Industry Leadership in Financial Services

I recently was given some videos from the IBM Archives about early automation in financial services. I’ll release a number of these over the coming weeks, exploring what we can learn from the earliest days of financial system automation.

This week’s episode is extracted from the IBM Banking Preimere in Poughkeepsie, NY May 4-11, 1959, where IBM introduced the check processing system based upon magnetic ink character recognition (MICR). I was struck by the impact of cross-industry standards defined for the MICR system, which eliminated much of the manual entry of check information. It makes me wonder where are we seeing that kind of initiative and even cooperation today?

I was also struck by the depth of interest and understanding of senior banking executives in the very real day-to-day work performed by these systems. Here are senior executives sitting through presentations about trial balances, reject handling, sorting, and reporting. I at times wonder if we have the same understanding of these fundamental processes in today’s work.

Here is my introduction to these videos. Here is the link to this week’s edited 4 minute video, focusing on those topics. You can watch the full 20 minute video here. Copyright by IBM Corporation. Posted by permission.

This is the 86th episode of Conversations with Kip, the best financial systems vlog there is.

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