Slide 16 of 26
Financial and non-financial products and services also have the commonality of the multiple ways in which they are, and are linked to, applications. What is an application? For these purposes, it is simply an instruction (or set of instructions) applied to data. A simple illustration is a check. A check is an application in which: Payor = Name Field; Instruction (PAY); to Payee = Name Field; Amount = Number Field); on or after Date Field by order of Drawer = Name Field. A draft is a yet simpler example. From the programming standpoint a draft is a check with with one less name field. An order to buy or sell securities, or to deposit money into an account, or to fund or make a payment on a loan has exactly the same pattern.
Further evidence of this point is the fact that products and services are now being sought out, agreed to, and delivered by means of Java applets, Active X controls and similar software entities (electronic agents, shopping “bots,” etc.)
Further, the items of evidence of the intangible rights and obligations exchanged in the transaction (deeds, mortgage contracts, notices) are commonly a digitized file.
Further, the digitized evidence of the digital transaction is commonly stored in electronic data bases which, depending on the transaction, may or may not have legal significance of itself (a recording, for example).
Further, the usefulness of these digitized files is inseparable from the applications that create, transmit, store, retrieve, and otherwise manipulate them.
Thus, at all levels, solicitation, negotiation, formation, evidence, infrastructure and fulfillment, the transactions -- financial and non-financial -- are essentially digital and bound up with applications.
Finally, as file formats and applications become standardized and interoperable this commonality will only become more pervasive.