How Community Banks Can Prepare for the End of Microsoft Internet Explorer

July 02, 2021

By Joel Williquette

Microsoft is discontinuing its Internet Explorer browser in less than a year, requiring community banks and vendors to start preparing now.

While the retirement of IE might seem like a disruption for community banks, let’s look under the hood at what it means for affected institutions.

On Edge

As Microsoft said in recently issued frequently asked questions, the future of IE on Windows 10 is in Microsoft Edge—the faster and more secure browser it has rolled out in recent years.

Edge will officially replace the IE11 desktop application, which will be retired on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10. Microsoft has pledged to support Edge with IE mode through 2029.

One piece of good news about the shift is that Edge is the only browser with built-in compatibility for older, IE-based websites and online applications.

How to Prepare

Any application update can raise issues. The following actions can help community banks ensure the transition from IE to Edge goes as smoothly as possible:

  • Make a List: Develop a list of all applications and websites that your bank relies on, and list which browser and browser version is most compatible or supported.
    • Often vendors will have compatibility or requirement guides that will supply this information.
  • Testing, Testing: Test Microsoft Edge or Edge with IE mode thoroughly with all applications and websites before uninstalling IE in your environment.
    • The testing process might take some time, so it is best to get started well in advance of the June 2022 deadline.
    • Document your results and notify vendors and third-party service providers of your findings.
    • Vendors may have workarounds for any issues you encounter.
  • Notify Users: Consider Microsoft’s IE Retirement Adoption Kit for ready-made content to help notify users in your organization about the changes and help move them to Microsoft Edge.

Next Steps

The retirement of IE will undoubtedly have an impact on community bank operations. Fortunately, community bankers have time and Microsoft resources to prepare for the switch:

Meanwhile, community bankers are welcome to email me with any questions.

Additionally, Microsoft’s recent unveiling of Windows 11 will have additional consequences. My next blog post will delve into what this new operating system might mean for community banks.

Joel Williquette is ICBA senior vice president of operational risk policy.