Banks Cashing in on the Net
eWeek (08/25/00) Vol. 17, No. 35 p.11; Ferguson, Renee Boucher; McCright, John S.

Financial institutions are expected to increase their investment in online banking technologies from $90 million last year to $300 million by 2003, according to market research firm The Tower Group. Driving the investment is the desire to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, and attract more business customers by offering integrated, end-to-end online banking solutions. Security, however, remains an issue, although it is not expected to stall corporations' acceptance of online banking offerings for long. "[Businesses] have to understand what risks there are with Internet banking," says Predictive Systems analyst Norien Richards. "Just as consumers had to adjust and deal with their fears with ATMs, corporations are going to have to adjust [to online banking]." It is not only the large financial institutions like Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan who are expanding their online banking offerings. Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks is considering offering corporate customers active in business-to-business e-commerce a Web-based settlement services solution called Clarus Settlement. "At the end of the day, it is more secure and more flexible than a manual process," says Adam Carte, assistant treasurer with NRG Energy, who uses an online banking solution from Wells Fargo.

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