the update with the related servicing stack update so you no longer need to install the servicing stack first if you manually approve updates. Rather, the two are combined for easy installation and the experience is similar using Windows Update for servicing. This article documents just about everything that you need to know abou the new security changes in the latest Windows version.

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Technology and Marketing

 

4 Social Media Marketing Trends to Implement in Your 2021 Strategy

Social media and marketing trends are constantly evolving. The author looks at four important social media marketing trends: 1) Stories over feed posts; 2) Short-form storytelling; 3) Artificial intelligence (AI) ad-tracking; and 4) Connection and community.

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Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design

 

Central Banks Are Headed Toward Digital Currencies

The U.S. is starting a national conversation around a central bank digital currency (CBDC). CBDC is a digital version of the dollar, so its value wouldn’t fluctuate versus the dollar… since it is the dollar. Put simply, a CBDC is just a digital version of an existing currency that is issued, governed and backed by a central bank. CBDCs would be recognized as legal money, unlike bitcoin. More than 60 central banks have been looking into CBDCs since 2014, according to a PwC report from April. However, one expert noted that "digital currencies are still in their infancy, despite bitcoin being 10 years old. I wouldn’t expect to see a U.S. CBDC this decade."

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Digital or Open Banking

Digital Banking combines online, mobile and ATM banking services as an FI's business strategy. Meanwhile, Open banking allows third parties to access the FI through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs). The author posits the folowing math equation for Open Banking: (Online + Mobile + ATM = Digital Banking) + API Access = Open Banking.

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Online Banking Remains Popular with Consumers, but Sophistication Wins

Consumers are increasingly turning to online banking as their only method of banking, says a recent study from J.D. Power. In 2020, the number of consumers that only bank online grew 11%. Overall, 41% of consumers in the United States are digital-only banking consumers. The report recommends that FIs should look closely at the relative percentages of mobile-app and online users and how actively online users cross over to the mobile app to determine whether it makes sense for the mobile app to be positioned as users’ primary digital point of interaction.

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Internet Access

 

Verizon Bullish on Continued Fios Strength, FWA Prospects

Verizon noted that its Fios customer base at the end of Q1 2021 was more than 5% higher than the same quarter in 2020. They are also touting their prospects in the fixed wireless access (FWA) market, reiterating it plans to reach 15 million homes by the end of this year, nearly 30 million by 2023 and 50 million by 2025.

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Cisco Loads DNA Center up with AI Features

Cisco is bringing AIOps, or advanced analytics in the form of artificial intelligence to network operations. Cisco has evolved DNA Center to be more than just a network management tool as it’s designed for four personas: NetOps, SecOps, AIOps, and DevOps. Typically, each of these groups would use a different dashboard but Cisco is trying to create a “single tool to rule them all.” AIOps improves network reliability by predicting problems and addressing them proactively. When using AI/ML to troubleshoot, administrators can quickly identify the root cause of network problems and restore service. Taking that up a notch, a new comparative analytics feature in DNA Center allows administrators to evaluate the performance differences of network devices and clients.

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Call Centers

 

Troubleshooting Your Contact Center Metrics

The author wants you to score your contact center metrics in 5 key areas. She wants you to answer these questions: 1. Are your metrics aligned with the company’s mission, goals, and values?; 2. Do you have metrics that allow the contact center to assess the contact center’s performance in the areas of accessibility, efficiency, quality, cost performance and strategic value?; 3. Do you have a document that clearly defines and communicates the following for each metric?; 4. Are your metrics interrelated and drive behavior?; and 5. Metrics should be S.M.A.R.T. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time oriented.

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