At last week's Retail Delivery 2000 conference in New Orleans, Fiserv Inc. set up a game-show-style booth it called a Money Machine, where torrents of air blew dollar bills in swirls. People who listened to a short presentation could enter the contraption and try to grab cash for a few minutes.

The machine was an apt metaphor for the conference, a technology expo sponsored by the Bank Administration Institute, Chicago. The 3,000 bankers and 6,000 vendors in attendance had come in search of ways to capture money through high-tech means, and many of them had the feeling that all the options available left them grasping helplessly for direction.

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