xSPs: Aggregating the Portable Portfolio

People have always wanted integrated access to their banking,

investing, and insurance accounts, and solutions are now becoming

available that bring these functions together in unified Net-based

applications. Until recently the technology for multi-database

aggregation was only skin deep.

Using a method known as screen scraping, early technologies allowed

connected individuals to view their accounts as static information from

multiple locations, but this information was cumbersome and often not

available for transactions across domains. New technologies allow the

aggregation of financial databases into single unified application

environments. These Net-based aggregation engines are being offered

through the application service provider (ASP) model to portals and

financial institutions of various stripes.

Financial institutions, normally slow to adopt new technologies, are

being driven by customer demand for real-time access to financial

functions. Meanwhile, deregulation and the growing adoption of Net-

based computing standards are giving these institutions the necessary

tools to offer their connected customers a wider latitude of function.

New standards such as Open Financial Exchange (OFX)

(http://www.ofx.net/ofx/default.asp) and direct connection agreements

with partner financial institutions are providing the technical means

for delivering diverse financial information into unified environments.

Each method has advantages, but OFX avoids the silo effect created by

third party aggregators

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