Rapid increases in uses of the Internet in American homes, the drumbeat of new product announcements from high-tech companies, and ever-larger investments in information technology have many bank executives asking, "Is all this real? Will the emerging digital world actually change the nature of my business? Am I looking at the Model T or the hula hoop?"

A recent discussion with a longtime banking colleague put this into proper perspective. He noted that back in 1968 he participated in a number of task forces that were planning for the elimination of the paper check-by 1980!

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