By 2000, experts expect up to 15 percent of U.S. households to bank via the Internet. The demographics of this segment of consumers-college educated and high-wage earners-are attractive to banks.

The real issue for banks is how to hold onto customers longer, says Robert Landry, retail banking consultant for The Tower Group. Banks are doing this by broadening their existing customer relationships. A partnership between Meca Software and Marimba Inc., a Palo Alto, CA-based push technology company, promises to help banks build on-line relationships with customers through a new electronic financial services delivery system. The service is expected to be deployed in late 1998.

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