Aiming in the short term to cash in on the online holiday shopping season, several major banks — including Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and First Union — have formed partnerships with Internet retailers and begun promoting the merchants’ goods on bank-sponsored Web sites.

Experts say the strategy, which is ultimately meant to improve customer loyalty and foster e-commerce, is risky. They say that it puts the banks in the position of vouching for the e-tailers — which have spotty track records for on-time shipping and a penchant for abrupt shutdowns — and that it remains to be seen whether these alliances can generate worthwhile revenue. Still, the potential seems vast for sites like chaseshop.com, which can be reached by click-through at chasemanhattan.com. At chaseshop, under the familiar blue Chase Manhattan Corp. logo, people are invited to select from 4.5 million products supplied by 25,000 merchants. Those who submit a “personalized shopping profile” will receive special sale offers and digital coupons tailored to their tastes. Cardholders are promised “extra benefits” and reminded that, “as a valued cardmember, you will not be liable for any online purchases if your Chase credit or debit card is used without your authorization.”

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