02 Mar Information technology, 50 years ago
2009 is the half-century milestone in the use of information technology for business applications, and it’s an opportunity to look back and give a nod of appreciation to those early IT entrepreneurs.
In the mid-20th century, the majority of people did not have checking accounts and none of them had bank-issued credit cards. Those in the lower and middle economic classes mostly relied upon cash to buy goods and pay bills. If funds needed to be sent long distances, Western Union provided facilities for the purchase of money orders that were communicated via telegraph and could be retrieved by the payee in another town or country. But the process of consumer banking was tailored for the needs of people who lived most if not all of their lives in the same town. Banking activities were mostly limited to home and car loans and the average customer was well known by the banking staff.
Throughout most of the country, historic bank processes continued to serve well because most banks were single-office businesses, catering to the needs of a stable and known customer base.
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