Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Sybase CEO: Call centers may become passe’


Someone stealing your identity? Using your credit card to buy a flat screen TV…in Germany? Credit card companies often catch those shopping anomalies and quickly alert you. But Sybase CEO John Chen says that increasingly you may not get a phone call asking “are you in Germany right now?”

That’s because companies are trying to save money by using new technology. So rather than staff a room full of people to call you when they detect a problem — they will automate the process. You’ll simply get a text message.

Because everybody is trying to save money, they are trying to get rid of the call center and use mobile messaging instead. We have a major account with Citibank – we ran all of their  mobile fraud alerts. Let’s say you are here right now, and somebody is using your credit card to buy a washer and dryer in Brazil. Normally what they would do is call you on the phone and…make sure that you are the (right) person, to confirm. We are now rolling out with Citibank cards around the world that they are now texting you. And they say if this is not a right thing, you should call us or text back to us. The good news about that is it will reach you around the world 7/24.

He noted that this does not portend the end of the call center as we know it, and certain demographics will never fully embrace the idea that your bank — you know, where you keep your money –  might “text” you.

from Funds Hub:

Shadow of Madoff

It's hard enough for fund firms to get investors to put money into markets when stocks are so volatile, but it seems they're also still having to wrestle with the bad publicity from U.S. financier Bernard Madoff's giant fraud.

rtr23ea9Ashraf Mohamed, portfolio manager and head of Islamic funds at investment firm Stanlib in South Africa, told the London leg of the Reuters Islamic Banking and Finance Summit that investors are still nervous of another Madoff.

from Global Investing:

Reuters Funds Summit: Madoff, the silent presence

Master-fraudster Bernie Madoff is the invisible guest at an annual fund fest in Luxembourg, the European capital for fund administration.

Even though the former Nasdaq chairman is under arrest thousands of miles away from this discreet financial centre nestled between Belgium, France and Germany, his presence was omnipresent. Fund managers just can't stop mentioning him.