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Posts Tagged ‘Amazon Web Services’

PFM Saved My Bacon

Over the weekend, I was collecting information to prepare for doing our taxes.  During my preparation, I needed to get some account information for 2010.  Unfortunately, for one bank, I could only view 6 months of history.  For another, I could only view 12 months.  With each bank, I could view 18 months of statements online, but didn’t feel like viewing each statement to get the information.  What I needed was a way to search and download the information I wanted.

After pondering it for a few minutes, I figured, there’s got to be an easier way.  Then I remembered, “duh, login to Mint to get it”.  After a quick search in Mint, I had all the information I needed and finished putting everything together.

Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed that neither of my banks offered more than 12 months of history (6 months seems to be the standard) and 18 months of eStatements.  Financial institutions are pushing their customers towards electronic services, but there is a time limit on available information.  The question I have is, “Why?”

For the bigger FIs that built their own online banking system, there is no excuse.  If I do a quick search online, I can find an external terabyte hard drive for less than $100.  When I last checked, I had over 7 GBs of space available for use in my Gmail account.  With the abundance of cheap storage, FIs can’t offer more than 12 months of transaction history and 18 eStatement files per account?

I’m willing to bet that if I download all my available transaction history and eStatements, it would take up less than 250 MB.  That is all the information for 15 accounts and 270 eStatement files.  I’m also including all loan history and check images in that number (but who writes a lot checks now-a-days?)

With online storage solutions like Amazon Web Services, there is no excuse for the larger FIs to not offer unlimited history and storage.  The smaller FIs have their vendor to blame.  They aren’t completely off the hook, however.  Their vendor will implement a larger storage solution as soon as a few FIs start complaining loudly and/or switching vendors. (With all their hype, I fully expect BankSimple to offer unlimited storage.)

So I hope you all start complaining to your FI, and they start complaining to their IT department or vendor.  If they want us to go the self-service route, then they need to enhance the service.  Otherwise, there’s always Mint.

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BarCamp In Charleston

October 27, 2009 1 comment

This past weekend I attended the first BarCampCharleston.  I must say, this event was as fun and enlightening as I thought it would be.  Thanks to all that put the event together.  And special thanks to the Lowcountry Innovation Center for hosting the event.  If I ever do a startup, I’ll be looking there for space.

One thing I discovered was, it really sucks that you can’t be in two places at once.  While I enjoyed all the sessions I attended, I regret missing a couple of the other cool ones.  I think my high school drum skills would have helped me in the Rock Band Challenge. Also, there were a few times that  I thought, “what the @*&% are they talking about?”  I really need to do a lot of tech reading in my spare time.  Apparently, there is a lot I need to learn about Github and Amazon Web Services.

In another session, I finally got to see how @jaredwsmith does his weather tracking magic.  Who knew there were so many free tools to track weather?  Also, thanks goes to @bank_daddy for sending the Google Wave invite.  Now I feel like a hip techie.

BaconCamp, the last session I attended, was a bacon lover’s dream.  Ted, from Ted’s Butcher Block brought in a couple hundred samples of bacon.  Let me tell you, that stuff you get at your local grocery store does not compare.  I still have applewood bacon flashbacks.

Now that I’ve attended a BarCamp, I can really see the need for BarCampBank.  I don’t know if we can get 130+ attendees, but I’d sure like to try.  So what do you think, BarCampBankCharleston in February 2010?