Magazine article American Banker

Online Banking: Centura Hires VerticalOne for Account Aggregation

Magazine article American Banker

Online Banking: Centura Hires VerticalOne for Account Aggregation

Article excerpt

After months of due diligence Centura Banks Inc. has signed up with VerticalOne Corp. to offer account aggregation by the end of September.

The pact was announced three months after the Rocky Mount, N.C., banking company said that it had decided to get into aggregation and had tentatively chosen VerticalOne for the job.

The choice was a natural, since Centura also announced at that time that it would use Internet banking software from Atlanta-based S1 Corp., which owns VerticalOne.

Before committing itself, the $11 billion-asset banking company wanted to resolve privacy and security issues related to screen scraping, a technique that firms like VerticalOne use regularly. Many banks have voiced concerns about the practice, in which customer data is lifted from a site, usually without the site owner's knowledge.

"There is a difference between saying we are going to do it and how we are going to do it," said Kent Miller, chief information officer and president of Centura Services. "Security was of concern for us, and the privacy element was very important."

Centura consulted BITS, the technology group of the Financial Services Roundtable, of which it is a member, for guidance on how to construct its contract with VerticalOne.

"BITS had been doing a lot in this area, and we wanted to get the benefit of their analysis of how to go about this," Mr. Miller said.

To prevent unauthorized access to customer data, BITS advises financial institutions to ensure aggregators use authentication and authorization procedures to verify the identities of account holders, said Catherine Allen, chief executive officer of BITS. It also recommends financial institutions get permission from customers for aggregators to use their passwords.

Centura plans to use aggregation as the foundation for a slew of services that will help it cross-market to customers. …

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