There are signs that the clouds of hype surrounding the Internet are beginning to dissipate. That's good news for banking, because a general clearing of the air will allow bankers to take a more sober and productive look at interactive technology in general, and the Internet in particular. In the process, they will be able to distinguish the genuine opportunities that the Internet and its multimedia offspring, the World Wide Web, are presenting.

The first step will be to disregard all the exaggerated claims and naive expectations trumpeted over the last two or three years. The Internet is not going to make traditional banking disappear. Not overnight; not ever.

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