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Issue No.03 - July-September (2004 vol.26)
pp: 50-59
What caused large, conservative Swiss banks to venture into using computers barely 10 years after computers were first available? Swiss banks proved to be early technology users. This article will explain why, and how, Swiss banks invested in computers. Case studies of two major Swiss banks provide interesting insights into their business patterns in the years after World War II and their early use of commercial computers.
Hans Neukom, "Early Use of Computers in Swiss Banks", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.26, no. 3, pp. 50-59, July-September 2004, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2004.7
1. A.P. Speiser, "The Relay Calculator Z4," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 2, no. 3, July–Sept. 1980, pp. 242-245.
2. H.R. Schwarz, "The Early Years of Computing in Switzerland," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 3, no. 2, Apr.–June 1981, pp. 121-132.
3. Hans Bollmann, "Automation im Bankbetrieb" [Automation in Bank Operations], Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 14 Feb. 1956 (in German).
4. "Wirtschaftliche Faktoren entscheiden. Zur Gründung der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Automatik" [Economic Factors Decide. Foundation of the Swiss Society for Automation], Schweizerische Handels-Zeitung, 13 Dec. 1956 (in German).
5. H. Spindler, "Die Automation" [Automation], Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 6 Sept. 1956 (in German).
6. "Betrachtungenüber die Automation" [Thoughts about Automation], Schweizerischer Bankverein, June 1956, pp. 36-42 (in German).
7. Geschäftsbericht und Rechnungen, Schweizerische Post-Telegraphen—und Telephonverwaltung (PTT) [Business Report and Financial Data], Bern, 1957, p. 32 (in German).
8. "Automation und Bureauarbeit. Installation einer elektronischen Rechenmaschine bei der PTT" [Automation and Office Work. Installation of an Electronic Calculation Machine at PTT], Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 11 Oct. 1957 (in German).
9. "Eine IBM 650 bei der schweizerischen PTT und bei A.C. Nielsen" [An IBM 650 at the Swiss PTT and at A.C. Nielsen Corp.], IBM Bull no. 1.,,2 Nov. 1957, p. 1 (in German).
10. F. Wulkan, "Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Automation im Büro" [Potential and Limits of Office Automation], Bund, 17 Oct. 1957 (in German).
11. B. Leclerc, "From Gamma 2 to Gamma E.T.: The Birth of Electronic Computing at Bull," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 12, no. 1, Jan.–Mar. 1990, pp. 5-22.
12. "Festakt für eine Maschine" [Celebration of a Machine], Berner Tagblatt no. 74,,16 Mar. 1959, p. 3 (in German).
13. "Die Computerwelle hat erst begonnen. Rasch wachsender Computerbestand in der Schweiz" [The Wave of Computers has Only Just Begun. Fast-Growing Number of Computers in Switzerland], Schweizerische Handels-Zeitung, 5 Mar. 1970 (in German).
14. E.J. Walter, "Stufen der Rationalisierung bis zur Automation" [Steps of Rationalization until Automation], Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 11 Dec. 1970 (in German).
15. Most central and northern European countries introduced a postalgiropayment system sometime during the 20th century. Almost all businesses had accounts at the financial part of the post office. Giro payment forms (pay-in slips) were included with the bills sent to the customers. Customers collected these slips and took them to their local post office about once a month to pay their bills in cash. The businesses in turn were credited with the amounts paid in by their customers. The giro systems are still in operation today.
16. H. Bollman, "Das Lochkarten-System im Bankbetrieb" [Punched Card Systems in Banking Operations], SBG Blätter, Oct. 1947, pp. 167-170 (in German).
17. J. Jung, From Schweizerische Kreditanstalt to Credit Suisse Group: The History of a Bank, NZZ Verlag, 2000.
18. "Bessere Organisation, besserer Kundendienst" [Improved Organization, Improved Customer Service], brochure, Elektronische Daten-Verarbeitung im Dienste unserer Kunden, SKA Organisationsbureau, ed., SKA, Zürich, 1959, pp. 6-8 (in German).
19. H. Raff, Schweizerische Bankgesellschaft, 1862, 1912, 1962; SBG, 1962 (in German).
20. "Univac 120," system description and application notes; .
21. K. Stricker, "Die elektronische Rechenmaschine Univac 120" [The Electronic Calculation Machine Univac 120], SBG Blätter, July 1956, pp. 1193-1196 (in German).
22. V. Merkler, "Computer in der SKA von 1950 bis 1970 (Interview)," interview by H. Neukom, 5 Aug. 2002 (in German).
23. D. Marti, "Automatisierung in der SKA von 1950 bis 1970 (Interview)," interview by H. Neukom, 16 Sept. 2002 (in German).
24. P.E. Mounier-Kuhn, "Bull: A World-Wide Company Born in Europe," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 11, no. 4, Oct.–Dec. 1989, pp. 279-297.
25. IBM Schweiz, "Von der Effektenbörse direkt in den Computer?" [From the Stock Exchange directly into the Computer?], brochure, Technische und organisatorische Fortschritte im Dienste unserer Kunden, SKA Organisationsabteilung, ed., SKA, 1963, pp. 26-30 (in German).
26. P. Glauser, "Computer in der SKA von 1950 bis 1970 (Interview)," interview by H. Neukom, 17 Sept. 2002 (in German).
27. National-Registrierkassen-AG, "Die Brücke in die Datenverarbeitung" [Bridge into Data Processing], brochure, Elektronische Datenverarbeitung im Dienste unserer Kunden, SKA Organisationsbureau, ed., SKA, 1959, pp. 24-26 (in German).
28. H. Bollman, "Elektronische Datenverarbeitung bei unserem Sitz Zürich" [Electronic Data Processing at our Zürich Office], SBG Blätter, Oct. 1959 (in German).
29. "SBG bestellt weitere UCT Computer" [SBG Orders Additional UCT Computer], Remington Rand Univac News, Jan. 1961 (in German).
30. H. Bollman, "Das Magnetband in der Organisation unserer Bank" [The Magnetic Tape in the Organization of our Bank], SBG Blätter, July 1961 (in German).
31. A Weilenmann, "Die Organisation im Banne der Technik" [Organization in the Spell of Technology], Mitteilungen für das Personal der SKA, Dec. 1966, pp. 3-5 (in German).
32. "Aus unserem Kundenkreis" [From our Customers], IBM Bull., Jan. 1966 (in German).
33. "SBG bestellt zwei Univac 492" [SBG Orders Two Univac 492], Remington Rand Univac News, Apr. 1966 (in German).
34. "Automatisierter Zahlungsverkehr bei der Schweizerischen Bankgesellschaft" [Automated Payment Services at the Union Bank of Switzerland], Sperry Rand Univac News, Aug. 1971 (in German).
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