Bloomberg terminals, long standard in the banking industry, have had their public image tarnished by the revelation that reporters were covertly using them to watch Wall Street. But that might not be the only challenge they face: according to Financial News, Reuters and financial services company Markit are preparing a chat service that would compete with Bloomberg's own terminal messaging tool. Sources say the tool, apparently called the Open Federated Chat initiative, is backed by Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.

Instead of Bloomberg's unified system, Reuters and Markit are supposedly planning to create a central protocol that would allow several different chat systems to work together. That means that each banking's internal messaging tool could connect with a larger network. For Bloomberg, it's increased competition. For the rest of us, it's another sign that once-omnipresent systems increasingly have to contend with multiple sources of information, and multiple platforms that can each have benefits and drawbacks.