B.A.Sc. Thesis Abstracts - Year 2002

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An Evaluation of Technology's Impact on The Future of Canadian Brick and Mortar

Andrew Low Ah Kee

Given that branches, or "bricks and mortar", will continue to play a central role in the banks' distribution networks; this thesis aims to provide insight into the impact of technology on the future of branch banking. To provide a context for discussion, the current state of the distribution network is reviewed and key trends identified. A survey of the literature suggests that high transaction costs and product commoditization are among the key challenges currently facing the branch. Using this context, a framework based on comfortable experience, economic value and feasibility of implementation is proposed for evaluating new technologies. A top-down approach is utilized to identify four technologies for evaluation: integration servers, next generation network services, workflow and thin client technology. An analysis of each of these new approaches is performed using the proposed framework and implications for the branch of the future inferred based on the obtained results.

Development of a Knowledge Management Strategy for the Toronto Dominion Bank Information Technology Group

Connie Marcelli

Knowledge Management is an emerging concept in management practice. It promises to improve performance and increase the value of an organization by increasing efficiency and quantifying the intellectual assets of the organization. Although the practice is widespread in industry, there is no universal method for implementation, nor is there any quantitative means of measuring intellectual capital. The Toronto Dominion Bank Information Technology Group (TDit) is the primary focus of this work.

This work performs three main tasks. First, a survey of available literature and theories about knowledge management was performed so as to form a foundation for further work both in this study and in subsequent undertakings.

Second, an examination of the Project Management Office's procedures was conducted to discover if, based on the theory, this process, which was not designed to manage knowledge, does in fact manage knowledge. The result was that this procedure does exhibit knowledge management enabler characteristics. At the same time, it exhibits weaknesses as well, and recommendations are made for action to remedy them. It is recommended that old project work be used at the start of a new project so as to leverage what is already known by the organization's experience. It is also recommended that effective post-implementation reviews be conducted to document lessons learned.

Biometric Security: The Financial Institutions Perspective

Simona Cara

In these days, all institutions face a number of security issues, both physical and computer systems related, including fraud and breach of privacy. These issues arise from a broader range of customer services offered and an expanding customer base. It is desirable to conclusively identify and authorize users, whether they are internal employees or customers, before they gain access to information or can transact business. Findings and conclusions are based on a feasibility study on biometric authentication devices and applications for implementation within the Royal Financial Group's internal computer network and external automated teller machines (ATMs). This is also a comprehensive report on the current state of biometrics in the financial services industry. The objective was reached by compiling a decision matrix of products and vendors, sending out surveys to various banks' security departments and conducting a competitive analysis. The initial hypothesis regarding the implementation of a fingerprint-scanning device was consistent with the results, however limited in scope. The conclusions reached from the literature search and statistical analysis pointed towards the infeasibility of using biometrics-enabled automated teller machines. The recommended product for internal computer network access was the Authentication Suite 4.1, an authentication management platform, marketed by BioNetrix Inc. in conjunction with the BioMouse Plus, a product combining fingerprint scanning and smart card reading capabilities, offered by ANKARI.

Partner Selection in Non-Traditional Banking Channels

David Forshtendiker and Justin Singh

Non-traditional banking channels have become a significant source of both competitive threat and opportunity. Efforts in these channels are driven by two business models: white-label banking, exemplified by the partnership between CIBC and Loblaw Companies to develop President's Choice Financial; and convenience-based financial services, exemplified by the partnership between 7-Eleven and AMEX. Final results of strategy, business model, operational, and financial analysis for these business models depend on the specific partner selected, and no quantifiable, documented methodology for the selection of potential partners is available in documented literature. This report delivers a systematic, defensible, and non-arbitrary methodology for non-traditional banking channel partner selection; an easy-to-use Excel-based decision support model flexible enough to help evaluate potential partners in various scenarios with different factors and weightings; and a detailed evaluation of potential partners by business model and recommendations.

Third, a study of available collaborative technologies was conducted to provide a basis for future selection. SMARTBoardTM, forums and Configuration Management Version Control were found to be the most promising for effective and successful implementation based on the characteristics of TDit.

A study of this nature is possible in any industry; TDit is an especially suitable study because technology is not a limitation given the competency of the staff. Furthermore, the development of a knowledge management strategy is a constantly evolving process that must anticipate change in order for the organization to remain competitive.