Could you explain how was the banking programs strategy decades ago?

Posted on 2017-10-10
High Priority
Last Modified: 2017-10-18
Hi Experts

Could you explain how was the mainframes programs strategy to deal with low hardware resouces, decades ago, when developing banking applications like checking accounts, legal accounting, etc. a typical area with huge amount of data.

I guess there was one computer designated to treat each big agency data and then one other only to sumarize. Am I right?
Could you give details, mainly if you lived this situation?

Thanks in advance!
Question by:Eduardo Fuerte
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 42327773
it was primarily pen and paper (manual) for the longest time even after the implementation of ATM machines. Branches would send a reconciliation report to the regional data center which would then forward to the head office.

Any ATM transaction would show as pending until the branch updated your account. Your ATM balance would show as of close of business and then the pending transactions. Until the branch updated your record  Cheques would be forwarded to a clearing house then couriered to your branch and then manually posted to your account.

Banks are usually pretty conservative when it comes to technology.

Accepted Solution

Eduardo Fuerte earned 0 total points
ID: 42328175

But my question is more specific and doesn't involves Banking policies and other backoffice tasks.

What I really need to know is how was the mainframes programs strategy to deal with low hardware resouces in very heavy data processing.

In the meanwhile I obtained information about a strategy called here "junction-section" when dealing with banking accounts - a way to cut the tasks between a branch of agencies (sections) and then join it (junction) - that way the amount of data was breaked in parts to process and then joined.

Another informations I had in my research (just for curiosity)

Not only pen and paper. Automation machines existed.
Even in the early 60's there were a "checking accounts" machine - where a paper record was inserted, financial movements were typed and if a negative balance is reached a "red light" was on behind the paper record.

The agencies sent telex paper strips to the data center at the end of the day  also, as a rudimentar network data transfer.

A high advance in processing was the "magnetic check strip" here in the early 70's. It popularized the checks use, since a device that could read and colect the check identification.
LVL 85

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 42328183
The magnetic strip you refer to was Magnetic Ink Character Recognition

Author Comment

by:Eduardo Fuerte
ID: 42330965
Just to complement

I informaly talk and veteran mainframe developer just yesterday:

To deal with low memory.

They use  pagination by COBOL PROGRAM SECTION giving a wheigth - on it . The SO using this put the program in disk, based on weight importance.

Author Closing Comment

by:Eduardo Fuerte
ID: 42335093
After my own researchs talking with old mainframe pioneers banking software developers I get a better approach on what had hapened that time, reflected on my own reply.

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