The competitive need for on-line banking and the revenue potential of on-line discount brokerage means that Internet ventures by financial institutions are a top priority.

But, as Netizens realize, all Internet banking applications are not created equal, which is why Toronto-based Scotiabank defined two objectives early in the development of its on-line banking and discount brokerage Internet site: Make it among the most secure sites on the Internet and enable virtually seamless movement between applications. "We felt that building piecemeal products and selling them through independent delivery systems is not the way to go," says Robert Marshall, evp of retail products at Scotiabank. "We decided we needed to wrap a security blanket around all these systems and make them available in a very similar interface to our customer(s)."

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